Myofascial release is a massage technique that targets restricted connective tissue called fascia.
What is Fascia?
The fascial network is a crystal like, three-dimensional, spider’s web structure that is ever-flowing and uninterrupted. It encompasses the entirety of the body, connecting our superficial skin layer to the deepest tissues, organs, and bones.
Blood vessels and nerves pass through fascia
It enables us to have a high degree of flexibility combined with being very powerful and resilient to overstretching.
It has a superb memory and we each have our own unique fascial fingerprint.
It is our hydraulic shock absorber and enables the body to cope with load bearing, like gravity and mechanical stress.
What is the role of fascia?
The fascia encompasses and infuses every tissue in the body; our muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, bones.
It supports, separates and cushions all living cells in the body.
It keeps our cells alive.
It is dynamic.
It protects us and responds to internal and external forces, acting as our shock absorber, responsible for proprioception and stabilization; our anti-gravity system.
It has its very own nervous, lymphatic and circulatory supply and is a communicational system for the body. It is a messenger system.
Thus, when fascia is restricted and becomes bound it influences our complete health, affecting not just muscular and skeletal health, but nerve capacity, gland and organ function and our general well being. Fascia as an organ of communication.
What is Fascial Restriction
Fascia is restricted due to various reasons, such as incorrect posture, trauma (physical and emotional), surgery, and lack of, or repetitive, movement; to name just a few.
It dehydrates, becoming a sticky matted mess of a web, shortening and hardening (Just like a muscular ‘knot’). As a consequence, extra tension is further placed on adjacent structures, such as joints, organs, and ligaments; more collagen fibres then lay down to help deal with the strain. The density of the hardened fascia increases (The ‘knot’ gets bigger).
POOR POSTURE IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF FASCIA RESTRICTIONS AND PLAYS AN INTEGRAL ROLE IN JOINTS STIFFENING AND CAUSING A TRAPPED NERVE
One restriction can lead to another. Restricted fascia can cause pain, imbalance. Fascia restrictions come hand in hand with trapped nerves. It can also affect the efficient flow of blood and lymph, thus slowing down our bodies own healing power.
Surgery for example creates scar tissue. Scar tissue is a restriction. It acts as a rigid barrier within the fascial web, compressing nerves/blood vessels, inhibiting movement. The result of scar tissue may manifest in physiological or physical dysfunction.
Myofascial release aims to restore these restrictions within the body and has been found to help reduce scar tissue. The release can be quite profound. Due to the fascia’s immense memory we can hold restrictions in our body for a long time without knowing.
Restoring the fascia back to its truest and happiest form can create a huge positive shift both physical and mentally.