Myofascial Release (MFR)
Myofascial Release consists of a gentle application of sustained pressure into fascial restrictions in the body resulting in the release of the restriction and freedom from pain.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a dense network of connective tissue that surrounds every muscle, nerve, bone, blood vessel, endocrine gland, organ and the spinal cord in the body. Fascia is continuous throughout the body and connects every part to every other part. The role of fascia is to support and hold us together. As such, fascial tissue is tough and consists primarily of durable yet elastic collagen fibers, and of a viscous liquid called extracellular matrix (ECM), the immediate environment of every cell in the body.
Trauma, posture or inflammation can create a binding down of fascia resulting in excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, osseous structures, and organs, causing pain and limited motion. Because fascia is an interconnected network throughout the entire body, a restriction in one area may cause pain elsewhere. So, for example, the scar from a surgery or a localized infection may be causing pain or limited motion far from the site of the problem. The gentle but sustained pressure in the fascial restrictions engages its elastic component, facilitating the release of the restriction and relieving pain.
The Craniosacral & Myofascial Connection
Because the dural membrane is intimately linked to the fascia of the body, and restoring correct function in one affects the other, the craniosacral system is considered to be the deepest layer of the fascial system. Thus, a Myofascial Release session often includes craniosacral work.
A session may include myofascial unwinding, which is the spontaneous movement of the client's body in response to the practitioner's hands and its position in space. Myofascial unwinding shows up as breathing changes, involuntary twitches, and sometimes larger movements like arm or leg stretches or otherwise unprompted movements that the client does not consciously initiate. These movements are natural and a part of the healing process. The practitioner supports the client in the unwinding process without directing or manipulating the movement.
The Myofascial Session
In Myofascial Release techniques, no oil or cream is applied. Male clients typically wear loose shorts or a bathing suit; female clients usually wear a two-piece bathing suit or loose shorts and a tank top. It is recommended that the client not use lotion or oil on their skin prior to the MFR session as it affects the ability of the practitioner to apply sustained pressure without sliding.