What Is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial technique works specifically with trauma, inflammation and/or surgical procedures, where myofascial restrictions can cause tension up to 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure on muscles and bones of the body. This much pressure, especially over a period of time can cause chronic pain on sensitive structures of the body.
What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Myofascial release is a type of massage therapy often used to treat myofascial pain syndrome and various injuries. Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder caused by sensitivity and tightness in your myofascial tissues. These tissues surround and support the muscles throughout your body. Pain often originates from specific points within your myofascial tissues called trigger points or from soft tissue structures that have adhered together creating tensional imbalances.
Myofascial release focuses on reducing pain by easing the tension and tightness in the trigger points and creating release and pliability in adhered structures. It’s not always easy to understand what trigger point or adhesion is responsible for the pain. Localizing pain to a specific point can be very difficult. For that reason, myofascial release is often used over areas that may not have an obvious connection to your pain.
How is Myofascial Release Technique used?
Myofascial Release is a hands-on treatment. The ability to discern through touch and an in depth understanding of body mechanics allows the practitioner to look at each patient as a unique individual, and operates specifically with that person’s distinctive body structure, posture and trauma. The myofascial system of the body is very integral and detailed and can strongly influence movement and restriction of movement. This requires the ability to accurately detect fascial restrictions and to apply the appropriate sustained pressure or movement in order to release the fascia.
We, at Konea Massage, believe that it is also important to educate and promote healing of the Myofascial tissues through proper body mechanics and movement, as well as self-treatment instruction which ultimately enhances strength, flexibility and postural awareness and encourages the reduction of fascial pain.
What is Myofascial Release Massage?
“Most myofascial release treatments take place during a massage therapy session. Your therapist will gently massage the myofascia and feel for stiff or tightened areas. Normal myofascia should feel pliable and elastic. The therapist will begin massaging and stretching the areas that feel rigid with light manual pressure. The therapist then aids the tissue and supportive sheath in releasing pressure and tightness. The process is repeated multiple times on the same trigger point and on other trigger points until the therapist feels the tension is fully released.
These areas where the massage therapist is working may not be near where the pain originates or where you feel the pain most prominently. Myofascial release works the broader network of muscles that might be causing your pain. It tries to reduce tension throughout your body by releasing trigger points across a broad section of your muscular system.”
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What is Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)?
Neuromuscular Therapy is a precise all-inclusive therapy that focuses on a step-by-step process in the treatment of the body’s soft tissues using specific and regional protocols. It is a form of deep tissue massage in which pressure and friction are used to release the strain, inflammation or trauma in the muscles. These areas are often called trigger points.
What are Trigger Points?
“Trigger points are areas of hypersensitivity in a muscle caused by overstrain. These are small areas of the muscle in which there is a contracture of muscular tissue (think of a tiny snag in a knit sweater). Blood and nutrients are lacking in that part of the muscle and therefore the muscle spindle is unable to relax. Trigger points cause pain, fatigue, and weakness in the muscle. Trigger points also cause a phenomenon called referral pain.
What is Referral Pain?
Referral pain is caused by trigger points and is a phenomenon in which areas far from the trigger point suffer from sensations of pain, tingling, or numbness. Examples of referral pain include: sciatica like symptoms, carpal tunnel like symptoms, and headaches.”
Who gets neuromuscular therapy?
Anyone with muscular pain or “knots” in the muscles is a candidate for NMT. Anyone with Lower back pain, upper back pain, carpal tunnel like symptoms, sciatica-like symptoms, hip pain, headaches, plantar fasciitis, calf cramps, tendonitis, knee pain, iliotibial band friction syndrome, jaw pain, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ disorders) will often find tremendous relief with these symptoms or injuries using neuromuscular therapy.
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What is Visceral Manipulation (VM)?
“Viscera” relates to the internal organs of the body, such as the liver, kidneys and intestines. Visceral Manipulation is a gentle manual therapy that aids your body’s ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction.” Visceral Manipulation, or VM, does not focus solely on the site of pain or dysfunction,but evaluates the entire body to find the source of the problem. The VM therapist feels for altered or decreased motion within the viscera, as well as restrictive patterns throughout the body and then applies VM techniques. VM therapy re-establishes the body’s ability to adapt and restore itself to health.” http://www.discovervm.com
VM is a relatively new technique which was developed by Jean-Pierre Barral an Osteopath and Registered Physical Therapist from France. In 1985 Dr. Barral began teaching the Visceral Manipulation Technique in the United States and has now trained a teamed of international instructors that teach Visceral Manipulation around the world.
All cultures seem to have their indigenous forms of organ/visceral manipulation. Visceral Manipulation as practiced in the Barral school is a specific protocol designed to discern and treat physical and emotional pain based on a compensatory pattern created in the body with the initial source of the problem or dysfunction often stemming from a completely different area than where the current pain may be located. The trained practitioner searches for the pattern and its source and then treats the related issues using gentle compression, thus mobilizing and elongating the soft tissues and organs. Once this is done the body begins its unraveling of tension or contraction and the symptoms will start to decrease as the body returns to its natural state of homeostasis.
How is Visceral Manipulation administered?
Visceral Manipulation is a soft hands-on manual therapy, that gently manipulates the organs and the tissues around the organs to allow for greater space, function and fluidity within the body. Because each person’s compensatory patterns are different based on body type, medical history, trauma and lifestyle, the number of visits will vary per person. Many people experience significant improvement within three to five therapy sessions; others may require additional treatment.
How Can Organs Cause Pain and Dysfunction?
“Your body is made up of many interrelated components such as bones, muscles, nerves, a thin connective tissue called fascia, as well as the internal organs (viscera). Your organs are in perpetual motion. When you breathe, walk and stretch, your organs move in your chest and abdomen. For example, when you take a breath, your kidneys move one inch; and with deep inhalation, they move 4 inches. In a day, they move a little over ½ mile. That’s around 19,000 miles in a lifetime!
This movement of organs is transmitted through fascia to other structures of the body. When you are healthy, all the structures move with an interconnected fluidity. All of this movement is important as it influences activities throughout the body from the tiniest cellular pulsations to rhythmic contractions of the heart and blood flow. Optimum health relies on a harmonious relationship between the motions of the organs and other structures of the body.
There are many reasons for an organ to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery. When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. This disharmony creates fixed, abnormal points of tension and the chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems throughout the body – musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urinary, respiratory and digestive, to name a few.
Imagine scar tissue around the lungs. Because of the pull of the adhesion, with every breath, the movement patterns of the nearby structures would be altered. This could shift rib motion creating pulls on the spine. These restrictions might then show up as mid-back and neck pain, as well as limited motion in the shoulder. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction – magnified by thousands of repetitions each day. This also explains how pain can often be far removed from the actual cause.”
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What is Active/Passive Stretching?
“Passive stretching: is when you use an outside force other than your own muscle to move a joint or limb beyond its active range of motion, to put your body into a position that you couldn’t do by yourself (such as when you lean into a wall or have a partner push you into a deeper stretch).”
“Active Stretching: in active stretching, there is no external force being provided. You are actively moving one muscle group to stretch another. Active stretches can be completed without a stretching partner or stretching accessories. If you are performing the stretch with no external force, it is an active stretch.
There is a time and place for both forms of stretching. Passive static stretches are a great way to improve flexibility and can be used as a cool down. Active dynamic stretches are most commonly used as a warm-up and are ideal to promote blood flow to the exercised muscle groups prior to activity.”
Konea Massage uses active and passive stretching when needed to enhance the effectiveness of massage and bodywork techniques, and to solidify postural or pain relief gains in a session.
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