One of my very favorite techniques to perform on my clients is Myofascial Release. As a therapist I am able to see the results very quickly. The client will feel a nice releasing feeling as well. Although it’s a great technique to have in our pocket, I only use it when I can see it is needed.
I know when it is appropriate to use M.F.R. after looking at the tissue I am working with and deciding if it’d be beneficial. Sometimes it’s necessary in order to get into deeper muscles. Myofascial release warms up and loosens connective tissue that surrounds muscles. If you can picture a web like material covering all of your muscles.
If the muscle is being entrapped in the connective tissue it makes the muscle feel a lot less flexible. To clarify, the layers of muscles are not freely moving in their plane, but instead a little bit bound together.
When we do the M.F.R. techniques they are very slow moving, without lotion and give a dragging feel. We don’t use lotion because it gives us better grip on the surface we are working on. Sometimes the client will feel a burning, pinching, warm or cooling sensation as the tissue releases. Sometimes they really don’t feel much different at all, but will notice an increased range of motion.
I know when to use the technique by doing a little pull on the skin with my fingertips to see if the outer layers have movement over the muscles or not. It’s a great way to warm up the muscles in order to get down into deeper layers of muscle.
The benefits you will notice are a lot more movement and an increased range of motion. For example, on a shin muscle you will feel a lot more flexibility in your ankle. The technique is also excellent on shoulders, upper back and releasing tissues next to the spine. Carpal Tunnel is another area that usually needs this technique and is very beneficial for relieving Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It helps increase circulation by bringing a lot of blood to the area being worked on which also feeds the muscles underneath. In turn also bringing more oxygen to the muscles through the blood.
It is always good to increase your water intake for the next 48 hours after getting this type of massage. A lot of toxins can be moved out of areas where they were previously entrapped and it’s good to flush those toxins out of your system. You could also follow your massage with using a hot pack at home (no more than 20 minutes at a time) to smooth out and increase the benefits of your massage.
Myofascial release isn’t really something you need to ask your therapist to do, but it’s good to understand what it is. When you feel us not using lotion and applying more of a drag-like feeling M.F.R. is most likely the technique being used at the moment! I like to check in with my clients thoughout the technique and let them know what I am working on and what I am finding!
Most of our therapists at Elements West Allis are skilled with Myofascial Release. To book an appointment please call 414.455.2715 or book right here on our website.