Release Tension, Alleviate Pain and Improve Your Mobility With Myofascial Release
Gateway Healing Center offers myofascial release therapy as a physical healing modality geared toward the folks who experience pain and tension within the body. Our therapists are trained in this specific technique and have experience working with and relieving many different physical, spiritual and emotional ailments.
What is Myofascial Release Therapy?
The word itself is made up of two root words: “myo” and “fascia”. “Myo” refers to the muscles and “fascia” refers to the thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, bones and organs. Together, the word “myofascial” refers to the relationship between the muscles and fascia as part of the interconnected system of the body.
When this tissue becomes tight, imbalanced or restricted it can lead to ongoing pain and discomfort, as well as lack of mobility. Although sometimes this tightness and imbalance can resolve itself with stretching and proper movement patterns, myofascial release allows the client’s pain points to be addressed, targeted and alleviated.
How Does Myofascial Release Work?
Myofascial release (MFR) is generally performed by applying pressure to an area of the body to identify for a bind or ease of movement within the tissue. The therapist holds this sustained pressure to help the client to release their tension which in turn helps to alleviate pain and restriction of movement and gives the client an overall sense of ease in their body. Other styles of MFR include passive joint movement techniques to encourage the body’s own inherent unwinding.
Benefits of Myofascial Release
Myofascial release has been shown to benefit people both emotionally and physically. It is safe and effective for people of all ages and backgrounds. Some of the most common benefits that clients report are:
MFR can help reduce pain caused by various conditions including minor athletic injury and issues that have developed into chronic pain. Targeting specific areas and its fascia can help improve difficult pain conditions.
Working with fascia helps alleviate tightness in the targeted area as well as the surrounding areas to allow for proper movement patterns throughout the body. MFR is useful for working with scars to help reintegrate and hydrate the tissue back into its matrix.
Elevated stress levels often coincide with increased discomfort and pain. Releasing tension in the body can have a calming effect on the mind. With MFR you will reduce stress and have less cause for pain.
When your body feels tight, it makes it harder to maintain an ideal posture (rounded shoulders, hunched forward, shorter leg, etc.) Working with fascia allows for proper movement and positioning of the body. Standing taller will take less effort.
A body with less tension will be able to fall into deeper and more restful sleep. You will find and maintain comfortable positions for sleeping through the night.
MFR can help improve dynamic mobility and coordination, promote optimal muscle function, and help you to feel your body when you use it. Myofascial release can help athletes who have sustained injuries recover more efficiently.
Common Questions About Myofascial Release:
Is myofascial release painful?
It is typically not considered painful, but it can be uncomfortable. Varying depths of pressure are applied to different parts of the body, and depending on the stiffness or soreness, a person might experience more or less discomfort in some areas. The client’s physical response is carefully monitored, and the pressure and location can adjust accordingly. Please let your therapist know about any major sensitivities or pain you’re experiencing prior to or during your session.
How many treatments do I need in order to experience relief?
The amount of treatments needed can vary by person. Many times clients feel some sort of relief in just one session. More often, the client and therapist work together to discuss goals and create a customized treatment plan that will have long-lasting benefits.
What should I wear during a session?
For an MFR session it’s not necessary for the client to undress, and if the client prefers, they may be fully clothed. If the client does choose to be clothed for the session, it is important that the client is comfortable and that the clothes are loose or flexible to allow the therapist to use proper techniques. Tight or restrictive clothing may negatively affect the client’s comfort and the therapist’s ability to apply pressure.
How do I know if MFR therapy is a good fit for me?
Myofascial release can be for anyone who desires this type of treatment, however there are some people who may benefit more from MFR than other manual therapies:
- Those with chronic pain
- Those with musculoskeletal conditions
- Those who are very active
- Those with emotional tension and trauma
Since MFR helps to release tension brought on by physical activity, emotional stress, and other conditions, it is a great modality for improved mobility, pain reduction, and overall sense of peace in the body.
What is the difference between massage and myofascial release?
- Focuses on muscles and soft tissue
- Uses various techniques: kneading, rubbing, pressing and sweeping strokes all over the body
- Promotes relaxation and well being
- Focuses specifically on the fascia
- Uses sustained pressure or passive movement on specific areas of the body
- Promotes release of tension in targeted areas
What To Expect From Your Myofascial Release Treatment at Gateway Healing Center
We recommend that prior to your appointment you have showered at some point during the day, for your comfort and cleanliness. We suggest that you limit your caffeine intake so you can fully relax during your appointment. If this is your first appointment, fill out the digital intake form online or arrive early to allow for time to complete it before you begin treatment. Your MFR therapist will go over your needs and goals with you at time of the appointment.
Please arrive 15-20 minutes prior to your appointment to fill out necessary paperwork and discuss your treatment with your MFR therapist. Please note if there are certain parts of your body that you want to focus on or avoid during the session. Use this time to use the restroom and have a sip of water.
- If you choose to remain clothed-please make sure your clothes are loose-fitting and comfortable
- The therapist will perform the treatment with you in either supine, prone or side-lying positions, and bolstered for your comfort
- The session will last 40 minutes
- You may experience some discomfort at certain times during the treatment, but generally this will be a pleasant and rejuvenating experience and can be adjusted to your needs
After your myofascial release treatment your therapist will offer you some water and discuss anything pertinent about the session. Together you can decide if more sessions will be beneficial, and when to schedule them.
We Accept NYSHIP for Myofascial ReleaseTherapy, Massage Therapy & Acupuncture Services.
NYSHIP is the New York State Health Insurance Program for New York State public employees comprising The Empire Plan and NYSHIP-approved Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). The New York State Department of Civil Service administers NYSHIP. The Empire Plan is available to New York State’s public employees and employers.