What is it?
Myofascial Release techniques blend massage and gentle stretching to release restrictions in the fascia or connective tissue that surrounds muscles, organs, and all systems throughout the body. Physical therapist John Barnes as well as osteopathic physician Dr. Robert Ward introduced this therapy in the 1970s.
What does it do?
Myofascial Release relieves pain and restricted movement caused by constricted fascia due to injury or holding patterns in the body.
What can I expect?
After discovering areas of tightness or restriction, therapists will gently knead the tissue and softly stretch an area. Stretching with the direction of muscle fibers lengthens and aligns tissue. Stretches may be held as long as two minutes or more until a release is felt. This process is repeated until the area is released completely. You may be asked to help the process with deep breathing or making sounds. Some people feel great immediately following and others may feel a healing soreness for a day or two followed by increased motion and less pain than before. You may be given exercises to do at home as follow up.
What are the reported benefits?
Myofascial release is being used to treat a wide variety of conditions that involve connective tissue and muscle. These include but are not limited to: muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, frozen shoulder, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, stress injuries, headaches, jaw pain, menstrual problems, birth trauma, cerebral palsy and scoliosis.
How much does it cost?
Costs range from $50 to more than $125. Sessions may last from thirty minutes to one hour.
What kind of training does the therapist have?
Myofascial release techniques are taught mostly to practitioners of other disciplines who are interested in the benefits. These may be massage therapists, nurses, chiropractors, body workers, physical therapists and exercise specialists. Classes are usually taught over a few days and graduated levels can be taken over time.
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