“Ouch!” “What technique is this?” “Why does it feel like a scratching sensation?” These are all some of the many responses I get when I perform a technique called Myofascial (Fascial) Release. I can count on one hand the number of clients who actually look forward to having fascial work done (these are typically other healthcare providers who use it throughout their practice and know the benefits). For the most part I implement fascia work with any of my deep tissue treatments (if the client allows it of course). It’s not long, usually a few minutes unless the client requests more time. There are more specialized techniques where the entire treatment focuses on fascial release such as, Rolfing and Fascial Stretch Therapy.
So what is Fascia anyways? Fascia is sheets of connective tissue that surround the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and viscera within the body. Sometimes fascia can become adhered to other nearby structures causing postural changes, tension and injuries. While performing the traditional Swedish massage some of the superficial fascia is released, however in order to reach the deeper structures isolating the fascia is recommended. To isolate the fascia therapists will use little to no oil / lotion. This is why the sensation of burning or scratching will arise. It increases blood flow to the nearby tissue while simultaneously bringing rich nutrient blood flow and flushing toxins out. Fascia warms up the muscles and prepares the body for deeper work ahead. Even though it is an effective technique it’s often left out because of the discomfort associated with it. Factors that can play a role in maintaining healthy, pliable fascia include, adequate water intake for your body weight, good diet, regular exercise/ postural training, stretching and of course Myofascial work. While many of you cringe at the thought of having fascial work done it can be an effective technique to help with reoccurring stubborn pain and postural misalignments.