Myofascial Release (MFR)

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a style of massage / physical therapy that takes a whole body "hands-on" approach to the evaluation and treatment of the human structure. The goal is to help return the body's capacity to adapt, by restoring three-dimensional balance. What this means is that it works on realigning the body to its proper shape through manipulation of connective tissue (fascia).

Every part in the body is connected by fascia. The organs don’t just hang there in open space. There is connective tissue surrounding everything holding them in place. Throughout life, one’s body takes a lot of punishment, or trauma. We fall down. We get in accidents. We have surgery. All these things affect the fascia. You see, the fascia is normally a nice, soft, rubbery substance that gives when we move. But through trauma, this pliable substance can become hard and constricting. When this happens, the body’s alignment changes. We feel pain, and a host of other problems crop up. (A good example of constricted fascia is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is where the fascia in the wrist becomes hard and painful. The normal response is to have surgery which cuts out the constricted fascia, but it also leaves scar tissue which later causes more constricted fascia. )

Most people suffer from alignment issues. Have a friend take off their shoes and then stand facing you on a level surface. Take a good look at them. Is one shoulder higher than the other? Are their feet pointed straight or to the sides?  Does one turn out more than the other?  These are all signs of alignment problems that MFR might help. Many people have been diagnosed as having one leg longer than the other. In most cases, that is not true. It is simply an alignment issue.

An MFR therapist works by applying a series of holds to help loosen, and relax the fascia. These holds are done skin on skin with no lubrication (this is not your normal massage) for a period of three to five minutes each. During this time, the fascia starts to loosen and eventually (in most cases) returns to its normal pliable state. (It takes 90 seconds to two minutes before the fascia starts to loosen which is why the holds are done for as long as they are.)

Many people straighten up in one session, but that is dependent on the individual. Sometimes it takes a few sessions. There are a few that it does not work on at all.

MFR has been used as treatment for a host of ailments from carpal tunnel syndrome to Fibromyalgia, in most cases successfully. Once the body is in proper alignment, it tends to stay healthy. Once it falls out of alignment, well that’s when we seem to be susceptible to problems and disease.

MFR has even been used successfully against migraines and recurring headaches. Now, the strangest part of this is that headaches go away with the proper alignment of the pelvis. One might think that this is treating the wrong end of the situation, but when you think about it, it actually makes sense. If the pelvis is out of alignment, it is pushing on the spine. The spine carries all the nerves that give the brain feedback on what is happening in the body. If there is pressure from the pelvis, it can be perceived as pain in other areas. So, you can see where something that seems unrelated can have a huge impact on other areas.

If you are having problems stemming from migraines to just pain, come in get an assessment, and see if MFR might be right for you.