Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The theory of Myofascial Release requires an understanding of the fascial system (or connective tissue) which is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater.
Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. Each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.
Fascia also plays an important role in the support of our bodies since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. These structures would not be able to provide the stability without the constant pull of the fascial system. In fact, our bones can be thought of as tent poles, which cannot support the structure without the constant support of the guide wires (or fascia) to keep an adequate amount of tension to allow the tent (or body) to remain upright with proper equilibrium.
In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration and moves without restriction. However, when we experience physical trauma, scarring, or inflammation, the fascia loses its pliability and becomes tight, restricted and the tension may affect the rest of the body. Trauma, surgery, stress, or just habitual poor posture has a cumulative effect and can influence the functioning of the body. The changes caused to the fascial system influence comfort and may exert excessive pressure, create pain or restrict motion.
The use of Myofascial Release requires us to look at each patient as a unique individual in our one-on-one therapy sessions and hands-on treatments. We promote independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, through the enhancement of strength, flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.
– Reprinted with permission from RSI T/A John F. Barnes
“The inner journey is not just the most important journey; it is the only journey! Let us now travel together as I weave this tapestry, allowing us to connect with our “essence,” that state of “being” that brings quality and healing into our lives.”
- Preface to Healing Ancient Wounds: The Renegade’s Wisdom by John F. Barnes, PT