What is fascia?
Fascia is a thin fibrous sheath that surrounds the entire body and keeps the whole body intact. It also keeps every artery, vein, nerve, gland and organ in its place. Loosening the fascia and bony restrictions creates more space for these structures, which enhances function of the heart, the lungs, the thyroid gland, the digestive organs, the skeletal joints, and more.
“Myo-“ means muscle, and so myofascia is a fibrous sheath surrounding muscles and muscle groups. When you stretch this fascia, it is not actually elongating. Instead, tensions and contractions that have occurred, from stress over time or from an injury, are being released.
Muscles can be tight for 2 reasons:
- The muscle itself is tight
- The fascia around it is tight.
By treating the myofascia, it gives the muscle more space to relax.
How does Myofascial Release work?
Normal myofascial should feel pliable and elastic. If rigid, gentle massage and stretching of the myofascia is performed. Other techniques involved cupping and gua sha, which are also considered acupuncture techniques. Are also considered a form of myofascial release. In addition to loosening up the fascia, these techniques will break up stagnation and bring circulation to the area facilitating healing.
Research has shown improvements in a wide variety of conditions including:
- Neck and back pain
- Sciatic pain
Trigger point headaches – Trigger points are caused due to tight fascia. When an injury occurs, scar tissue forms. While it is forming, it pulls on the fascia creating pain along the pull. That is why people who experience headaches, the initial injury is located in the neck.