Myofascial Release is a gentle hands-on, sustained pressure technique intended to increase body awareness to release patterns of tightness, tension, or pain that are limiting your participation in life.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is the connective tissue that spreads throughout the body from head to toe and 3 dimensionally connects everything. Yep, everything! That means your skin, muscles, organs, bones, vessels and anything else you contain as living, breathing human being.
Let's visualize your whole body as a sweater. When you pull a bottom corner the whole garment moves/stretches and it might even be difficult to move your arms due to increased pull/stress coming from the lower corner. Now consider all the times you've fallen, held poor posture, or been stressed. Ha! That's a lot! Living your life and being alive creates restriction and inflammation in our fascia. It is simple to identify these fascial restrictions in our body. Fascia restrictions are either hard, hot, tight, or tender areas of your body. Do you have any of those??
Tight fascia puts excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, vessels, organs and/or bones. Yikes! No wonder pain meds are the most widely prescribed. There 'should' be space between every single structure in your body held by healthy fascia, our connective tissue web. This healthy fascia allows for expansion and contraction of every single tiny body part! When there is scar tissue or hard, hot, tight, or tender areas of our body, there is a snag in our sweater! It affects everything! If something in your body isn't moving freely or is tight/painful then we start to compensate by leaning to the side, putting less weight on one leg versus the other or shifting in space, creating further tight, shortened connective tissue.
There are many different types of Myofascial Release out there but the John F. Barnes approach is the best in my mind. Traditional Myofascial Release is forced and painful! This actually creates more guarding and tightness in connective tissue. John's technique is gentle, subtle, and effective. The body cannot heal without soft cooperation from the mind. His technique incorporates 3 main elements to treatment; structural release, rebounding, and unwinding.
Structural release is sustained gentle pressure to deep tissues that is never forceful. Research proves that after 5 minutes of this technique your body starts to produce interleukin-8, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Rebounding is similar to the effect of being rocked as a child by a parent or loved one. As humans we are composed of ~75% fluid, which means when rocked an internal wave of motion and energy begins to form to wash out habitual holding or bracing patterns in our bodies from stress or trauma.
Unwinding is our bodies' natural tendency to attempt to correct a misalignment, holding pattern or trauma. You may be familiar with kicking, twitching or shaking yourself awake as you fall asleep. That is just the start. Typically our bed and gravity work together to limit our capacity to move in any direction to find the relief we need. As I work with you, I support your body so that you can move without the limitation of gravity.
A part of each session is focused on helping you establish a home exercise (release) program. We show you techniques using several self treatment tools such as a small ball, bolster, and/or pillows in various positions to help you to continue to get more in tune with your body, release tightness/limitations, and get you back to the sports and activities you love!