What Is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release is a passive stretching technique that uses feedback from the patient’s tissues to determine the direction, amplitude, and length of the stretch. The therapist relies on this feedback to achieve maximum relaxation of the tight or restricted tissues without the discomfort often associated with intense active stretching.
The History of This Technique
Probably the most well-known and leading authority on Myofascial Release today is John F. Barnes, PT, who has been an international lecturer, author, and presenter for over 50 years. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960 with a degree in physical therapy and developed his unique and successful style of myofascial release work over the ensuing decades. This therapy is often effective for those people whose traditional therapies, medicine, or surgery have failed. Over 100,000 doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and other health professionals have been trained in this work, according to the Barnes Myofascial Release website.
Who Benefits from Myofascial Release?
People who have had serious accidents or illnesses in which the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue have become constricted. These conditions often present themselves as constant muscle or joint pain. Some people even state that their skin hurts or feels like it’s “crawling”. The purpose is to “un-stick” the fibers of the muscles and fascia, releasing deeply held patterns of tension. This relaxes and re-educates the muscle, freeing it to operate within its full capacity.
What to Expect
This technique is a unique form of therapy. It treats not only the injury, but the body as a whole via the fascial system (the tissues under your skin that hold everything in your body together). A slow, gradual pressure allows the body’s tissue to reorganize without force, release physical restrictions, and release the body’s unconscious holding and bracing patterns.
The technique is very different from massage. Its aim is to offer the patient a long term pain relief solution, instead of a quick fix. It provides pain relief for a wide range of conditions including postural pain, arthritis, repetitive strain injuries, fibromyalgia, and many more. It is a mild and gentle form of stretching, performed by the therapist that has a profound effect upon the body.
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