Myo – means muscle in medical terminology. Our muscles, for example, are 80% Fascial Tissue.
Fascia – is connective tissue which exists within and throughout our entire body. Fascial Tissue infuses, infiltrates, surrounds, interconnects, intercommunicates, influences, separates, supports, stabilizes, cushions and protects providing the immediate environment for every body organ such as:
• Heart
• Lungs
• Brain
• Lymph nodes
• Spinal chord
• Skin
Body system such as:
• Skeletal including ligaments and tendons
• Circulatory
• Respiratory
• Digestive
• Lymphatic
• Immunity
• Muscular
• Nerve
• Cranial
• Neurological
In fact Fascial Tissue emanates from and extends down to the cellular level, the cyto skeleton, of every cell in our body. It provides an enabling environment within which every part and system of our body can survive and operate.
Myofascia – refers to the Myo and Fascial Tissue complex, a tough, three-dimensional, continuous web of connective tissue which extends, without interruption, throughout our entire body from head to toe forming the Myofascial System.
Fascial Tissue and the Myofascial System have been virtually ignored in the past. The three-dimensional web of interconnecting Fascial Tissue forms the body’s Myofascial System which creates separation between and within organs and muscles. It also creates space through which delicate nerves, blood vessels and fluids pass. As such it is highly influential to all other body systems and functions The Myofascial System provides support, stabilisation and cushioning throughout our entire body and provides us with the flexibility, strength and stability to move through space. Think of it as lubrication, it provides ease of movement / flow throughout your entire body. In its healthy state, the Myofascial System absorbs and transmits many forces throughout our body serving to connect, protect and support every part of our body. It is highly influential to all body systems and functions. Without Fascial Tissue and our Myofascial System we would be without form or structure. When you experience a physical or emotional trauma resulting from, say, an injury or stress situation, your Fascial Tissue reacts by forming hardened Myofascial Restrictions which impair movement and function. Myofascial Restrictions may exist in the immediate location of injury and / or may be referred to another part of the body via the Myofascial System. As an analogy for the three-dimensional Myofascial System and Myofascial Restrictions, think of a marionette primarily suspended by the operating cord connected to the top of its head. In this position the marionette’s posture is perfectly symmetrical and the other operating cords are under very little, if any, tension. If we restrict the movement of one of the other operating cords, for example by tying a knot to shorten it, tension within all of the other operating cords will be altered resulting in permanent changes to the marionette’s posture. When the marionette is operated under these conditions, proper function and movement is impeded. In relation to the human body, life experiences and trauma induced Myofascial Restrictions within the three-dimensional Facial System may not only have an impact upon physical movement, they can also affect the organs and muscles and can also restrict the space through which delicate nerves, blood vessels and fluids pass. Myofascial Restrictions give rise to symptoms which include, but are not limited to, muscle and / or joint pain, weakness, headaches, decreased range of motion. These symptoms may be situated immediately at and / or remote from the site of the root cause trauma.
Release – is the removal of Myofascial Restrictions achieved during a Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy treatment. When we experience emotional or physical a trauma such as stress, tension an accident or surgical procedure, Fascial Tissue reacts and hardens like protective body armour. This produces Myofascial Restrictions (body tissue which is tight, has adhesions, is restricted / knotted / bound-down) within the Fascia System. These restrictions can give rise to symptoms such as dysfunction, pain and / or discomfort. Because the Fascial System is a three-dimensional web extending throughout the entire body, Myofascial Restrictions can manifest themselves as symptoms not only in the location of the trauma but also as seemingly unexplained symptoms in other / remote areas of our body. Depending upon the root cause of these traumas, Myofascial Restrictions can be released by MFR Therapy. Complete release of Myofascial Restrictions will result in you achieving your ‘Fascia Freedom’
Symptoms such as dysfunction, pain and / or discomfort, are the result of trauma induced Myofascial Restrictions which may be situated at locations remote from the site of the root cause. For example a neck pain may actually be the result of a problem which emanates from your lower back. MFR Therapy is successful and different because, unlike other therapies, it treats not only the particular dysfunction, pain and / or discomfort that you are experiencing, it also considers and treats your entire body by seeking out other Myofascial Restrictions and resolving the root cause(s). The result, you experience ‘whole body freedom’ from dysfunction, pain and / or discomfort. Myofascial Release treatments are also suited for patients who have not responded to traditional medical or surgical interventions. Following a course of intensive Myofascial Release treatments these same patients begin to make progress in a matter of weeks and are on their way to ‘Fascia Freedom’ and a pain free, active lifestyle.
