Myofascial Massage works with the connective tissue in the body called fascia. Fascia is a network of tissue that holds our body together. This tissue can cause restrictions in movement and alterations in our posture, which can ultimately cause pain. Myofascial Massage aims to loosen any restrictions or adhesions in this tissue to help with better range, quality and ease of motion in our bodies.
Fascia is a substance found throughout the body. Most of us have heard the term “plantar fasciitis” at one point or another, but many don’t really know what fascia is. Here is a more official definition taken from the International Fascia Research Congress… “Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It forms a whole-body continuous three-dimensional matrix of structural support. Fascia interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, creating a unique environment for body systems functioning.” – Fasciacongress.org
Here is a simplified definition of fascia taken from JingMassage.com – “The easiest way of understanding fascia is with the idea that if we had a magical substance that could dissolve everything in the body EXCEPT fascia, we would be left with a complete 3D representation of the body. Once you have this perspective of a tough silken fascia “body suit” that permeates every structure in the body you can start to appreciate the relevance of fascia to massage. Because fascia is an interconnected system, then strain or tension in one part of the system can cause pain, lack of mobility or other dysfunction elsewhere.”
Myofascial Massage involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body usually in conjunction with movement. So when receiving Myofascial work you will be participating in the work so you will be working with the practitioner. The work involves more of a drag or stretch sensation across the tissues rather than a glide over the skin as in traditional Swedish massage. After your treatment you should feel more “loose” and have a sensation of better range, ease and quality of motion. As always be sure to talk with your massage therapist about your goals for massage and what approaches might be best for your particular situation.