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Myofascial Massage

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Myofascial massage is a hands-on technique that helps “unstick” connective tissue in the body. The goal of Myofascial work is to allow the body to move with grace, strength, stability and ease. Pain is the major factor that keeps us from enjoying such easy movement and is a sign of restriction in the body.

Myofascial massage focuses on the fascia, the living web of connective tissue that help control stability and movement in the body. Our body’s fascia has been mapped and researched greatly in the past several decades. Tom Myers, international anatomy teacher and author of Anatomy Trains, has developed a system called Anatomy Trains that gives us a different perspective on the body: instead of looking at individual muscles, this system views our muscles as a part of long lines of connective tissue that run through the body. These lines of connective tissue tense and release to move and support our body. When there is restriction in the connective tissue, the muscles and bones cannot move in their full range of motion. These limitations of movement affect our physical experience of work and play. Lengthening these shortened, restrictive lines of connective tissue is the focus of Myofascial work. Helping to lengthen these short tight lines frees the range of motion in the affected joint, as well as other joints around it.

Fascia functions as a protective wrapping that covers every individual compartment in the body. Healthy fascia in balanced tissues will glide against the layer or fascia next to it. This creates ease of movement. The space between muscle groups and bones is where the nerves and blood vessels lie. Of course, the free flow of blood and nerve transmission is crucial to health. Sometimes the fascial layers get stuck to one another. This can occur when scar tissue builds up as the result of an injury or when the lines become shortened due to repetitive use, such as sitting for long periods of time at the computer. When the space between fascial layers is tight and constricted, the movement of nutrients is reduced, the nerves are impinged, and the health of that area is compromised. Myofascial massage helps open up the layers of connective tissue, allowing increased vitality.

Myofascial work is a great technique for changing the body’s pattern; but massage is only half the picture. Most people need to add an at-home program of stretching, icing and self-massage. The client’s commitment to at-home self-care is a crucial aspect of the success of this work.

Many different kinds of people benefit from Myofascial work: athletes, musicians, parents, office workers, bicycle riders, dentists – anyone who experiences pain- restricted movement. Myofascial work is also beneficial for people who, while performing normal movements in the usual course of their day, go to pick up a chair or something not that heavy and experience an ouch in their back. Let Myofascial massage and a self-care routine return you to fully functional movement and a pain-free life!

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Source by Gary Olsen

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