Let my hands and elbows open up this most heavenly of all gates by contacting me for an appointment.
Have you ever had a nagging muscle ache or pinched nerve that just wouldn’t go away? For some, days! For others, years where it has taken on a constant pattern know as “Chronic Pain Spasm Pain Cycle” and we simply accept it as a “war wounds” or from simply getting older. So many people have turned to pharmaceutical relief only to trade one ailment for another because of the countless side effects many of the over the counter drugs tend to render. When the potential of applied pressure administered with the elbow, forearm or fingertip to a suggested area for a few moments. *Depth Always varies per client*.The somatic turned visceral, visceral recycling back into the somatic in a never ending cycle. Let me help you to get rid of it once and for all!
To understand what Myofascial Release is and why it works, you have to understand a little about fascia. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue also covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn’t expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the “uneven tightness” in injured fascia and or muscle(s).
In other words, Myofascial Release is stretching of the fascia. The stretch is guided by feedback that I feel from the clients’s body. This feedback tells me how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch. Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes I will use only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. The feedback that I feel determines which muscles are stretched and in what order.
Each Myofascial Release technique contains the same components. I will find the area of tightness by observing for irregular breathing and/or holding patterns. A light stretch is applied to the tight area. Then I wait for the tissue to relax and then increase the stretch. The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed. Then, the next area is stretched.
I will be able to find sore spots just by feel. Often, clients are unable to pinpoint some point of origin simply because they have grown use to the pain until I begin palpating. The size and sensitivity of these sore spots, called Myofascial Trigger Points, will decrease with treatment and essential homework the client must do to ensure maximum effect!
Most clients are surprised by how gentle Myofascial Release is. Some clients fall asleep during treatment. Others later go home and take a nap. Most clients find Myofascial Release to be a very relaxing form of treatment.
Depending on the client, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to combine other techniques and variations into this style to get a much more powerful release than just one technique alone. In fact, a high percentage of the clientele felt the combinations are what made them rediscovering their potential.
Myofascial Release is not massage. Myofascial Release is used to equalize muscle tension throughout the body. Unequal muscle tension can compress nerves and muscles causing pain. Progress is measured by a decrease in the client’s pain and by an improvement in overall posture.
Treatment pathologies include:
- Back Pain
- Cervical Pain
- Chronic Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Neck Pain/Whiplash
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Head Trauma
- Neurological Dysfunction
- Sport Injuries
- Pudendal Nerve Entrapment (PNE)
- TMJ Disorder (Jaw Pain)
- Restricted Motion
- Dizziness, Vertigo
- Plantar Fasciitis
Who can benefit from Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release should be considered when a client has not responded to more traditional forms of medical and physical therapy treatment. I have successfully treated clients with the following clinical impressions using Myofascial Release as part of their Ten Gates To Heaven Treatment Plan:
- BACK STRAIN, CHRONIC BACK PAIN, LOW BACK PAIN, THORACIC BACK PAIN
Persistent, recurrent back pain can cause or be the result of asymmetrical soft tissue tension that does not respond to active stretching by the client. Active myofascial trigger points can be the stimuli for continued muscle spasm. The pain–spasm cycle further distorts the clients posture and causes additional soft tissue injury. Using Focused Myofascial Stretching, I can neutralize the trigger points and equalize the soft tissue tension, decreasing the postural asymmetries.
- CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may include:
- Numbness or “pins and needles” feeling in the fingers
- Pain and/or numbness that is worse at night or interrupts sleep
- Burning or tingling in your thumb, index, and middle fingers, or pain that moves up your arm to your elbow
- Hand weakness
- Difficulty gripping objects with the hands or dropping objects
- Difficulty manipulating small objects
- Difficulty making a fist
- Swollen feeling in the fingers
Anterior chest wall tightness, forward head posture and active myofascial trigger points can cause carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. A home exercise program using Myofascial Release techniques is given immediately after first treatment to ensure a faster recovery rate. Focused Myofascial Stretching can also break the adhesions that form between irritated and inflamed tendons.
