Benefits of Sports Massage

Massage for Hiking
Nothing like a day in the mountains

 

What is a Hiking Sports Massage for Santa Barbara, Goleta area hikers?

It’s a combination of Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, and Swedish Massage. I recommend at least a 1 1/2 hour session to get you tuned back up for the trails. Depending on your specific issues you may need more massage sessions.

What are the Benefits of a hiker Massage?

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Flush out the lactic acid in your legs and body.
  • Ease of medication dependence.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for and recover from, strenuous workouts or hikes.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue, and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.

 

What is Sports Massage?

Sports Massage – Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. It’s more vigorous than a Swedish Massage.

The purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those bothersome injuries that so often get in the way of performance and your athletic goals, whether one is an athlete,  or a once a week jogger.

This treatment is not just for the sports person: anyone can benefit from sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs and those not quite so obvious (occupational, emotional, and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).

Sports massage tends to be deeper and more intense. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction, toning, and trigger point response techniques similar to Acupressure and Shiatsu. A skilled therapist brings together this blend of techniques, knowledge, and advice during treatment, to work effectively with the client to bring about optimum performance and to provide injury-free training, and minimize post-event injuries.

Sports Massage is best administered 1 /1/2 hours before your event or 1 1/2 hours after your event.

Benefits of Sports Massage & Recovery Time

Sometimes a “truth” is not what it seems. Take lactic acid. For years, many massage therapists have been taught that lactic acid can and should be flushed from the muscles of athletes after intense activity. This truism has been passed on to clients who have also accepted it as fact. Both therapist and client thus have established and perpetuated a mutual belief system that purging of lactic acid is not only necessary but also efficiently accomplished with the assistance of massage. Some beliefs die hard. This one and others related to lactic acid have been holding their own, not only in some massage schools and practices but also in the community at large, despite emerging research to the contrary. Pass the word. There’s no need to mess with Mother Nature.

Lactate accumulated from intense exercise actually fuels the body, according to Dr. Owen Anderson, exercise physiologist, and editor of Running Research News. In a recent interview from his office in Michigan, Anderson explained the facts.

Lactic acid levels will return to homeostasis quickly post-exercise without any “hands-on” assistance. “Muscles don’t need help from massage in removing lactate,” said Anderson. “Massage will probably have the biggest effect on venous blood,” and by the time massage is administered, lactate has already left the muscle. This is not to say massage isn’t beneficial to the athlete. “Massage is good for relaxing,” said Anderson, “and provides help increasing flexibility of muscles.”

Whitney Lowe, owner and director of the Orthopedic Massage Education and Research Institute and author of Functional Assessment in Massage Therapy concurs with Anderson’s statements.

“Lactic acid is a natural by-product of any muscular activity. There are elevated levels of lactic acid in muscle tissues after exercise, but that is going to subside either with time or with any type of movement activity, even just walking around the room.”

In addition, the lactic acid does not cause muscle soreness, fatigue, or the “burn” of intensive exercise, noted Anderson. His comments and those of Lowe are backed by valid scientific research. Several studies conducted in the 1980s by exercise physiologist Dr. George A. Brooks ushered in a new perspective on this supposed “demon.” Brooks noted that lactic acid is a key substance for providing energy, disposing of dietary carbohydrate, producing blood glucose and liver glycogen, and promoting survival in stress situations.1

Nature’s Magic Tricks
Just as the body’s intelligence keeps our hearts pumping and our intestines digesting without any intervention on our part, in like manner it maintains the chemical process of glycolysis to provide energy on a 24-hour basis. In Anderson’s book, Lactate Lift-off, he writes, “Glycolysis is actually a series of 10 different chemical reactions…that break down glucose, the simple six-carbon sugar which is your body’s most important source of carbohydrate fuel, into something called pyruvic acid.”2 From pyruvic acid, with the help of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase, we get lactic acid. But it’s not quite that simple.

The process of glycolysis converts each glucose molecule into two pyruvic acid molecules, releasing energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). From there, pyruvic acid enters the mitochondria, where more ATP is produced through the Krebs cycle.3 “In addition to ‘handling’ the pyruvic acid produced from glucose,” states Anderson, “the Krebs cycle also metabolizes fats, overall, it furnishes more than 90 percent of the energy you need to exercise in a sustained manner.”4

As for exercise intensity increases, glycolysis speeds up and pyruvic acid is produced at an increasing rate. When it can no longer be processed through the Krebs cycle as quickly as it is generated, some of the pyruvic acids is converted to lactic acid, which rapidly dissociates into a lactate anion and a free hydrogen ion (H+). Lactate can then be quickly transported from the muscle into the blood, where it is circulated throughout the body. If an excessive amount of pyruvic acid were allowed to build up, glycolysis would come to a halt, thus blocking energy production. The conversion to lactic acid allows the body to continue its exertion of energy. Once the lactate enters other tissues, it can be converted to pyruvate, which is processed by the Krebs cycle into ATP for even more energy. Lactate can also be converted by the liver and other tissues into glucose, boosting depleted stores of glycogen needed for future activity.5,6,7

