Ever since my massage tutor Cathy Alderson, talked to our class about her training with the very influential John F. Barnes PT on the technique of Myofascial Release, I was hooked on finding out more.
What is Fascia?
Within the body there is a tough, fibrous network of connective tissue mainly made up of collagen, elastin and a fluid known as 'ground substance'. This network is fascia and it exists throughout the body, penetrating and connecting every fibre, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, nerve, vein, artery, internal organs and the Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) and even down to cellular level. Restriction in one area can affect all other areas.
The body responds to trauma, be it physical or emotional. These responses can create Myofascial restrictions which can result in pressure of around 2000 pounds per square inch on internal structures. This will not show up in many standard diagnostic tests. Traditional drugs will not treat the pressure itself.
It may seem strange that emotional thinking can cause physical problems, but Quantum Physics shows that consciousness lies with the 70 trillion cells in the body. Emotional responses become imprinted in our tissue in the same position they were in when the event took place. Suppressed emotions can manifest as tension and disease. Cronic pain patterns can emerge and the fascia shortens and applies pressure.
What is Myofascial Release?
This technique has been devised and used to safely and gently release the restriction using a hands-on technique. Gentle, sustained pressure is used over a period of 3 to 5 minutes. Using pressure for specific amounts of time allows fluid to flow back into the area and creates a Piezoelectric effect. This effect is the ability of some materials to generate an electric charge as a result of pressure placed on it. The ground substance within the fascia melts, the fascia lengthens again and the pressure is released.
This method can help any kind of fascial restriction pain
Back, neck and shoulder pain
Headaches and Migraine
Depression and Anxiety
Obviously there are some conditions which if present, would mean the treatment cannot be performed but these are pretty similar to those associated with massage contra-indications:
Acute circulatory conditions
Open cuts and wounds
Osteoporosis or Advanced Degenerative Diseases
Malignancy or Cancer
Embolism and Intracranial Aneurysm
Acute Rheumatoid Arthritis