Myofascial Release For Athletes
The intense physical demands athletes place on their bodies may lead to shortening of muscle fibers and fascia over time. The result of this shortening is increased fatigue, and loss of power and speed. Over time you develop a constant tightness in certain areas and have difficulty maintaining good posture. You are probably familiar with the “knots” forming in certain areas of your body, and at times it may feel like you are walking around in a straight jacket! Myofascial Release (MFR) is a therapeutic technique designed to release these constricted tissue. By opening restrictions in the fascia, or web that holds the body together, muscles can relax and lengthen, circulation and nerve conduction are revitalized, and inflammation is reduced. Myofascial Release also restores body balance by taking unnecessary pressures off of vital organs and vessels. As the muscle tissue regains it’s fluidity, range of motion increases and performance is enhanced. Myofascial release helps prevent muscle imbalances from overuse and repetitive motions. Posture and full ROM are regained. MFR is great for injury prevention and also for recovery as it and brings oxygen and nutrients to the damaged muscles
What is muscle fascia? Fascia is the connective tissue that runs through and between every muscle, vessel, nerve, and organs of the body, including the brain and spinal cord. It is the continuous sheath or web running from head to toe without interruption, similar to the yarn of a sweater. Fascia in a normal state is fluid and pliable. However, over time; the life experiences of physical trauma, stress, injury, scarring, and inflammation cause the fascia to harden into restrictions (knots) affecting the functioning and comfort of the body. These restrictions and the resulting pressures (which can have a force of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch) cause muscle spasms, pain, tightness, discomfort, fatigue, loss of movement , and many other symptoms. Myofascial release aids the innate wisdom of the client’s body to release these restrictions and redevelop their “tissue memory” so that a state of well being is restored. The hands of the therapist tap into the adhesions in the fascia and muscles and a sustained pressure is held in this area for a minimum of 90 seconds facilitating unwinding and release of the restriction; the longer the hold on the tissue, the deeper the release can be.
Myofascial release is a dynamic therapy modality in which patient and therapist work together to create health and harmony in the body. A treatment session typically begins with visual and hands on evaluation of the posture of the patient and tightness of the tissue. The therapist keeps in mind the symptoms or complaints stated by the client, but trusts that the cause of the problem may not be in the same place as the symptom. MFR is a mindful massage technique that is a whole body, hands on approach to restoring balance and range of motion to the body.
Source: Michele Shoup