Myofascial Release Therapy Sample Session
A powerful modality for pain and tension relief.
In my own experience, MFR techniques allow the therapist to listen to and then work in tandem with the body’s needs, going at a pace that is best for each client. We are not digging into areas of the body that will overwhelm the nervous system, which can cause adrenaline and other stress hormones to be released, and in my own opinion, that is greatly defeating the purpose of our work. It is often a synergistic experience of working directly with the nervous system and watching for cues from the body on what to do. It is almost like an energetic dance with my hands, forearms, tools, and the fascia, which is why two sessions are never exactly the same.
The Major Differences Between Myofascial Release Therapy and Massage Therapy:
- Massage therapy targets the muscles.
- Massage therapy works on stress and tension relief that is often felt rather quickly.
- Massage therapy works on releasing the elastic component of the tissues only, which makes up merely 20% of our tissues, and elastic will bounce back. In other words, a client has to be seen much more often because the positive effects are not long-lasting.
- Myofascial release therapy works with the network of connective tissue called fascia, which interpenetrates and surrounds everything within our body. It is also said to be the electrical grid and thus, communication system of our body, which is why I do not align with the trend of "fascia blasting." We don’t want to break fascia apart…we want to elongate, lengthen, or “stretch” the fascia, which then creates a heating up process to occur in the connective tissue, which produces a more “fluid-like” ground substance that then allows everything to glide easier or more smoothly in the body and this in turn, allows for better movement and less pain.
- Myofascial release therapy uses a different angular pressure and approach when working with a client’s body. Therapists push down, but out at an angle as well. This allows us to “grab” and lengthen the fascia.
- Myofascial release therapy addresses root cause issues of restricted fascia, which is believed to be creating pain in the body in the first place.
- Myofascial release therapy makes a longer lasting change to the tissue.
- Myofascial release therapy addresses the other 80% of our tissue.
- Myofascial release therapy can be used with or without oils and/or waxes, but the therapist has to be mindful to use oils that do not have a lot of glide and watch their dosage of the oil as well so that the fascia is accessible.
- Myofascial release therapy is a slow motion process, but for the client, very little movement can feel like huge unwinding movements.
- Myofascial release therapy allows for an unwinding process to occur, where the body gives the therapist access to deeper and deeper layers of fascia. There isn’t force used to work against the body’s “armoring” process, but instead, a natural sinking, melting process is used.
- Myofascial release therapy assists in chronic pain alleviation.
As you can see, massage therapy may be beneficial in a pinch or for relaxation, but myofascial release therapy is better for long-term resolution of myofascial pain.