I've heard that people have emotional releases during treatment, is this true?
Yes, this can happen, and will happen if you are open to the experience. All of our memories are trapped inside our tissues cells at the moment of trauma, including the emotions we experienced or didn’t allow ourselves to experience at the time. When the physical tissues are released so are the emotions contained within them. This is something that you have to allow to happen, it will not happen unless you’re ready. Getting to this step of allowing your emotions to release during and after treatment is crucial to creating permanent structural and functional change.
Will I feel better right away?
You might! Effectiveness and efficiency is one of the best things about MFR. It can make profound and dramatic changes in a very short period of time. Sometimes however, you will feel sore after a session, it may feel like things have gotten worse or a flare up is occurring. This can feel scary and may shake you up. This is good! It means the treatment is working and the tissues are being released. This should go away after a few days, and you should feel much better than you did before the session. Be sure to drink lots of water and take care of yourself, and to discuss it with your therapist.
Will the treatment hurt?
Most of the techniques are gentle sustained stretches that will not necessarily hurt, however if your fascia is restricted you may experience some pain. You always have control over this, and your therapist will ask you to tell them to halt or back off when it feels like it’s too much. Therapists are often sensitive to your pain threshold and may know instinctively to back off.
What happens during an MFR session?
The first session usually begins with an evaluation. Your therapist will probably ask you questions about your history, and want to know more about your reasons for seeking treatment, and what your goals are. Then, you will be asked to change into a bathing suit, or shorts for men, and for women shorts and a bra for a postural and movement assessment. Your therapist can glean a lot of information about the condition of your fascial system by looking at your posture and the way you move your body through space. Depending on your situation, your therapist may choose to do other forms of testing ie strength and range of motion testing. Then, the treatment session begins. Your therapist will treat you in those areas that were determined based on the evaluation to be restricted. A MFR session can be done on a treatment table, in a chair, in standing or lying on the floor; there are many techniques designed to treat all areas of the body. Your therapist will tell you what they think is best for you during that particular treatment session. The techniques consist of mostly gentle sustained stretches done by the therapist’s hands. Some techniques are more aggressive, these are called soft tissue mobilization. And, there are two techniques that work with the body’s energetic flow called rebounding and unwinding. These are movement techniques.
How does myofascial release work?
Myofascial release is a hands on technique that involves mostly gentle sustained manipulation of the connective tissue or fascia. Myofascial release is most effectively done as a treatment program with a frequency of one to three times per week for several weeks. This allows the tissues to release, the body to move back into proper alignment, and for the home exercises to be practiced and understood for continued improvement and maintenance.
What is a fascial restriction?
Every movement we make, every trauma we experience affects this connective tissue and causes it to re-structure itself in response. Its job is to help us function most optimally, and as it does so it will toughen up around those places we have either injured or tend to use repetitively. Scars are fascial restrictions. Poor posture over time creates fascial restrictions. Inflammation that is thwarted creates fascial restrictions. Chronic emotional stress creates fascial restrictions. This may help our bodies locally and in the short term, but unless we’ve taken the time to release these restrictions, they will begin pulling on the fascial fabric much like pulling the threads on a sweater. Over time this local toughening and hardening will make our bodies weaker setting us up for injury. The pulling of the fascial fabric sets us up for possible pain and dysfunction down the road in areas that may be some distance from the original trauma or restriction.
How does it work?
Structurally, our bodies are built with tensigrity. Meaning the strength and balance of our bodies is determined by the balance of continuous tensile forces provided by the fascia vs.. leaning on compressive forces provided by the bones. The bones act more as spacers. Think of a suspension bridge. This allows us to weather and sustain a variety of pressures and movements from outside forces without injury, especially when we’re young before we’ve built up restrictions from use or trauma.
What is fascia?
Fascia is the body’s inner fabric. It is the most important connective tissue we have because it’s function is to support us and provide us with the flexibility, strength and stability to move through space. It is an inter-connected web of tissue that runs from the top of our heads to our toes without interruption, surrounding, supporting, and connecting every organ, nerve, blood vessel, muscle and bone. It is made up of the same material as all other connective tissue, but with a different recipe that supplies more collagen thus making it very strong. It has a tensile strength of 2000 lbs per square inch. It is the strongest tissue in the body, much stronger than our bones.
What is myo?
Myo means muscle in medical terminology, myofascial refers to the myo and fascial complex. Like the layers of an onion, the muscle is surrounded and infused with fascia from the largest muscle group all the way down to the level of a cell, even the intra-cellular matrix is composed of fascia. A muscles strength and flexibility is determined by the fascia.