Myofascial Release (MFR)
Myofascial Release is very different to a traditional oil massage, it is a specialised, hands-on therapy that affects and releases restrictions within the fascial network. This is the most powerful modality I have ever come across in my 40+ years spent in the health-care industry.
What is fascia?
Fascia is a fluid-filled, 3-dimentional web of tissue throughout our bodies, it runs through and between every single cell in your body, and it surrounds, infuses and protects every other tissue and organ of the body. In the normal healthy state, the fascia has the capacity to stretch, glide and move without restriction. Unfortunately fascia can become hardened, form scars and develop tension lines in response to trauma and poor postural habits.
Fascia has been largely ignored over the centuries as anatomists have traditionally cut away this tissue to ‘see’ more clearly the structures that are embedded within it. Thanks to a French Surgeon, Jean Claude Guimberteau, and his microscopic camera, we are able to view this miraculous tissue in action, clips of his films are shown in the video below.
Problems arise when fascia loses its pliability through physical or emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation. Fascia is the body’s shock absorber, when you sustain an injury from a fall, a car accident, or any other high-velocity impact, your body generates additional connective tissue as a form of compensation during the healing process. Consider too, years of poor postural habits, repetitive stress or surgeries, (including non-invasive procedures), in all of these situations the cumulative effects on the body can cause the tissue to solidify and lose its fluid nature.
Restrictions in your fascia can exert crushing pressures of up to 2000 pounds per square inch and can result in all kinds of symptoms producing pain, headaches or restriction of motion. Fascial restrictions affect flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.
This 3-dimentional aspect of fascial tissue means that any scar tissue or restriction in your body is capable of causing a tug that results in symptoms distant to the original trauma site. Fascial restrictions don’t show up on standard tests like x-rays MRI’s and CT scans, which means that many people suffering from chronic pain or dysfunction may be misdiagnosed.
What happens during a treatment?
As a John F Barnes Myofascial Release Therapist, my role is to feel and stretch slowly into the fascial network. My purpose is to feel where the fascial restrictions are and slowly and patiently wait for them to release. Patience is required as the fascia cannot be forced and will only respond with resistance if force is applied. This means that a gentle, sustained pressure may take more than 90-120 seconds to begin to have an effect and often takes 5 minutes before the tissues begin to release and unwind. Gentle pressure is maintained at the tissue barrier until releases occur. After a series of releases the tissue becomes soft and pliable, this takes the pressure off pain sensitive tissues, restoring alignment and mobility.
The treatment follows a postural assessment, where I will observe and record your alignment and any restriction patterns that I see. This is a useful guideline to observe changes over time from this very powerful therapy.
I have travelled extensively to America to train with John F Barnes, who developed and is the leading authority on MFR. The training seminars I’ve completed include: MFR 1 & 2, Unwinding, Quantum Leap, Rebounding, Skills Enhancement (with JFB), Treatment for Therapists, Cervical Thoracic, Advanced Unwinding, Fascial Pelvis & Repeat of 1, 2 and Unwinding. I am also the JFB Study Group Leader for London & South East UK
I have also trained in the UK with Ruth Duncan, Myofascial Release UK, and Nancy Stewart.
Following treatment, one client said recently, “I feel so liberated.” and below is a testimonial from a client who received MFR following chest surgery –
“I just wanted to write and express my gratitude to Sally for all the help and support that she provided to me over the course of my treatments. I found the sessions rejuvenated and energised me through the physical manipulation and assisted reintroduction of feeling and sensitivity in my chest area as well as addressing the psychological trauma that was also present by using some marvellous coping strategies. Sally is a kind, caring and warm personality who encouraged and helped me overcome some real difficulties during my recovery and I will always be grateful.” – SK, Great Wakering
Many women suffer with symptoms such as incontinence, pelvic pain and menstrual cramps and are told that the cause is unknown, or that nothing more can be done to help.
Whereas it is always important to see your doctor for investigations, diagnosis and to explore treatment options, if you have unexplained problems, are still suffering, or conventional treatments aren’t helping then Myofascial Release may be for you.
Restrictions anywhere in your body can cause irritation and inflammation, which leads to discomfort, dysfunction and pain. In the pelvic area everything is in such close proximity and scar tissue, old injuries and tight muscles put a lot of strain on pain sensitive structures, leading to problems for many years if left untreated.
Some of the conditions which may be helped by Myofascial Release are:
- Pelvic pain syndrome
- Pudendal nerve entrapment
- Chronic interstitial cystitis
- Irritable bladder
- Menstrual cramps
I have trained in specific Myofascial Release techniques for women’s health with Nancy Stewart, a specialist and teacher from America. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to book a treatment session.
Please note that any consultation time is given free of charge and you will need to allow extra time for this.
A thorough consultation can take anything up to 30 minutes on your first visit and is likely to take approximately 10 minutes for subsequent appointments.
If your time is limited please let me know.