When most people think of massage, they assume the traditional approach of working directly on the musculoskeletal system. Many massage therapists, however, are trained in techniques that don’t work directly on muscles. Myofascial Releases is one of these alternate modalities. It works directly on the fascia to help restore it to its original length and tension.
Fascia is the connective tissue that gives structure to the body. Like a 3D net, fascia wraps around your muscles and all your organs. Fascia provides support in the body using tensegrity, a fine balance of compression and tension that allows a structure to yield greatly without breaking or collapsing. The body performs at its best when its balanced between compression and tension, therefore a change in one affects the entire system.
Fascia organizes itself along the lines of tension called Myofascial Meridians. These myofascial meridians are considered lines of pull which distribute strain, transmit force and affect the structure/function of the body.There are twelve significant lines of pull in the body, and they help to make sure the body moves as one unit. Even though the twelve lines of pull can be identified separately they are inextricably attached to the fascial net. Therefore a problem in one area of the line can have an affect further up or down that line.
Trauma, the inflammatory process and dysfunctional posture may cause the fascia layers to bunch up and stick to each other,similar to the way plastic wrap sticks to itself if your not handling it carefully. This bunching up can have a shortening effect on the surrounding fascia net, which can produce seemingly unrelated symptoms at a distant site in the body. During your massage treatment it’s expected that your therapist work on the area that is causing you discomfort, but understanding that the body works as a whole and needs to be treated as an interconnected system may produce better results than working on only one area ,even if that is the only symptomatic area.
Ashlee Houchen – RMT