Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release Therapists:

Sarah Pratt, SP Massage LLC

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a form of bodywork that works with the body’s natural affinity towards self-healing.  MFR works with the connective tissue, which is a multi-dimensional web of tissue that is continuous from head-to-toe and the skin to bones.  It is the only system in your body that touches every cell and restrictions in the connective tissue can compress at 2,000lbs/in2.  That level of pressure affects the fluid flow in your body and can cause great dysfunctions in muscles, nerves, joints, and organs.

See What Connective Tissue Looks Like:

MFR has three main techniques:  structural releases, rebounding, and unwinding.  In structural releases, the therapist gently sinks her hands into the tissue and provides gentle resistance in the tissue.  The body will naturally start to release tension as the tissue stretches and becomes fluid again.  In rebounding, the therapist will use a rocking technique to start a fluid wave in the body.  This allows the fluid to breakdown restrictions very much the same way the ocean waves breakdown the shorelines.  In unwinding, the client’s body will naturally move into positions of trauma and release old holding patterns and restrictions.

The Scientific Rationale

How can Myofascial Release help me?

Everyone has connective tissue restrictions in their bodies from physical and emotional trauma and/or repetitive movements.  These restrictions create dysfunction and pain.  Myofascial Release can breakdown restrictions and reduce pain, increase range of motion, improve organ health, and improve posture.  Do you have a list of aches and pains, prescriptions, medical diseases, or traditional medicine just doesn’t have any answers for you?  Myofascial Release could help you.

The Missing Link In Your Treatment

What can I expect during my first appointment?

Myofascial Release is performed with the client on top of a massage table, which allows the client to move comfortably and the therapist to see tissue pulls and restrictions.  Women should wear shorts and a sports bra, swimsuit, or their bra and underwear.  Men should wear athletic shorts, swim trunks, or underwear.  There is no lotion used because lotion causes slide and prevents the releases from extending deeply in the body.

Myofascial Release will never harm because it never forces the body, however, client’s may feel sensations as the restrictions dissolve such as heat, therapeutic pain, pulling, prickling, electrical sensations, itching, and tingling.  Some people feel nothing the first few sessions because we have trained ourselves to pull our awareness away from areas of pain and trauma.  Over time, client’s will become more connected to their bodies and be able to feel more releases and catch dysfunctions before they become daily problems.

It is important for clients to give feedback to the therapist about what they are feeling.  Because the connective tissue spans the whole body, restrictions in one area can extend and affect other seemingly unrelated areas of the body.  It is kind of like taking off a band-aid.  When you pull on one side of the band-aid, you can feel the other side tug.  When a therapist is working in one area of the body, the client may feel changes in another location.  This is the body telling you exactly where the connective tissue is pulling to and another area the therapist will need to work on.  This information is vital during treatment because every person has their own unique pattern of injuries and MFR therapists respects that uniqueness and follows each person’s body intuition.

An Introduction For The MFR Patient

 What can I expect after a MFR session?

Every person and every session is different.  Most people feel some improvement in symptoms after their first session.  When getting off the table, most clients feel a little loopy and notice a change in how they are standing now that restrictions are no longer pulling their bodies off center.  In the next 24-48 hours, clients can feel a range from amazing to a flare up of pain or discomfort (called a healing crisis).  A healing crisis can be frustrating, but when we understand them more, it can help ease the discomfort.  The term healing crisis is a misnomer.  The symptoms you are feeling are there 24/7 in your body, but now the tissue work has brought them from the deeper subconscious level to the surface.  When the symptoms are at the surface, we are able to complete the healing cycle and be done for good with the pain or dysfunction.  Otherwise, the symptoms lurk below our awareness and can cause mental and physical fatigue, a racing mind, or anxiety.  If you experience a healing crisis, find a quiet safe space you can rest and feel the sensations.  It will allow your body to continue healing.  Healing crisis will usually only last for 24-48 hours after a session.  Let your MFR therapist know about any flare ups at your next appointment, because those are areas that might need to be addressed with more tissue work and will give your therapist a bigger picture into what is going on in your body.

Therapeutic Pain

More Articles about MFR

If you suffer from chronic discomfort or pain, try this just once.   You will feel the difference.

Myofascial Release with Acupressure

Acupressure Mat Benefits:

    • Improve sleep
    • Reduces stress
    • Helps you relax
    • Increases blood circulation
    • Relieves back and neck pain, muscular tension aches and pains
  • Add to you myofascial release session for $10.

Should I add acupressure to my session?

  • Are you stressed?
  • Do you sometimes have trouble sleeping?
  • Is your mind constantly racing? Thinking about what you still must do, making lists?
  • Are you tense or have muscle pain?

If you answered yes to at least 2 of these questions, adding acupressure to your therapeutic massage or myofascial release session is a must.  The acupressure mat will help drop your cortisol levels that get elevated by stress, help bring your body into parasympathetic nervous system which helps with sleep and digestion, and increases blood flow and endorphins which will calm your mind and muscles.  Definitely worth $10.

What is Acupressure?  Is it like Acupuncture?

Acupressure is an old therapeutic technique that is under-used in the United States.  It was developed over 5,000 years ago as an important aspect of eastern medicine.  More people in the Quad Cities are familiar with its sister technique, acupuncture.  Acupressure is like acupuncture in that it uses specific points along the body to stimulate channels, known as meridians.  Eastern medicine believes when there is balance in the meridian system, the body regains and maintains good health.  Acupressure uses pressure to stimulate points verse needles.  With advances in technology, acupressure mats were developed to simplify and speed up the sessions.  Most of these mats are made from cotton or other similar materials, with plastic acupuncture points that stimulate specific areas of the body without puncturing the skin.

Benefits of Acupressure:

Acupressure is a self-healing modality. So, while you can target specific issues and body parts, however, these are the general benefits no matter how you use your acupressure mat.

  • Relieves stress & anxiety
  • Increase blood circulation
  • Improves oxygen level
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Stimulates endorphin production to elevate mood and help with depression

What can I expect during a session?

At Centered Therapies, the therapists incorporate an acupressure mat into your myofascial release session.  The mat will be covered to keep the acupressure gentle and placed under your back during part of your session.  Because the weight of your body is spread out over the mat, you receive the benefits of acupuncture without the mat actually piercing your skin.

What the therapist sees:

Myofascial release and acupressure work hand in hand beautifully.  The acupressure pad helps keep the client grounded and feeling within their body.  The acupressure nodes act like an additional hand that supports the back and shoulders of the client.  It is like having a two person MFR release with only one therapist.  Clients have reported back noticing more changes to their bodies, bigger shifts in connective tissue, and overall more productive sessions.

When is acupressure not recommended?

If you are pregnant,  have uncontrolled blood pressure, or on blood thinning medications, acupressure is not for you.  Therapeutic massage and myofascial release alone would be the best fit for you.

Ancient techniques + modern technology = increased wellness!