Myofascial Release

The myofascial release therapy you will receive at Centered Bodywork is that developed by John F. Barnes, PT. This approach to myofascial release comprises a comprehensive set of techniques to safely, gently and effectively address pain and postural imbalances caused by myofascial restrictions. At Centered Bodywork, myofascial release techniques can be used for an entire session or incorporated into a session along with massage or other types of bodywork.

Myofascial release can help with a wide range of conditions including:

• Back Pain       • Headaches       • Whiplash       • Pelvic Pain       • Neck Pain       • Sports Injuries       • Chronic Pain       • Disc Problems       • Migraines       • Neurological Dysfunction       • Adhesions     • Fibromyalgia       • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome       • Carpal Tunnel       • Jaw Pain (TMJ)       • Sciatica     • Painful Scars       • Scoliosis       • Myofascial Pain Syndrome       • Women’s Health Issues

Fascia (Connective Tissue)

The focus of myofascial release is our body’s connective tissue, or fascia, which exists throughout the body. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The fascial system is not a system of separate coverings but rather one continuous structure that is present from head to toe without interruption, connecting each part of the body to every other part.

Fascia plays an important role in the support and function of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. In the normal, healthy state the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. However, when one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring or inflammation, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted and a source of tension to the rest of the body.

Trauma (such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, or surgery), repetitive stress injuries or just habitual poor posture have cumulative effects on the fascial system, negatively affecting our comfort and functioning. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure, causing all kinds of symptoms that produce pain, headaches or restriction of motion. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and play a critical role in limiting our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.

Myofascial restrictions can subject pain-sensitive structures to tensile pressures of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch. Unfortunately, these restrictions do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.), making it difficult for health care providers to accurately diagnose some pain conditions. This can lead to a medical approach that relies on medications to provide temporary pain relief but does not get to the real cause of the pain — the “straight-jacket” of pressure from constricted connective tissues. Myofascial release can lessen and eliminate these restrictions to relieve pain and allow for proper movement.

 Application of Myofascial Release

Myofascial release techniques can be direct or indirect. With direct techniques, the therapist applies gentle, sustained pressure directly into an area of myofascial connective tissue restriction to encourage the restriction to release and the fascia to lengthen. With indirect techniques, the therapist, through gentle compression or traction, allows the body to release its held tension in the area and to the degree needed. Indirect techniques allow the therapist to assist the body in releasing fascial restrictions that are not directly accessible to the therapist. These techniques, along with others, enable the release of restrictions throughout the whole-body fascial system.

The viscoelastic nature of connective tissue requires taking the time to allow the tissue to elongate. Myofascial techniques are typically applied for 5-10 minutes or more in a single area of the body. The result is a more complete and longer-lasting release of tension than can be achieved by massage therapy techniques alone.

If you are suffering from any of the conditions listed above, or if massage therapy has not been giving you the results you desire, myofascial release may be the key to your recovery.

You can find more information at the Myofascial Release Treatment Centers & Seminars website: