Spotlight on: Myofascial Release

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What is it: Myofascial Release can be broken down into; muscle, fascia, release. In other words the techniques used in Myofascial Release Treatment are to release restrictions within the fascia and muscle throughout your body. Fascial restrictions can cause immense pain and are often referred to as a strait jacket as individuals feel trapped within their own bodies.

How does it work: art_myofascial_release6.jpg
Myofascial Release involves the gentle application of sustained pressure into these fascial restrictions across the body in a non-invasive way. The therapist sustains this pressure, eliminating or reducing the bracing or holding pattern that the fascia has been in for an extended period of time. It is the sustained pressure that changes the structure of the fascia from being rigid, back to its usual flexible, hydrated, healthy state.  This is intended to retrain the tissue memory and help it heal.  There is a specific time component to this release and only will make change once the molecular structure has changed.  It is very important that your therapist fully understands this concept.

Who can it help:
Myofascial Release can help anyone who has experienced some sort of injury or trauma as it is often the fascial system that records the injury within the body.  It can also be helpful for anyone who has unexplained or long term pain.  Fibromyalgia sufferers can get relief through this method.  Myofascial release has been effective in dealing with exhaustion and immune system dysfunctions as well.

Most commonly used for: Blue Man (Full Head)
Chronic pain or restricted movement.

Surprising other benefits/usage:
Many clients are surprised to find that the source of their pain is resolved after Myofascial Release and they are able to enjoy a pain free lifestyle.  The freedom of movement that comes from Myofascial release can be surprising too.  You may live with restricted movement without even realising that over time you have lost the ability to do all that you could before.  Sometimes clients have lived with these restrictions for years and get a real buzz when they find that they can move more freely.  Even golfers in their 50s can find that after Myofascial Release they have a better swing than they did in their 30s.

Any side effects:
Myofascial release will never cause harm.  There are some patients who have experienced a lot of trauma in the past which has been recorded in their fascial system.  When the body is experiencing change it can sometimes protest a bit but is all part of the healing process.  In some cases, Myofascial Release can release toxins or some of the emotional records that the body has held onto for years.  We move very slowly and sensitively with these clients and help them to manage and work through any issues that may surface.  We work alongside a nutritionist who can help where toxins are being released as well.

How/why you got involved:
I became more interested in myofascial release when I learned that it’s the fascia that can control so much movement dysfunction and making molecular change at that level will make permanent change in the body.  I’m the only accredited John F Barnes Myofascial Release practitioner in New Zealand.  Last year I spent a week alongside John working with his clients and learning his treatment techniques.  I learned more in that week then I have in a very long time.

What are its origins:
John F Barnes has been teaching the technique in the States for more than 50 years.  He is considered one of the original founders of Myofascial release.  He has trained more than 100,000 physicians and therapist from around the world in the last 40 years.

Most common misconception:  
The most common misconception of Myofascial Release would probably be that it is an airy fairy technique as it is not widely understood. However, Myofascial Release works with the fascial system throughout the body and is scientifically proven to change the structure of the fascia from a restricted tight structure, back to a fluid and flexible state.  The fact that it is not widely known in New Zealand does not make it any less effective or scientific.

Most surprising fact about it:  
You don’t have to live in pain or with restricted movement.  There is hope.  Once you start the process of molecular fascial change the body can complete the healing process.

Myofascial Release Treatment is available from Advance Physio www.advancephysio.co.nz

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