What is Myofascial Release? Does it work?

 

In this Relax Teams video, Physical Therapist Rachele DeCrescenzo talks about understanding fascia, myofascial release, and basic self-treatment.

While all of us know that we have a skeletal, muscular, and nervous system, most of us don’t know that we have a fascial system. An extremely important system in our body that is unfortunately ignored by Western medicine way too often. 

Make sure to watch the video, as Rachele shares a presentation for a helpful understanding of the topics discussed. 

Here is a brief summary for you:

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a three-dimensional web of tough connective tissue that runs continuously from head to toe and helps to give our body structure. 

  • It doesn't begin and end in specific locations as we think with bones and muscles, but rather; it's an intricate web within our bodies.
  • Also coursing through that fascial web is what we call the “ground substance” or the fluid, which helps hydrate the fascia and the surrounding structures. 
  • Fascia surrounds and infuses every aspect of our bodies, including the bones, the muscles, the blood vessels, the spinal cord, the internal organs, all the way down to the cellular level. 
  • The fascial system can therefore affect every other system and function in the body. 

Understand it better and learn why there is a picture of a chicken and an orange inside her presentation!

What is Myofascial Release (MFR)? 

Trauma (physical and/or emotional), inflammatory responses, and surgical procedures can create myofascial restrictions that can produce a myriad of symptoms. The symptoms are chronic and acute pain, headaches/migraines, numbness/tingling, weakness, and jaw pain. 

Fascial restrictions don't show up on standardized tests such as x rays, MRIs, or CAT scans. This is one of the main reasons why the fascial system is often ignored by Western medicine. 

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a safe, holistic, and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure (for a minimum of 3-5 minutes) into the myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.

Rachele even explains in detail how she provides the treatment to her patients.

Benefits of MFR treatment:

  • Reduction and pain and tightness
  • Improved posture
  • Improved daily functioning
  • Greater flexibility and ease of movement
  • Higher energy levels
  • Increased body awareness

Three Specific Self-treatment Techniques

 

     1. Deep Breathing

It is the basis for almost all meditation and relaxation techniques. It encourages full oxygen exchange. It helps to lower stress levels and can help to reduce blood pressure.

How to practice deep breathing properly? Watch the video for the full detailed instructions.

     2. Stretching

Regular Stretching - many people do not stretch at all, and if they do, they hold the stretch for an average of 10-30 seconds. 

Myofascial Stretching - to effectively stretch the fascia and experience lasting results from your stretches should be held for at least 5 minutes. 

Do you know that any stretch can become a “Myofascial Stretch”? Learn how to do it by watching the video!

     3. Self-Rebounding (aka Jiggling)

It loosens up stiffened joints and muscles. It increases the fluidity of the fascial system and relieves stress. 

Can you imagine how jiggling works? Inside the video, Rachele herself demonstrates it for you!

Watch until the end to witness Rachele answer the questions below.

Q&A with Rachele

  1. If someone comes to you for a headache, what area do you concentrate on?
  2. Can you feel it when you find the right spot? Or does the person know that you found the right spot?
  3. How is MFR when compared to chiropractic treatment?
  4. How important is the fascial system as the big percentage of the human body is water?

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