The word Myofascia translated directly means “muscleband” and comes from the Latin words ‘myo” meaning muscle and “fascia” meaning band. In simpler words, myofascia is an interconnected, web-like network of muscle and fibrous tissue which connects the human body and holds it in place.
Fascia, also known as connective tissue or when damaged, scar tissue, is often referred to as the organ of posture because it is the tensile strength of these tissues in relation to our muscles & bones which largely determines the shape of our bodies & our movement patterns. Have you ever noticed that you can recognize someone from very far away just by the shape or outline of their body and the way they move or walk? This is because of our fascia! It is like a giant body stocking, supporting our every move. Fascia forms, strengthens & thickens as we respond to our life experiences; our environment, daily habits, exercise routines, accidents and injuries all determine the shape & health of our fascia.
Myofascial Therapy is uniquely effective because it is capable of restoring the physical integrity of the musculoskeletal system, as well as retraining the hypersensitive nervous system to respond appropriately to physically & emotionally stressful events. Most often, the traumatized areas of the body (including the brain & nervous system) need to first be desensitized, then repaired & reprogrammed. In extreme cases, the soft tissue system is so inflamed or the nervous system is so damaged, that a good amount of time must first be invested in more soothing, less aggressive techniques. Light pressure circulatory or lymphatic massage performed rhythmically in conjunction with specific types of music can be very useful for accomplishing the initial desensitization; while more intense types of Myofascial Therapy such as Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Sacro-Occipital Technique and Rolfing are better for the more specific tasks of fixing, reorganizing & re-patterning.
Myofascial Therapy is uniquely effective because it is capable of restoring the physical integrity of the musculoskeletal system, as well as retraining the hypersensitive nervous system to respond appropriately to physically & emotionally stressful events.
Mayofascial Release Technique
Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.
Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)
The use of Myofascial Release allows us to look at each patient as a unique individual. Our one-on-one therapy sessions are hands-on treatments during which our therapists use a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy. We promote independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, self treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points have been a subject of study by a small number of doctors for several decades although this has not become part of mainstream medicine. The existence of tender areas and zones of induration in muscles has been recognized in medicine for many years and was described as muscular rheumatism or fibrositis in English; German terms included myogelose and myalgie. However, there was little agreement about what they meant. Important work was carried out by J. H. Kellgren at University College Hospital, London, in the 1930s and, independently, by Michael Gutstein in Berlin and Michael Kelly in Australia. The latter two workers continued to publish into the 1950s and 1960s. Kellgren conducted experiments in which he injected hypertonic saline into healthy volunteers and showed that this gave rise to zones of referred extremity pain. Janet G. Travell’s work with trigger point and treatment of US John F. Kennedy’s back pain led to her being asked to be the first female Personal Physician to the President.
Today, much treatment of trigger points and their pain complexes are handled by myofascial trigger point therapists, massage therapists, physical therapists, osteopathic physicians (DOs),occupational therapists, myotherapists, Certified Athletic Trainer some naturopaths, chiropractors, dentists and acupuncturists, and other hands-on somatic practitioners who have had experience or training in the field of neuromuscular therapy (NMT).
Sacro Occipital Technique is a system of chiropractic based upon the provable fact that every human who is sick or in pain has a distortion and a subluxation responsible for that sickness or pain. When you make the right adjustment, at the right spot and the right time, and in the right direction, you release enough nerve energy to cure most anything.
Rolfing is a therapy system created by The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration (also referred to as “RISI”), founded by Ida Pauline Rolf in 1971. The Institute states that Rolfing is a “holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organize(s) the whole body in gravity”. Manipulation of the muscle fasciae is believed to yield therapeutic benefits, including that clients stand straighter, gain height and move better, through the correction of soft tissue fixations or dystonia. A review found that evidence for clinical effectiveness and hypothesized mechanisms of Rolfing is severely limited by small sample sizes and absence of control arms, and that further research is needed, though controlled trials found that a single Rolfing session significantly decreases standing pelvic tilt angle, and that Rolfing caused a lasting decrease in state anxiety when compared to the control group. Only practitioners certified by RISI can use the title “Rolfer,” or practice “Rolfing,” due to service mark ownership. The Guild for Structural Integration is the other certifying body, whose graduates use the title “Practitioners of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration.”
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