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Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The fascia 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.
The body's 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. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When we experience physical trauma or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted and a source of tension to the rest of the body.
Over time, Trauma – a fall, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture – has a cumulative effect. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influence the skeletal framework for our posture. The fascia can exert excessive pressure producing pain or restriction of motion. This affects our flexibility and is a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and strain.
In one-on-one, hands-on treatments, therapists use a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy. They also promote independence through education on proper body mechanics and movement, through the enhancement of strength, flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.
Source: Soma Physical Therapy, Boulder CO
Also see Structural Integration and Rolfing
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