Although the focus here is to examine excessive lactic acid accumulation during intensive activity, it’s important to clarify that lactic acid production is a normal and continuous part of the body’s energy cycle. According to Anderson, lactate is produced even at rest, and “…its concentrations can rise rather dramatically whenever you take in a carbohydrate-containing meal.” Lactate plays an important role in processing carbohydrate and facilitating its availability to the liver and muscles.8

Lactic acid reaches excessive levels when the body can no longer clear it as quickly as it is being produced. “When you begin a moderate to difficult workout,” states Anderson, “lactate levels in your blood initially rise, simply because glycolysis is working away to provide quite a bit of the energy you require.” At this point, there is minimal blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. This limits the breakdown of pyruvate in the Krebs cycle and increases its conversion to lactate. With continued activity, heart rate increases and oxygen becomes more readily available to the muscle cells, allowing pyruvate and lactate to be oxidized for energy. The entry and exit rates of lactate then become stabilized and will remain so even with gradually intensified activity.9

“However,” states Anderson, “once you get up to a point (actually a speed) at which glycolysis is tearing along so fast that your leg muscles have problems converting most of the pyruvate and lactate being formed to carbon dioxide and water, the lactate-spilling process may accelerate so much that lactate levels in the blood may really begin to lift off.” This can be a result of oxygen debt inside the muscle cell, inadequate concentrations of enzymes necessary for oxidation at high rates or a lack of sufficient cell-mitochondria, where the Krebs cycle takes place. The point at which this occurs is referred to as the lactate threshold (LT). According to Anderson, the LT is simply an indicator of how effectively your tissues utilize lactate as an energy source. For athletes, a high LT means increased endurance – the longer the athlete can perform before reaching this point, the longer lactate production and extraction is kept in balance and energy is maintained.10

At the completion of the exercise, lactate levels will return to normal within 30-60 minutes, being quickly converted back to pyruvate or glucose.11 Research supports the claim that active recovery (light exercise) is the most effective approach to speed up this process,12,13 and that massage is no more effective than passive rest.14 This does not discount other potential benefits of massage in sports recovery. A study by Monedero and Donne showed while active recovery proved best in removing lactic acid, a combined approach (active recovery and massage) did increase recovery rate during short intervals between maximal efforts and was most efficient for maintaining maximal performance time in subsequent performance. The recovery rate was determined by blood lactate levels and heart rate during recovery, and performance times in tests of maximal efforts.15

For post-exercise recovery, Anderson recommends a cool-down of about 10 minutes of running a few miles followed by stretching and strengthening exercises, nutrition (carbohydrates) to restock energy, and a good night’s sleep. Improving the body’s ability to break down pyruvate, use oxygen, and extract lactate from the muscle during the activity will raise the LT and increase an athlete’s endurance. This can be accomplished with proper training, such as methods recommended in Lactate Lift-off.16 An effective training approach can increase the supply of mitochondria, enzymes, and capillaries needed to enhance the body’s ability to rapidly use lactate as an energy source.17

Soreness, Fatigue and the ‘Burn’
Is lactic acid to blame? “There has been a strong suggestion,” said Lowe, “that delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurring 12-24 hours after exercise is caused by excess levels of lactic acid, but the onset of soreness does not at all coincide with the levels of lactic acid. This is still a very rampant misconception.”

Anderson indicates there are two likely causes of muscle soreness: tears in the muscle associated with the stress of exercise and free radical attack on the muscle membranes. According to physician Dr. Gabe Mirkin,” Next-day muscle soreness is caused by damage to the muscle fibers themselves. Muscle biopsies were taken on the day after exercising show bleeding and disruption of the z-band filaments that hold the fibers together as they slide over each other during a contraction.” Mirkin suggests ceasing exercise when muscles start to burn and hurt as this is likely an indication that DOMS will occur.18

The free hydrogen ions produced in the dissociation of lactic acid can present a problem. Bicarbonate buffers H+ to maintain homeostasis in pH, but an increase of H+ during intensive exercise can overwhelm the buffering system, resulting in acidity (low pH) of muscle and blood. If the pH goes below 7.00, the athlete may experience nausea, headache, dizziness, and pain in the muscles. But with the cessation of exercise the pH, like lactate, returns to normal.19 “The muscle will slow down if there is a great enough lowering of pH,” said Anderson, “and this may cause fatigue.” He noted there can be a lowering of pH in muscles even while sedentary. “We don’t know if it can cause a burn,” he added, “but the burn is the nervous system’s way of telling you you’re exercising at too high intensity and you need to cut back. There is nothing wrong. It’s just a message.”