The root causes of symptoms such as dysfunction, pain and / or discomfort in your body may be the result of emotional trauma such as stress or tension or they may be the result of physical trauma such as an accident, inflammatory responses, and / or surgical procedures. These traumas create Myofascial Restrictions within your Myofascial System which can produce tensile pressures as high as 2000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures within your body. Myofascial Restrictions do not show up in many of the standard tests such as x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc. The Myofascial System comprises responsive tissue which extends as a three-dimensional network of fascial connective tissue throughout your entire body. Consequently trauma induced Myofascial Restrictions may be found at other locations remote from the trauma site. This makes effective treatment more difficult to achieve by conventional therapies which tend to identify and treat only the symptoms you experience and do not necessarily identify and treat the root cause(s). By intuitively reading and feeling for Myofascial Restrictions through touch and observation, during treatment your MFR Therapist progressively carries out a ‘structural assessment’ of your body and is thus able to apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to your skin to facilitate a release of Myofascial Restrictions. Each area of Myofascial Restriction is treated by applying a firm but gentle and sustained physical pressure into the restricted Fascial Tissue. When the restriction is released your MFR Therapist is able to sense subtle changes in the body (your ‘Fascia Voice’) which reveal the next path to follow in the treatment process. In this way, the true root cause(s) of your symptoms are identified and treated. Over the course of an MFR treatment programme, your Myofascial Restrictions are progressively identified and treated to ensure that you and your highly influential Fascial System are functioning together in a true state of pain–free equilibrium. Depending upon the root cause(s) of your dysfunction, pain or discomfort, your proper body mechanics and movement can be restored and your flexibility improved. During your MFR Therapy treatment you will also attain a greater awareness and understanding of the interrelationship between your emotions, physical body, posture and movements. In due course this knowledge will enable you to manage your lifestyle.
Conventional therapies generally treat your symptoms but do not necessarily address the root cause. Whole body Myofascial Release Therapy identifies and addresses the root cause(s) of these symptoms. It is a complete Therapy which views, assesses and treats your entire body to remove Myofascial Restrictions. At your first treatment session your MFR Therapist will conduct an initial assessment to: 1. Determine our life and health profile 2. Establish any contraindications which may prevent or restrict your MFR treatment 3. Provide you with a general Question & Answer opportunity 4. Discuss and agree a programme of treatment – subject to contraindications 5. Obtain your consent – subject to contraindications Following your initial assessment, your MFR Therapist will undertake a ‘structural assessment’. By intuitively placing their hands on the areas of your body that are in pain or are hot, hard or tender, your MFR Therapist will read and feel for Myofascial Restrictions. MFR Therapy uses gentle, specialized manual treatment techniques directly applied to your skin to identify Myofascial Restrictions. Initially each area of restriction identified will be treated by applying a firm but gentle and sustained physical pressure into the restricted Fascial Tissue. Using their hands and fingers, your MFR Therapist will use “skin on skin” contact to provide the interface necessary to identify the Myofascial Restrictions effectively. Oils, creams or lotions etc. are not used. Once Myofascial Restrictions are identified, hand / finger pressure is sustained in the location for some 3 – 5 minutes. This allows for the essential mechanical and biomechanical reactions to begin. Successive releases, through each layer, also require this time element. This action penetrates through the many Fascial Tissue layers until each barrier of Myofascial Restriction is released. Simultaneously your MFR Therapist will identify the location of any additional Myofascial Restrictions. When each Myofascial Restriction is released your MFR Therapist is able to sense subtle changes in your body (The Fascia Voice) which reveal the treatment path to be followed. In this manner location(s) of the true root cause(s) of your pain and discomfort is / are identified. Each treatment session may differ in the range of treatment and hand / finger pressure according to your specific needs. You should be aware that you will not just lie on the treatment couch and be a passive receiver. Your participation will be led by your body’s own inherent motion which will be facilitated by your MFR Therapist.
You will not experience any pain of discomfort during treatment. Most of the techniques involve gentle, sustained stretches to your skin. This will not necessarily hurt, however if your Fascial Tissue is restricted you may experience some pain. You always have control over this, and your therapist will ask you to tell them that you need to take a break when it feels too much for you. Therapists are often sensitive to your pain threshold and may know instinctively to take a break. More…… Myofascial Release is used to remove Myofascial Restrictions throughout your body. Unreleased Myofascial Restrictions can compress nerves, muscles and organs etc. causing dysfunction, pain and / or discomfort. Your response to treatment and your progress is measured by a decrease in the symptoms you experience and by an improvement in your overall posture. Often, you may be unable to pinpoint the location of painful ‘Trigger Points’ you experience or you may have grown used to them. Your MFR Therapist will be able to find these ‘‘Trigger Points’, called Myofascial Trigger Points, just by feel. The size and sensitivity of these Myofascial Trigger Points will decrease with treatment. You will be surprised by how gentle Myofascial Release is. Indeed, some patients fall asleep during treatment while, following treatment, others go home and immediately take a nap. Myofascial Release is a safe, gentle and consistently effective treatment for the removal of Myofascial Restrictions. It is a whole-body hands-on manual therapy which uses gentle, highly-specialized techniques administered by a trained MFR Therapist, to treat the Fascial Tissue System. It produces positive and lasting results eradicating pain and restoring motion throughout your body. During the treatment your MFR Therapist continuously observes and responds to your body by focussing on the Myofascial System. Myofascial Release, MFR, is the term given to the range of techniques hands-on structural, fascial cranial, rebounding and unwinding accessing the mind / body complex through subconscious that are used by your MFR Therapist to relieve your Fascia Tissue System from myofascial restrictions and adhesions. Myofascial Release balances your whole body’s Myofascial System to the very deepest of layers., The treatment removes the ‘straight jacket’ from your body by releasing Myofascial Restrictions thereby eliminating pain and restoring motion. Each Myofascial Release technique contains the same components.
