Myofascial Release – Hastings & St Leonards, East Sussex. £50 per hour.
‘Myo’ = muscle ‘Fascia’ = connective tissue. MFR is a slower and more sustained technique than deep tissue massage, more progressively applied, and it works gently and deeply into the body to release restrictions and chronic pain. It is helpful for pain and discomfort caused by injury or overuse/underuse, as well as for issues arising from stress, tension and trauma. It is especially effective for calming the nervous system and increasing interoception, and in this way myofascial release works holistically with the bodymind to effect positive change.
Fascia is the body’s main connective tissue; it is the most ubiquitous tissue in the body and wraps through or around every muscle, bone, organ, blood vessel, nerve and cell. It contains more nerve endings than any other tissue in the body, and, when healthy, it allows for the easy gliding of muscles and other tissues. It has both huge strength and pliability, and is made up of protein fibres and a ground substance, consisting mainly of water, that allows cells to receive nutrients and waste to be removed. The unique consistency of fascia (called thixotrophy) means it can change from a gel to a fluid or from a gel to a solid, depending on its state of health and the forces it receives.
During a myofascial release treatment, the sustained application of the practitioner’s hands, and the ensuing heat, encourages the fascia to release any adhesions or build-up, and to rehydrate. It takes upwards of 90 seconds for a fascial release to be effective, and so the techniques are generally held for several minutes, according to the response from the tissue. Clients tend to find the process deeply relaxing, calming, and connecting, as well as globally effective, because releasing the fascia in one area will allow it to relax and move in areas of the body far away, and this ‘unwinding’ may continue for some time after the treatment. This is also useful because it means that painful areas do not necessarily have to be treated directly – in fact it may be more effective to work on the body area where the imbalance originated: the place where the discomfort is felt may not be the source of the issue.
Spike has trained in myofascial release with, among others, Amanda Oswald who is a leading UK expert in MFR and author of ‘Living Pain Free: Healing Chronic Pain with Myofascial Release.’
Some myofascial release can be included as part of your Thai or deep tissue massage on request.