Myofascial massage

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Massage is a relaxing therapy enjoyed by many, but did you know there are many different types of massage? In general massage works on the muscles, warming them and helping remove toxins and encouraging them to relax and release tension. This can be very beneficial but often the connective tissue surrounding the muscles does not release and consequently old tensions return.

Myofascial release massage works with the body’s connective tissue to encourage it to release and reduce tension and restrictions. Research investigating Myofascial release therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy found positive results for a number of factors such as tone and range of movement. http://unmmg.org/clinics/cfl/assets/MyofascialArticle.pdf A further study found Mysofascial release combined with osteopathy improved motor function for children with mild to moderate cerebral palsy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18948639

To understand Myofascial release it is useful to know about fascia:

Fascia is a connective tissue that runs throughout the body from your head to your toes. It is like a web of tissue that can be found around your organs, muscles, blood vessels and glands. It is a three dimensional dynamic structure that in health can move and stretch without restriction.  There are times when the fascia tighten and almost stick and clump together.  Poor posture, trauma, stress and inflammation can all lead to restrictions in your fascia. This restriction then puts pressure on the structures related to the fascia such as nerves, muscles, blood vessels and bones. These in turn all become restricted too.

A great way to understand is by imagining you are wearing an all-in-one body suit which allows you to stretch and move, this is how healthy fascia behaves. Imagine now that parts of that body suit have lost their stretch and become tight and immobile. Imagine another area has been gathered up and pinned into a tight ball of fabric.  Imagine another section is rough and coarse. Now try to move as freely as you first did. Your muscles need to work harder. Your blood flow is restricted. Your joints are under strain. Eventually you start to feel aches and pains, fatigue and tension.  This is how restricted fascia can feel. It is exhausting!

Releasing this tight fascia allows your body to adjust back to a point of mobility and comfort. Myofascial release massage is performed without oils to allow the therapist to feel the fascial tissue and create an internal climate for change. Gentle sustained pressure and stretching allows the restricted fascia to release and circulation to improve.  The treatment is relaxing and gentle without forcing the tissues.

The results vary but for some people the release is immediate and movement restored to a level they had lost often months before.  It may take a number of treatments for some people but progress should be seen after a three or four sessions.

To find out more about myofascial release visit http://www.myofascialrelease.co.uk/

About the author: Joanne Marie is a nurse, reflexology and massage practitioner working at Breathe Holistic Therapy Kidderminster DY11 5LB http://www.breathetherapy.co.uk/  A passionate advocate of complementary therapies Joanne works with a wide variety of clients. Joanne has a ten year old son who loves reflexology and massage almost as much as his mother!


22 Sep, 2013

6 thoughts on “Myofascial massage

  1. Wonderful post. Very informative. I had a deep tissue massage once while on a cruise. BIG MISTAKE!!

    With Fibromyalgia it made it worse. I should have had the type you describe here or a relaxing type of massage. Like a Swedish massage. I hurt but it wasn’t bad enough to incapacitate me so I still enjoyed my holiday.

    I do need to get a massage at least once a week, but with my schedule it’s hard to get it scheduled. I do have a prescription for neck PT-massage I just got 2 days a go. I guess I’ll have to find a way to schedule it.

    I believe in holistic/alternative care strongly. Everything you have posted here is spot on. People need to find ways of incorporating therapies like this in their life.

    I believe massage helps a lot of health issues.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I agree Joanne’s blog was very informative. I’m pleased you thought so.

      Our own health tends to go on the back burner when we’re looking after young children and/or our families, but we owe it to ourselves to look after our health too.

      I hope you manage to schedule your neck massage just as soon as you can.

  2. Thank you for your comments. I’m glad you found the blog informative.

    Lisa Cyr. You are right deep tissue massage isn’t for everyone and can cause some extra inflammation and pain for some.

    Massage that works with your body rather than forcing it can be very effective and less likely to cause residual discomfort. Jo

    1. Thanks Jo. Your blog on Myofascial massage is both helpful and informative. I am sure many people who have read your blog will think the same.

      Many thanks for posting it.

  3. Thanks for posting it. This is a superb post and extremely informative. I have also just looked at Joanne’s website which is excellent too.

    1. I am so pleased you found Joanne’s post extremely informative. It helps when we have an understanding on anything alternative.

      Too many times when we have something wrong and we have to find someone, we go through recommendation, word of mouth but that doesn’t always mean that what is being recommended is right for us as Lisa’s case has shown.

      Joanne explains in clear decisive terms, what this therapy is all about and I feel it’s very helpful. I am sure others will too.

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