What Conditions Can Myofascial Release Help?

Can myofascial release help you?  I have worked with clients to address the following conditions.  Scroll down to learn more._DSC0755 (2)

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Opening and softening the fascial system before surgery, regardless of how minor, can help improve blood flow in the body which promotes healing. Softening the fascial system will also help align the body’s muscles, organs and other tissues to help create optimal conditions for your surgery.  The fascial system’s role is to protect the body when it detects an insult to the system.  A surgical incision causes the fascial system to tighten I order to protect the body. Depending on your general wellness and your ability to move following the surgery, the fascial system may continue to tighten.  Receiving myofascial release following surgery can help soften the system and encourage blood flow for healing as well as minimize adhesions from scars.  Addressing fascial tightness pre and post-surgery will minimize unwanted side effects and may help you achieve the best possible surgical outcomes.

Depending on your general wellness, posture habits and movement habits, some people struggle to recover from a seemingly simple injury let alone a complex injury or illness.  If you have experienced injuries or surgeries, even from many years ago, your fascial system may already be tight.  This tightness can result in poor blood flow or misalignment of the tissues making it difficult to heal from even the smallest injury. More complex injuries or illnesses such as a stroke or motor vehicle accidents can lead to complex dynamics throughout the body making healing difficult. Conventional medicine addresses primarily the area of injury. Complex injuries can affect the body in areas distant from the original injury.  Myofascial release is a whole-body treatment that addresses the area of injury as well as other areas that may be preventing healing.

Old injuries or surgeries may seem to heal yet may leave residual tightness in the fascial system. The original pain or injury may have created postural changes through muscle guarding. Chronic poor posture regardless of the cause (work, leisure or sleep patterns) can lead to tightness and misalignment. Over time, the fascial system slowly continues to tighten and hold the body in asymmetrical postures resulting in pain seemingly unassociated with the original problem. The fascial system continues to adapt to changes in posture attempting to support your body in the misalignment even though it is not optimal for movement.  This less than optimal positioning wears at the body’s tissues often resulting in pain. Since fascia cannot be seen with most medical imagine technology, it’s involvement in pain often goes undetected. Identifying and releasing fascial tightness allows the body to more easily realign itself and return to optimal movement patterns.

The fascia’s job is to support and protect you.  When the body experiences repeated movement, especially in poor postures, it will tighten to protect you and support the movement even though it may be causing damage to other tissues. Examples include sitting and typing for 4 or more hours per day, sitting on a soft couch two or more hours per day, bending and twisting while moving boxes, or exercising in misalignment.  Tight fascia can result in decreased blood flow to the area making healing from the constant stresses of misalignment difficult.  If the movement continues, this will create a continuous cycle of pain and tightness.  Opening the system and identifying opportunities to improve posture during movement can break this cycle and promote optimal health and wellness in your daily activities.

Headache and migraine pain is often caused by tight muscles and reduced blood flow.  Opening the fascial system improves blood flow and can lead to reduced pain.  Because the fascial system is connected throughout the entire body, the cause of your headaches may be in an area of the body seemingly unrelated to the head pain. Softening the body and promoting optimal posture and body alignment can help ease pain throughout your body.

In optimal conditions, the fascial system’s role is to support fluid movement in all areas of the body allowing our tissues to effortlessly glide over and around each other. Many athletes perform intense motions over and over.  The fascial system may detect this intense movement as potential injury and tighten to protect the body.  Because the system will continue to tighten as it detects this repetition, it can result in abnormal lines of pull in the body.  This can lead to imbalances and injury.  Athletes also experience injuries and falls.  The fascial system is a support system intended to protect and minimize damage from a fall.  If tightness already exists in the system, the fascia may not easily return to its relaxed and fluid state.  Keeping the fascial system open and flexible will help prevent injury and maximize fluid movement throughout the body.

Chronic conditions such as chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and other conditions associated with chronic pain often result in protective postures and tightening of the muscles and fascial system.   This tightening results in decreased blood flow and less than optimal body functioning leading to a downward spiral of more pain.  Myofascial release can help keep the system open and functioning at its best.

Children and adults with tone and spasticity experience abnormal lines of pull in the body which can result in misalignment of the muscles and joints, discomfort, pain and difficulty with movement.  Myofascial release can help keep the body’s systems as open as possible to allow for improved function and management of pain.

Swelling is often a signal to the body something is wrong.  It can occur as a result of injury, infection, burn, insect bite or lack of movement. There are many reasons for acute and chronic swelling of the body or part of the body.  If you are experiencing swelling in any body part, you should consult you’re your medical practitioner. When swelling becomes chronic, it is an indication that fluids are not moving optimally in the body and you may need additional help.  If your fascial system is tight, it can prevent the movement of excess fluids through and eventually out of your system. Gentle myofascial release can open and soften the tissues allowing acute and chronic accumulated fluid to move more freely through the body.

The fascial system can become tight in the abdominal area for many reasons causing restrictions in and around the digestive and reproductive systems resulting in difficulty with digestion, elimination, and normal menstruation.  Prolonged sitting, repetitive heavy lifting, repetitive use of the hip flexor muscles in activities such as running, past abdominal or hip surgeries, injuries or trauma to the hips, back or stomach areas, lack of deep breathing, etc. can lead to deep fascial adhesions and restrictions.  The restrictions can hinder the normal expansion and contraction that occurs in the abdomen with normal digestion and menstruation cycles.  Myofascial release to the hips, abdomen and diaphragm areas can reduce adhesions and allow the digestive and reproductive systems to function optimally.

Myofascial release helps to keep your system open and functioning optimally. An open fascial system supports good posture, deep breathing, and ideal blood flow.  There is a great deal of discussion about fascia for reducing the appearance of cellulite in the body with aggressive approaches. There is some evidence that fascial adhesions contribute to the appearance of cellulite. However, an aggressive approach to breaking up fascial adhesions is not healthy. Any approach that leads to excessive bruising is not a healthy form of myofascial release. The JFB form of myofascial release is a firm but gentle approach to effective release.

Depression and mental health problems often leads to chronic closed postures.  The fascial system tightens and adapts to these less than ideal postures.  The tight fascia reduces blood flow and creates abnormal lines of pull in the body.  These can result in pain.  Pain and discomfort can contribute to a downward spiral of decreased engagement in important life activities.  Opening the fascial system can lead to greater comfort and sense of well-being.

 

During pregnancy and birth, muscles, tendons, and ligaments become more flexible and elastic to allow the baby room to grow and eventually move through the birth canal normally. When fascia is tight, it is the strongest tissue in the body.  Past injuries, surgeries, poor postures or trauma can leave residual tightness in the body.  Receiving myofascial release before pregnancy can help prepare the body for the healthiest possible pregnancy.  Myofascial release is also safe throughout pregnancy and can soften the fascial system to prepare for birth.

 

Infants, children, and teenagers can have tight fascia. Difficult births, falls, accidents, surgeries, prolonged sitting or poor postures, etc. can all lead to fascial restrictions. The fascial system is designed to help our bodies glide and move freely. It also protects us from injury.  In a healthy body that moves often and receives good hydration and nutrition, the fascial system will eventually return to its hydrated state after injury supporting pain-free movement.  However, in our culture, we do not always move as much as necessary or eat and drink as healthy as possible. Without movement and good dietary support, the fascial system may continue to tighten causing a variety of concerns. If your child is reporting unexplained pain or you notice prolonged poor posture you may want to consider myofascial release.  It is always recommended you seek input from your medical professional.