Heavy legs or fatigue can occur in an all-out sprint, said Anderson, but if it occurs at the 20-mile point in a marathon, it’s a sign the muscles are running out of energy. To combat these problems, Anderson emphasizes the importance of training. “If you are really strong,” he said, “you have less stress and damage.”

So What About Massage?
Although the effectiveness of massage to flush out lactic acid after exercise has been disproven, there are benefits to validate its use in sports. “In my own experience,” said Keith Grant, head of Sports and Deep Tissue Massage Department at McKinnon Institute, “I’ve seen that massage is effective. How our body reacts to things depends on both the state our body is in (state of memory), as well as the input.” Grant combines his knowledge as a scientist with personal experience as a massage instructor and runner to support his conclusions.

Pointing to a study by Tiitus and Shoemaker (1995) in which effleurage did not increase local blood flow, Grant said, “This is a mechanistic way of looking at what’s going on.” The difficulty, he noted, in interpreting research results comes from looking for direct, mechanical effects. “Clinically, we see a different story,” he said. “Through our techniques, we work with the nervous system to relax muscles, but that’s not a direct mechanical effect. “I believe the effects of massage also involve neurological and emotional. My reason for that is the neurological side controls the current (base) state of the muscle activation. The emotional controls the chemical messengers that affect the immune system. What seems likely is massage acts as a new input to a system with a memory. Massage stimulates the mechanoreceptors and can gate off pain receptors. It floods the body with new sensory input. We are using the nervous system to reset the muscle to greater relaxation.

“In my observation, fatigued muscles tend to remain hypertonic and shortened. When we cajole specific muscles to relax and lengthen via mechanical and neurological input, we reduce their metabolic activity. When the muscle relaxes, it’s not using energy as much, not metabolizing as fast, not producing waste products and because it’s more relaxed, it’s not compressed and not exerting pressure on surrounding tissues. This means circulation is better. It’s not because we’re pushing fluid around. It’s because we’ve put the body in a more optimum state, so the body naturally increases circulation on its own. By massaging muscles and adding input to the nervous system, we are facilitating the body in recovering faster from exercise. It’s not the massage that’s doing the healing, it’s the person’s body.”

In a British study of boxers, massage was reported to have a significantly positive effect on the perception of recovery, giving scientific credence of its benefits as a recovery strategy. According to the authors, their results support arguments by some researchers that “the benefits of massage (in sports recovery) are more psychological than physiological.”20 Grant takes that a step farther. “As a trained scientist, I use what I observe and what I know about physiology to come with a hypothesis. From my own experience in running, when you exert to the point of substantial fatigue, you come back feeling more fragile, in an emotionally vulnerable spot. To have the sense that someone is nurturing, in a sense taking care of you, is a very psychologically emotional thing. In supporting the person, we improve their immune function and their ability to heal, by influencing the chemical environment of their body. It has to do with psychoneuroimmunology, the whole chemical homeostasis of their body — neurochemicals and the relationship between mood, or feelings, and the immune system.

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, October/November 2001.
Copyright 2003. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.

“There is some evidence that following heavy exercise, both L-glutamine (an amino acid manufactured by the body) and the immune system take a dip. I look at the healing effect of massage as, in some way, counteracting that dip. When you provide the support it has a positive effect on immune function. If the person doesn’t feel supported and nurtured, it will have a negative effect on the chemical environment, opening them more to catching colds, not healing as fast, and decreasing their ability to train. It ties into the whole emotional state of a person. The athlete has to stay healthy in order to continue training. With massage, they can train harder because they are able to recover faster.”

Facts vs. Myths
Remember the old theory about the earth being flat? The more we learn, the more we realize how much we don’t know. That’s why research in massage is so important. “These concepts and ideas are firmly entrenched in our early training, and in the medical profession, said Lowe. “Things that have been disproved continue to persist. It takes a long time to trickle down. If we say there is no research that supports massage works for inflammation, there may not be research – or it may not be true. We don’t really know yet and we need to investigate that further. This lactic acid concept illustrates the perpetuation of misinformation that can happen if we don’t have the research base. When we are looking for credibility with others in health care, they want to know what we base our opinions on. A lot is passed along on hearsay, not on scientific information. What we need to keep our eyes on is how to reduce that as much as possible so we do have accurate information.”

 

What is Deep Tissue Massage and what to expect?

Deep tissue massage is a massage that is designed to get into the connective tissue of the body, rather than just the surface muscles. As a massage therapist when I perform deep tissue I use a variety of techniques to deeply penetrate the muscles and fascia, loosening them and releasing tension. Most clients have a more intense experience with a deep tissue massage, but also feel that it is more beneficial because it addresses deep-seated muscle pains. Deep tissue is beneficial when undertaken on a regular basis so that I can work together with the client to correct long term problems, relax the body, and prevent injury.