Your MFR Therapist:
• Seeks to identify the area of tightness
• Applies a light, gentle sustained pressure to the tight area.
• Waits for the tissue to relax and release. The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed and released before the next area is treated. Most patients find Myofascial Release to be a very relaxing form of treatment. Indeed some fall asleep during treatment.
Although MFR Therapy is a gentle treatment process, it does have profound effects upon your body tissues. Do not let the gentleness deceive you. Usually you will feel great after your MFR sessions, especially early on in your treatment program. However each patient’s responses will be individual though a number of common responses arise repeatedly. Immediately following a first treatment you may feel as though nothing has happened. However, during the day, or even the following day, the effects of the treatment begin to appear. Frequently, remarkable improvement is noted during or immediately after a treatment. At other times there may be soreness and discomfort for several hours or perhaps a day or so after your treatment. This discomfort is the result of increased blood circulation in the treated area carrying oxygen and nutrients which are critical to the healing process. In response, your body discharges lactic acid and other trapped metabolic waste products into the intercellular spaces where it can then be excreted via the body’s normal pathways. To help reduce these effects you should drink plenty of water. You must tell your MFR Therapist about these areas of soreness as this provides them with valuable feedback information indicating where your Myofascial Restrictions are and where your body needs further treatment. Other typical post treatment responses reported by patients include:
• Seemingly new pain in new areas
• Light-headedness or nausea,
• Emotional responses such as joy or sadness. In any case, these experiences are all part of the healing process.
MFR Therapy is a whole body hands-on treatment applied directly to the skin without the use of oils or lotions. For you to receive the full effectiveness of this approach, your skin needs to be accessible as much as possible during the treatment session.
Therefore, following bathing/showering on the day of your treatment, DO NOT apply lotions / creams / oils as this makes it difficult for the MFR Therapist hands to maintain good traction with your skin.
Clinical gowns are not worn for either male or female clients as the gowns do not provide adequate coverage during treatment.
It is important for your MFR Therapist to:
• Have as much access to your skin as is possible for visual evaluation both before and during treatment
• Maintain skin to skin contact during treatment. Therefore, you should be “comfortably undressed.”With that in mind, please wear or bring:
• For women either:
• Sports bra or swimsuit top or if not comfortable with that a tank top or LOOSE fitting sleeveless T-shirt
• LOOSE fitting shorts or swimsuit bottom.
• A regular bra (NO underwire) and underpants also works well if you are comfortable with that combination.
• For men either:
• LOOSE fitting gym shorts
• Some men just wear their undershorts or boxers. That is fine too, as long as you are comfortable.
Blankets are available if required during the treatment session.
It is impossible to estimate how many treatments will be required. MFR Treatment sessions are not meant to be a one-time, “quick-fix” treatment for any problems you are experiencing. It has either taken a long period of time, and / or a traumatic event, for your body to get to its current state of dysfunction, pain or discomfort. Therefore the number and duration of treatments required depend upon the severity of your condition, how your body responds to the treatment and your participation in the treatment process. Your treatment program is unique to you and will be prepared for you by your MFR Therapist following an assessment and review of your symptoms, health and a discussion of any contra-indications that may arise. Generally, acute cases are typically resolved with a few treatments. Inevitably the more chronic your problem, the longer it usually takes to bring lasting results. Chronic health problems will not be resolved overnight. Some chronic conditions that have developed over a long time to build up Myofascial Restrictions hence more complex, chronic and more severe conditions will require greater frequency and increased length of treatment to obtain optimal results. The closer together the sessions are, the more rapidly results may be achieved. In some cases one session per week is all that is needed. In others 2-4 times a week for a period of time are the most effective way in which to effect true authentic healing. Everybody is different. Each patient will heal and progress at their own pace. Results of treatments will vary with each individual. Some patients get relief after their first treatment. Others do not. Each treatment program is highly individual and is based upon diagnosis, chronicity of symptoms, motivation to heal, personal belief in the system of health and healing, and cultural beliefs. Once the chronic condition has significantly improved, treatments can become less frequent. In some cases, once the pain has subsided, one treatment every few weeks can maintain the body systems.