Myofascial Release

(702) 235-5007
Serving the Las Vegas, Nevada Area
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For more information or to book a session please contact Corey Buck, Structual Integration Therapist

Session Pricing: $88 1hr, $144 2hrs

Myofascial Release is a form of soft tissue therapy which includes,structural assessments and manual massage techniques for stretching the fascia between muscles and bones with the goal of eliminating pain, increasing range of motion and balancing the body. The fascia is manipulated, directly or indirectly, which allows the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion.

Fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, organs, and skeletal structures in our body, which is located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone. Muscle and fascia form the myofascia system.

Injuries, stress, inflammation, trauma, and poor posture can cause restriction to fascia. Since fascia is an interconnected web, the restriction or tightness to fascia at a place, with time can spread to other places in the body like a pull in a sweater. The goal of myofascial release is to release fascia restriction and restore its tissue health.

In medical literature, the term myofascial was used by Janet G. Travell M.D. in the 1940s referring to musculoskeletal pain syndromes and trigger points. In 1976 Dr. Travell began using the term "Myofascial Trigger Point" and in 1983 published the famous reference "Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual". Some practitioners use the term "Myofascial Therapy" or "Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy" referring to the treatment of trigger points, this is usually in medical-clinical sense.

Direct Myofascial Release

The direct Myofascial Release method works on the restricted fascia. The practitioners use knuckles, elbows, or other tools to slowly stretch the restricted fascia by applying a few kilograms-force or tens of newtons. This is sometimes referred to as deep tissue work. Direct Myofascial Release seeks for changes in the myofascial structures by stretching, elongation of fascia, or mobilising adhesive tissues. The practitioner moves slowly through the layers of the fascia until the deep tissues are reached.

Robert Ward suggested that the direct method came from the osteopathy school in the 1920s by William Neidner, at which point it was called Fascial Twist. German physiotherapist Elizabeth Dicke developed Connective Tissue Massage (Bindegewebbsmassage) in the 1920s, which involved superficial stretching of the myofascia. Dr. Ida Rolf developed Structural Integration, or Rolf Method of Structural Integration, in the 1950s, a holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that with the goal of balancing the body. She discovered that she could change the body posture and structure by manipulating the myofascial system. Rolf Method is the nickname that many clients and practitioners gave this work. Since her death in 1979, various Structural Integration schools arose which have adapted her original idea to their own needs and uses.

Until the 1990s, instruction in direct myofascial release was rarely available outside of Structural Integration or Physical Therapy training programs. Currently, however, texts and courses are offered to general bodyworkers from a Physical Therapy background, and from a Rolf Method of Structural Integration or Structural Integration background.

As Dr. Rolf said, "Put the tissue where it should be and then ask for movement."

Indirect Myofascial Release

The indirect method involves a gentle stretch, with only a few grams of pressure, which allows the fascia to 'unwind' itself. The gentle traction applied to the restricted fascia will result in heat and increased blood flow in the area. This allows the body's inherent ability for self correction to return, thus eliminating pain and restoring the optimum performance of the body. This concept was suggested, by Paul Svacina, to be analogous to pulling apart a chicken carcass- when it is pulled apart slowly, the layers peel off intact- too fast, and it shreds.

The indirect technique originated in osteopathy schools and is also popular in physical therapy. According to Robert C. Ward, myofascial release originated from the concept by Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathic medicine in the late 19th century. The concepts and techniques were subsequently developed by his successor. Robert Ward further suggested that the term Myofascial Release as a technique was coined in 1981 when it was used as a course title in Michigan State University. It was popularized and taught to physical therapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists and physicians by John F. Barnes PT through his Myofascial release seminar series.

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