- PROTRACTED HEAD SYNDROME SYMPTOMS
Myofascial Stretching of the anterior chest wall decreases the asymmetrical pull that causes protraction of the scapulae and contributes to the forward head posture. Myofascial Trigger Points in the pectoralis minor and the forearm can be neutralized at the same time. A home exercise program using Myofascial Release techniques is given immediately after first treatment to ensure a faster recovery rate. Focused Myofascial Stretching can also break the adhesions that form between irritated and inflamed tendons.
- CHRONIC CERVICAL STRAIN, CHRONIC CERVICAL PAIN
Persistent cervical pain can cause or be the result of asymmetrical soft tissue tension that does not respond to active stretching by the patient. Active myofascial trigger points can cause radiating pain into the face, jaw, skull, shoulders, upper back and down the arms. Chronic cervical strain and forward head posture can cause vertigo and balance dysfunction. All of these problems must be addressed in a comprehensive physical therapy treatment program.
- COMPLEX PAIN COMPLAINTS
When a client does not completely recover from an initial injury, inefficient accommodation to the residual restriction of movement causes additional asymmetrical soft tissue stresses. Chronically irritated and inflamed tissues develop adhesions that further limit efficient movement. As this feedback loop continues, the client’s pain complaint becomes diffuse and global. Pain causes fatigue, depression and impaired sleep. Myofascial Release can address all of these problems as part of a comprehensive physical therapy treatment program. As a direct, “hands-on” treatment, Myofascial Release reverses the physical withdrawal behavior of many clients who are in chronic pain. As the asymmetrical soft tissue stresses decrease, the feedback loop is interrupted. Sleep patterns improve and overall pain decreases. Gradually, the layers of injury are peeled away like an onion until only the sequelae from the original injury are present and can be treated.
A comprehensive physical therapy evaluation of impaired balance due to subjective dizziness and vertigo must include an evaluation of overall muscle strength and coordination, chronic muscle strain due to forward head posture and decreased neck range of motion, and Myofascial Trigger Points. Soft tissue trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid muscles can contribute to vertigo with and without labyrinthine dysfunction. Weakness and incoordination of the ocular muscles can also be a source of dizziness and the resulting balance dysfunction. The possibility of overmedication, drug interactions and substance abuse must also be considered. Clients who see different physicians for a variety of problems do not always provide each physician a complete list of their medications. Therefore, I routinely ask my clients to list all medications that they take for any reason. I also ask if the client uses more than one pharmacy. All of this information is given to the client’s primary care physician when appropriate. Myofascial Release is used to treat the soft tissue trigger points and the muscular imbalance contributing to the forward head posture. Ocular coordination exercises and visual stabilization exercises teach the client compensatory mechanisms for a decrease in innate balance sense. Lower extremity strengthening and coordination exercises improve proprioceptive feedback and ability to recover from mild to moderate balance disturbances.
- FIBROMYALGIA, MYOFASCIAL PAIN DYSFUNCTION, FIBROSITIS
Myofascial Release is one of the most effective treatments for patients with moderate to severe symptoms of fibromyalgia. Soft tissue adhesions and active Myofascial Trigger Points must be reduced before the patient can participate in an active exercise program successfully. Postural asymmetry is energy expensive and contributes to the extreme fatigue reported by patients who have fibromyalgia. The patient may initially feel worse when beginning treatment with Myofascial Release. As postural symmetry improves, the patient will feel less fatigued and have less morning stiffness.
Myofascial Release can decrease the chronic tightness of the posterior cervical musculature and the sensitivity of the Myofascial Trigger Points that cause muscle tension headaches. Myofascial Release can decrease the frequency and intensity of tension headaches. A tension headache can be totally eliminated during a treatment session. By decreasing the tension headache component, migraine headaches can also be decreased in intensity and frequency.
- PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Myofascial Release can stretch the plantar fascia and decrease soft tissue adhesions that keep the plantar fascia in a chronically shortened position. The shortened fascia can cause an altered gait pattern resulting in knee or hip pain that does not respond to direct treatment. As the plantar fascia is stretched, the foot pain will decrease and normal foot motion will be restored. Only then will the knee and hip pain resolve.
- POST-POLIO SYMPTOMS
Myofascial Release is the safest treatment method I have found for individuals experiencing Post-Polio symptoms. Since feedback guides all Myofascial Release treatments, over-stretching of weak muscles is avoided. Myofascial Release can decrease the asymmetrical stresses caused by shortened, weak muscles. Functional tightness is left undisturbed.
