Have you ever wondered why you lose range of motion as you age? Did you ever ask yourself what really happens inside your body when you have surgery and why the scar afterwards is so tight and affects other areas of your body?
Under our skin, our bodies have a continuous connected network of myofascial tissue from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes. It looks like fine strands of cotton candy. It is wrapped around every bone, muscle and organ.When an injury occurs, lets say in the shoulder and range of motion is lost due to postural armoring, the client will only move the shoulder in a shortened range of motion due to pain. Over a period of time, the body says, OK, they want to hold their shoulder in this position so lets help them and fascia armoring builds and range of motion is further decreased.The client can’t figure out why they can’t move their arm to reach for something like they did in the past.
Trauma, inflammatory responses and or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce an area of tightness in the affected area of the body. This area of tightness causes snags or pulls that transmit into other areas. Compare it to a sweater that has a snag in one spot and when held up will show the snag along with the rest of the sweater that is being affected and pulled. This creates compensatory patterns and the body is out of balance.
I have a female client that walked into my office with a frozen shoulder and through the process of using myofascial release on different areas of her shoulder, upper arm, upper back and scapula, I was able to find the area of restriction and help her body to release the stuck area.
Myofascial Release is a hands-on massage technique that is so subtle that the person being worked on only feels the warmth of the therapist’s hands and occasional pops or releases below the skin’s surface. But so much more is happening.
Applying gentle pressure to the affected area, allows the connective tissue and fascia to elongate and in some instances, break free which feels like a small pop to the client and therapist. The affected area relaxes and sometimes the release can be felt in another part of the body. The end result is greater range of motion and a feeling of openness. The client feels relaxed, has a smile on their face because the pain is gone and can’t believe how fabulous they feel from such a light touch.
In addition to the physical injury, emotions are created and can be trapped in the injured tissue.When a release occurs, the client could feel a surge of emotion, have an image appear in their mind and crying can occur. This could happen at the time of treatment or a day or two later. This is another positive aspect of myofascial release, not just the physical release of fascia armoring, but also an emotional release thus freeing the client’s body from holding onto emotions and draining their energy.
This technique can be performed fully clothed on a massage table without the use of oils or creams on the skin. A session can last from 30 to 60 minutes depending upon the clients issues and how ready their body is to release the stuck areas.
So if you are experiencing decreased range of motion, tight scaring from surgery or have had a traumatic injury, a massage utilizing myofascial release may be just what you need.
Just like my client commented before she left my office “Wow! I can now move my arm without pain and have increased range of motion.
With Light and Love,
Kathy Brokos, LMT, HC