What is Myofascial Release? It can be described as a safe and effective hands-on technique that uses soft & sustained pressure to work on connective tissue restrictions. Through this work, the therapist can use more of a gentle approach to restore range of movement and help eliminate pain. How is this different than a regular deep tissue massage? Well this type of bodywork focuses on the layer of tissue that protects the muscle (the fascia) instead of quickly digging deeper into layers of muscle. It is also a nicer alternative than getting an elbow right into the back.
Depending on the therapist's education, there are several different techniques under the Myofascial Release umbrella. Most of my knowledge of Myofascial Release comes from Walt Fritz's teachings. Under walt's teachings, I work from a neurological, science-based approach to explain changes made in the body from treatment. To get an example of what Myofascial Release treatment looks like, take a look at Walt's video HERE. It basically entails holds and stretches throughout the entire session.
What should I expect?
Just like any massage, I'll take a thorough intake form before treatment. I may also do a quick postural examination, range of movement test, and inquire what movement causes your pain. Myofascial Release is considered a dry modality; meaning that no lotion, cream, or oil will be used during the session. I will ask that you wear loose fitting clothes such as t-shirt/tank top and shorts in order to facilitate some of the holds. I can also mix myofascial release techniques into an ordinary massage while using compression over sheets. Please do not apply any lotion to the skin before the appointment, as it may hinder holds & stretches. Sometimes I use chalk to maintain longer holds in which applied lotion can hinder these holds as the skin perspires.
As you will be fully clothed during the session, draping on the massage table is not necessary. I'll have you in a number of positions such as supine, prone, side-lying, at any given time. This isn't exactly suppose to be a "relaxing session" even though it may feel like that at times. I will stay in consistent communication with you as I try to bring relief to the area of pain or dysfunction. Many of the holds & stretches looks something like this:
It should feel like a nice stretch on the skin when I do a cross-handed hold. Other times I'll press in on areas of dysfunction (mimicking your pain referral) from 3 to 20 minutes at a time in hopes of decreasing the pain symptoms.
Why Schedule Myofascial Release over normal massage?
Good question, because I know many of you have never heard of this modality before. Well for starters, it is a little less invasive than massage because you can keep your clothes on. Not to say there is not any invasive techniques involved with myofascial release, but everything will be at your comfort level.
Many people also report longer lasting relief with pain symptoms after receiving myofascial release. Generally within 3 sessions, most people who receive this treatment have lasting beneficial change in the body. Success in treatment can be measured by small or large amounts of relief to areas of dysfunction. If normal deep tissue or trigger point massage hasn't worked for you in the past, why not give this treatment a try?
If you are new to myofascial release or coming to see me for pain relief for the first time, I recommend scheduling a 90 minute session first. I always equate looking for soft tissue dysfunction like a treasure hunt on your body. It may take up the entire session to find your pain symptoms (however usually less) and work them out. After the initial appointment, I recommend making a 60-90 minute appointment for the following week to track the success (or lack thereof) of treatment. Success in making meaningful changes is measured within 2-3 sessions. If no changes are made concerning your pain, we can re-evaluate and refer out to another professional as needed. Due to the nature of myofascial release, I do not offer any 30 minute treatments for this modality.
Day of your appointment
When you schedule this treatment, I expect you to:
- Please arrive 15-20 minutes early for intake and health history prior to treatment
- Wear t-shirt/tank-top with shorts during the session
- Do not apply any lotions before the appointment
- 2-3 consistent sessions is recommended for higher success in pain relief
Do you have any questions regarding myofascial release? You can contact me HERE. Are you ready to give it a try? You can go ahead and schedule an appointment online today HERE. Thanks, and I hope to help you with your pain in the future!