What is fascia?
Fascia, previously was known as Connective Tissue, is the scaffolding that supports, protects and aligns all other tissues and organs in the body. Thomas Meyers, one of the most well know names in myofascial release with his work Anatomy Trains takes the fefinition of fascia to the next level:
"Here, though, and increasingly in scientific and research circles and professionals worldwide, ‘fascia’ has a wider definition: all the collagenous-based soft-tissues in the body, including the cells that create and maintain that network of extra-cellular matrix (ECM). Answering the question “what is fascia?” with this new definition includes all the tissues traditionally designated as ‘fascia’ in classical anatomy, plus all the other very similar tissues arrayed in different ways around the body; tendons, ligaments, bursae, and all the tissue in and around the muscles – endomysium, perimysium, epimysium. They are all made out of largely the same stuff and created in such the same way. It is the most abundant type of tissue in the body." reference - anatomytrains.com
Fascia is a part of the foundation that holds our bodies together. It provides support the musculoskeletal system by linking the fibers of muscles together. Fascia builds the framework of holding the organs in place and preventing them from moving throughout the body. It also helps connects and support the nerves to the muscles and organs and also acts as a barrier and lubricant to prevent organs, muscle and nerves from creating friction against each other.
How does fascial dysfunction occur?
Just like injuries to the other soft tissue, you can have and injury the fasical matrix. This can be a direct injury or and indirect injury from other soft tissue dysfunction that leads to tightening of the fascia. When the fascia tightens, it creates a dysfunction in the entire matrix. This can lead to pain and tightness. An analogy to describe fascial dysfunction would be to view the fascia like a piece of paper. Healthy fascial tissue is going to look similar to the paper and will lay flat between the muscle tissues. Over timetime the fascia can become shortened and distorted. This would be like taking the paper and crumpling it up.. What myofascial release does is takes that crumpled tissue and restores it to its flattened position.
Why is it important to assess the entire fascial system?
As discussed above, because fascia is the building block to connecting our entire bodies together, dysfunction in the fascia in the low back can create tension through the facial system, and produce pain in elsewhere, such as the bottom of the foot, also known as plantar fasciitis. When the function of fascia in know it’s gives the ability to properly assess where the true source of pain can be coming from instead of onto treating where it hurts. This leads to improve outcomes.
What is myofascial release?
Myofascial Release, MFR, is a manual therapy technique used to release tension in the facial system. Myofascial Therapy is performed over clothing without the use of oils or lotions. This specialized technique uses a "push-pull" method to get deep into the muscle releasing fibrotic fascial tissue. This allows for improved mobility between the fascial and muscle layers, leading to improved joint mechanics, range of motion and reduction in pain.
What is the difference between mystical release and massage?
uses lotion or oil directly on skin
Usually preformed over clothing without the use of oils or lotion
Smooth sliding maneuver
Deep sustained pressure
Increases blood flow, relaxes muscle to improve mobility
Breaks up restricted connective tissue leading to improved mobility
Commonly treated conditions
Rotator cuff syndrome,
IT band syndrome,
Patella tracking disorders
Tennis elbow/ golfers elbow