What to expect with Myofascial Release
Myofascial Release Therapy is quite un-like any other form of bodywork that you may have experienced. So, with this in mind I would like to outline a few tips that will help you find success with your treatments.
Your Body Can Heal!
Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal themselves, if given the right environment. What I can do with MFR is open up the body via the fascial system to allow this healing to begin.
Have a Goal
Have a clear and realistic goal before beginning treatment. Being “pain free” may not be a realistic goal in all cases, but decreasing pain and gaining greater range of motion can be. Know and share your goals so that we are both on the same page and I am better able to help you.
To start, I will do a visual assessment to check the alignment of your body. This assessment, along with your history and areas of concern will determine where we will start.
It is also recommended for the client to wear shorts and a sports bra or a 2 piece bathing suit (or something they feel comfortable in as all releases are done directly on the skin and some may involve movement).
Using the John Barnes method of Myofascial Release, gentle pressure (or traction) is applied to the restricted areas of the body. This pressure is held for at least 5 minutes. In that time you will feel the tissues soften, as this happens more pressure and stretch will be applied. The time factor is extremely important to fully release the deep layers of the fascial system and, in turn, allow our body to begin to heal.
Soft tissue mobilization techniques may also be used if there are a lot of superficial restrictions. This technique is mostly stripping-like strokes along the surface of the skin.
To get the full benefits of your MFR treatment, you will need to really focus on what you are feeling in your body during treatment. You may have referral sensations in areas of your body that aren’t being worked on. You may feel your body twitch or shake. You may feel the need to stretch or move during a release (this is the fascial tissue unwinding). You may even feel different emotions coming up during the session (fear, anger, sadness, joy, etc.…). Emotions are felt and expressed with the body and experienced and labeled in the mind.
All of these feelings and sensations are valid, so don’t be too quick to dismiss anything that comes up. We may not know what they mean or where they come from, but it is important that we honor them and feel them through the course of the session.
Everybody is going to respond to treatment a little differently, some of you may experience what we call a “Healing Crisis”. This can feel like mild to intense workout pain, a temporary increase in symptoms, flu-like aches/chills, or the feeling of emotional chaos. While this may be uncomfortable, it “is” part of the healing process. Your body has been holding on to a pattern of restriction for a while and when it finally gets released you may feel it in the form of a “healing crisis”. When you have been out of touch with your body due to fascial restrictions, what you experience in a healing crisis is more of a “waking up” process. Allowing yourself to feel this is important to the process, as is being gentle with yourself.