Myo-fascial Releasing (MFR) focuses on the fascia or connective tissue that can be accessed on the surface but interweaves deeply through out the body creating the fascial patterns that affect our posture. Fascia is the web of thick fibers and sheer sheaths of tissue that holds our organs, muscles and bones together. MFR focuses on separating excessive fascia that has developed from overuse or fascia that has become adhered to other tissue inappropriately. Here we look at how the whole body moves and functions together rather then individual muscles moving specific joints. MFR may be included with other work. However, should it be done alone, the practitioner would be focus thoroughly on areas where the fascia has developed around lines of stress. There are several scientifically documented continuous lines of fascia that go from head to foot, foot to arm, arm to arm etc. (cadaver photos, also) The lines intriguingly but not surprisingly follow the similar routes that the meridians for the acupuncture points flow. Lotion may not be used or only lightly.
The technique with fingers, fists, forearms or elbows is a slow, gradual but constant pressure and tension engaging the fascial barrier at each fascial layer until the tissue releases. Movement of the patient simultaneous to the stroke is often used often called “Pin & Stretch”. Myofascia was first historically used by Janet G Travell, MD in 1940s. in her work “Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy”. She was one of three medical researchers working separately and independently on three different continents, Travel in the U.S., Gutstein-Good in Germany and Kelly in Australia. There were earlier influences: Within the osteopathic school in the 1920s William Niedner developed the “Fascial Twist”. Around the same time a physiotherapist, Elizabeth Dicke developed the Bindegwesmassage or Connective Tissue Massage which worked used a fascial twist lightly on the superficial layers of connective tissue. In the 1950’s Ida Rolf systematized a system of soft tissue manipulation with movement and assessment that has since spawned several contemporary schools of myofascial therapy.
We have taken classes with Donna Bajellis, a Washington State physical therapist and founder of Institute of Structural Medicine and studied some of the works of Tom Meyers Anatomy Trains, a contemporary off shoot of Myofascial Release.