“Finds the pains, looks else where for the cause”
What is MFR?
The word is broken up, Myo is the muscular component of the fascial system. The fascial system is the environment of every system and cell of the body and when it becomes restricted it can cause all sorts of problems throughout the entire mind-body complex. Myofascial release uses unique principles and techniques to gently, safely and effectively treat these restrictions, allowing the body to heal itself.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is tough 3 dimensional web or connective tissue that supports, protects, lubricates, defends, separate structures, provides fluidity, shape, repairs and heals the mind-body complex.
Fascia is made up of 3 elements
Elastin – gives the fascia its flexibility
Collagen – gives the fascia its strength
Ground substance (fluid) – gives the fascia lubrication and allows the flow of energy to the mind-body
What happens to fascia when it becomes dysfunctional?
Whether through a sports injury, stress, poor posture, car accident, surgery, repetitive movement, illness, mental health issues etc. the ground substance will start to become thicker and denser. This will start to put an increase pressure on to the structures it surrounds. This pressure can be up to 2000Ib per square inch, that’s the equivalent of two full grown horses! As the body is completely connected, we will then start to develop compensatory patterns and start creating more dysfunction in other parts of the body. We will then start developing symptoms i.e. lower back pain, headaches, muscle pains, arthritis, asthma, joint problems, slipped disc, chronic fatigue etc. It is important to know that fascial restrictions do not show up X-rays, MRI’s and CAT scans, resulting in these restrictions not being picked up.
How is Fascia Released?
The therapist will use slow sustained pressure to locate and treat these restrictions and once found the therapist waits for the tissue to release. Because heat (energy) is generated through the therapist hands the fascia begins to soften, yield and reorganise on its own. This usually takes around 3-5 minutes to occur. If the fascia is forced or pushed too hard it’ll resist because fascia is part of our fight and flight response.
Why should MFR be integrated into our health care and physical therapy?
Traditional therapies have tremendous value and will affect the fascia but only the elastic component which is only 20%. This often means that the results are only temporary and the symptoms may keep retuning. Only true myofascial release will release the collagen and most importantly the ground substance (the remaining 80%) giving a much more long term result. Some traditional therapies are quite quick, forceful and painful resulting in the body going into further protection. Myofascial release will never injure or cause further damage because the techniques are never forced. Once the tissue has been fully released then other forms of physical therapy, corrective exercises, massage therapy etc can be integrated into the treatment, greatly enhancing their effectiveness.