- SCARS and SCAR TISSUE
Scars that are not freely mobile can become a pain focus when the client’s postural adaptation to that tightness and restricted motion is disrupted. Active Myofascial Trigger Points can appear in the scar tissue at any time and cause a unique pain radiation pattern. Using Myofascial Release, the scar adhesions can be broken, restoring free motion of the previously restricted body segment. As the client adjusts to this unfamiliar posture, new pain may appear. This pain is easily and quickly resolved. As scar adhesions are released, the visible scar may become less prominent and defined.
- THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME (TOS)
Pectoralis minor tightness can produce thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms. Focused Myofascial Stretching of the pectoralis minor and the trigger points in its proximal attachment can completely eliminate thoracic outlet syndrome signs. Midline sternal scars from open-heart surgery can also cause thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms. Focused Myofascial Stretching of the surgical scar and of the anterior chest wall can completely eliminate the thoracic outlet signs. A long-term home exercise program must be followed to maintain the new range of motion.
- TMJ DISORDER
Asymmetry of the muscles of mastication, forward head posture, tightness of the posterior cervical musculature and multiple Myofascial Trigger Points can cause or are the result of TMJ problems. All of the soft tissue problems need to be addressed to achieve maximum effectiveness of the dental treatment. Myofascial Release is used to stretch the posterior cervical musculature and decrease the sensitivity of the Myofascial Trigger Points. A muscle re-education home exercise program is given to re-establish the cervical lordosis. As the forward head posture is decreased, better alignment of the temporomandibular joint is achieved, and the pain from the TMJ malalignment is decreased. Once more symmetrical jaw movement has been achieved using Focused Myofascial Stretching of the muscles of mastication, specific stretching and strengthening exercises are included in the home exercise program.
- TRIGGER POINTS, TENDER POINTS
Myofascial Trigger Points can produce symptoms that mimic many other medical diagnoses. For example, hypersensitive Myofascial Trigger Points in the neck and shoulder muscles can cause headaches, tooth pain, jaw pain, difficulty swallowing, pain behind the eyes, pain in the eyes, vertigo, intrascapular pain, arm pain and hand pain. Myofascial Trigger Points can cause atypical angina, diarrhea, groin pain, sciatic distribution pain, chest and abdominal pain. For a complete description of the effects of Myofascial Trigger Points, please consult Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, volume I and II by J.G. Travell and D.G. Simons, William & Wilkins Publishers.
- WHIPLASH – cervical, thoracic, low back
The multiple muscle strains that are the result of a whiplash injury can cause soft tissue adhesions, hypersensitive Myofascial Trigger Points and persistent headaches. A pain, muscle spasm, postural asymmetry feedback loop can be established as a result of the initial injury. Aggressive early medical and physical therapy treatment of the whiplash injury can prevent a feedback loop from being created. However, once a feedback loop is established, the same treatment approach described under COMPLEX PAIN COMPLAINTS is followed.
How change occurs
Myofascial Release is a whole body treatment method that recognizes that tightness and restrictions in one area of the body affects the entire body. Restrictions cause uneven stresses in the body and inefficient movement patterns. Our bodies maintain the most energy-efficient posture and movement patterns available to us. When a more efficient posture can be achieved using Myofascial Release, energy increases and pain decreases.
Our brains recognize our current posture, muscle tension, and movement patterns as being “normal” — not necessarily as efficient or pain free. Myofascial Release requires re-education of the central nervous system to accept the new posture and muscle tension as better and less painful.
During the initial phase of treatment, the client’s brain says, “This isn’t me! This feels weird. I’m not going to do this,” and the changes achieved in a treatment session do not last. As treatment progresses, however, the patient’s brain begins to recognize the new posture and lessened muscle tension as being less energy expensive and less painful. At that point, the changes achieved during treatment last longer. At the end stage of treatment, the brain recognizes the new posture and muscle tension as better, less painful and more energy efficient. When that occurs, change is maintained, the old posture is recognized as inefficient and painful while the new posture is more efficient and not (or less) painful.