Understanding Fascia and the Need for Myofascial Release Therapy

Needing Myofascial Release Therapy means that you need to relieve tension somewhere in your body badly, caused by damage done to the fascia. Fascia plays a very important role in your health and vitality. Myofascia, or more commonly known as fascia or fascial tissue, is a thin layer of connective tissue that wraps around the muscles and bones of the body in order to help support it fully. If your body is not able to be supported with the help of your fascial tissue, you’ll definitely notice, but you might not notice immediately that it is because you might need to loosen the tension in your fascia through a myofascial release massage to return them back to normal, so that they can support the rest of your body. They are the root of many problems, and the benefits of myofascial release massage work can provide a healthier, stronger, more flexible body.

What is Fascia?
Fascia surrounds every nerve of our body and restrictions can create crushing pressure on the nerve cell producing pain, spasm, restriction of motion.

“Every muscle of the body is surrounded by a smooth fascial sheath, every muscular fascicle is surrounded by fascia, every fibril is surrounded by fascia, and every microfibril down to the cellular level is surrounded by fascia. Therefore, it is the fascia that ultimately determines the length and function of its muscular component.”     John T. Barnes, PT

Fascia is composed of collagen, elastin and the polysaccharide gel complex or ground substance.  These form a three-dimensional, interdependent system of strength, support, elasticity and cushion. Fascia is essentially all of the Fasciaconnective tissue in the body…it is an uninterrupted, three-dimensional web of tissue that extends from head to toe, from front to back, from interior to exterior. In a normal healthy state the fascial system maintains the body in equilibrium through a delicate balance of tension and elasticity. The fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration and has the ability to stretch and move without restriction, while still supporting the alignment of bones. When one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring, surgery or inflammation the fascia looses its pliability and restrictions begin to accumulate over time.  These myofascial restrictions start to exert abnormal pressure on the bones, joints, nerves, blood vessels and organs which unbalance the system and create pain both locally and in seemingly unrelated areas of the body.  Restrictive tissue has the ability to create up to 2,000 pounds of pressure on a single nerve.  Often, the true cause of pain is overlooked by conventional medical practitioners because fascia does not show up on ordinary diagnostic tests.

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. When one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, 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, surgery or just habitual poor posture and repetitive stress injuries has cumulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influences comfort and function of our body. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure causing all kinds of symptoms producing pain, headaches or restriction of motion. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.

Eliminate Pain and Restore Motion
Myofascial release therapy is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the myofascial (connective tissue) restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.  Serenity Wellness now offers this therapy as part of our massage services.

Our approach is to gently massage the myofascia and feel for stiff or tightened areas. Normal myofascia should feel pliable and elastic. We will begin massaging and stretching the areas that feel rigid with light manual pressure. We then aid the tissue and supportive sheath in releasing pressure and tightness. The process is repeated multiple times on the same trigger point and on other trigger points until the we feel the tension is fully released.

Contact us for more information about this therapy. We’d love to help you find some relief!

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Massage Therapy Can Help Sciatica Sufferers

Diagram of SciaticaIf you suffer from Sciatica, massage therapy can be highly effective in providing relief. Sciatica is a pain that goes from the lower spine down the back of the leg. This medical condition occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched. A herniated disc in a person’s spine typically causes it.

The pain can go anywhere from the lower spine down the leg. It is most commonly felt starting at the lower back and running through the buttock and the back of the thigh or calf. The symptoms of sciatica may be constant, or you may find that sitting for long periods of time can cause excruciating searing pain, or that sleeping is nearly impossible. Read more ›

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Massage Therapy for Tension Headache Relief

Tension headache massageIn the United States, 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches – this can be debilitating and typically results from high stress levels and/or lack of sleep. Massage therapy can help as it offers two important benefits to tension headache sufferers: it may help relieve actual headache pain, and it may help prevent headaches by reducing tension and improving circulation.

During a tension headache, muscles of the scalp, jaw and neck are tightly contracted. The blood vessels supplying oxygen to these muscles are constricted, so that the muscles must work with an inadequate supply of nutrients. It is believed that this combination of muscle spasm and inadequate blood supply is the main cause of pain in tension headaches. Massage helps relax the contracted muscles. Read more ›

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Posted in Headaches, Massage Therapy, Stress Reduction
Now Offering Myofascial Release Therapy
Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release Therapy is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial (connective tissue) to eliminate pain and restore motion. Click on image for more info.