To get a truly good deep tissue massage you need to find someone who specializes in deep tissue, like Nicola.  Most spas have several massage therapists who can offer a basic deep tissue massage integrating a number of techniques and styles customized for your body for maximum impact. Experiment by trying several deep tissue massage therapists to find the one that is the right fit for you and your body.

One of the defining differences between deep tissue and regular massage is the use of tools. A standard massage usually only involves the hands and lower arms of the therapist. During a deep tissue, however,  I use elbows and fingers for deep, penetrating work in the muscle. A deep tissue massage also tends to be very slow, and I will use long, flowing strokes to ease in and out of the muscle. Going in too quickly can cause the muscle to tense up, which is not the desired reaction. I also maintain firm pressure at trouble spots for several minutes to achieve muscle release before moving on to the next area of the body.

When you go to get a deep tissue massage, they should talk with the therapist about any issues you might have and like to see addressed during your massage. I am happy to concentrate on a single body part for an entire massage to achieve lasting results and in fact, half of my clients want just that! It is also important to communicate with me about pain; The massage may be intense, but if a client starts to feel pain, he or she should communicate that immediately. I work on a scale of 1 – 10, where 7 is on the edge and 10 is very painful. A lot of my clients take the deep tissue pain or even like the pain in order to get the quickest results for their body type.  At the end of the session, lots of water should be consumed to help the body express the toxins released during the massage. You will probably be sore for a few days after the intense deep tissue treatment but that’s normal. Remember that ice is your friend.

Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for People who practice Yoga in Santa Barbara, Goleta,  Ca.

Massage is among the oldest of the healing arts. References to massage and its values go back to the beginnings of recorded history. Among the most widely recognized benefits of massage are:

•Improve your range of motion

•Release of stress

•Relieve your tired feet with Reflexology

• Release of emotional and physical tension

• Reduction or elimination of back pain

• Relief from sore musclesRelaxation

• Increased energy

•Change in your nervous system- from sympathetic to parasympathetic

see this link to explain the AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM HEALTH (sympathetic to parasympathetic)

•Great for post and pre-sports events

•Ease medication dependence.

•Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.

•Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.

•Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.

•Lessen depression and anxiety.

•Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue, and stretch marks.

•Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.

•Reduce post-surgery adhesions and swelling.

•Reduce spasms and cramping.

•Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.

•Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.

Relieve migraine pain.

•Blood pressure control •Infant growth

•Boosting immunity

•Cancer treatment

Plus:

• Decrease in chronic pain and pain management

• Improved sleep • Greater mobility and flexibility

• Improved body and mind awareness

•Reduced fatigue Profound Effects In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. Research shows that with massage:

  • Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain.
  • Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak airflow.
  • Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety.
  • High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
  • Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
  • Preterm infants have improved weight gain.

Active or Direct Myofascial Release Massage in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Ca.

This technique involves slower and deeper pressure into the muscle tissue to assist in breaking up adhesions and scar tissue in the muscle.

A myofascial release approach is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and resulting pain and restriction of motion. It is a treatment described by Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy/osteopathic medicine, and his early students, which uses continual palpatory feedback to achieve the release of myofascial tissues.[1] This is proposed to be accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia

Background and terminology

Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle. This soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow. Although fascia and its corresponding muscle are the main targets of myofascial release, other tissue may be affected as well, including other connective tissue.[2]

As in most tissue, irritation of fascia or muscle causes local inflammation. Chronic inflammation results in fibrosis, or thickening of the connective tissue, and this thickening causes pain and irritation, resulting in reflexive muscle tension that causes more inflammation. In this way, the cycle creates a positive feedback loop and can result in ischemia and somatic dysfunction even in the absence of the original offending agent. Myofascial techniques aim to break this cycle through a variety of methods acting on multiple stages of the cycle.[2]

In medical literature, the term myofascial was historically used by Janet G. Travell, M.D. in the 1940s referring to musculoskeletal pain syndromes and trigger points. In 1976 Dr. Travell began using the term “Myofascial Trigger Point” and in 1983 published the reference “Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual”.[3] There is no evidence she actually used what is now termed “myofascial release”.[citation needed] Some practitioners use the term “Myofascial Therapy” or “Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy” referring to the treatment of trigger points, usually in a medical-clinical sense. The phrase has also been loosely used for different manual therapy techniques, including soft tissue manipulation work such as connective tissue massage, soft tissue mobilization, foam rolling, structural integration, and strain-counter strain techniques. However, in current medical terminology, myofascial release refers mainly to the soft tissue manipulation techniques described below.

Myofascial techniques generally fall under the two main categories of passive (patient stays completely relaxed) or active (patient provides resistance as necessary), with direct and indirect techniques used in each.

Direct myofascial release

The direct myofascial release (or deep tissue work) method works through engaging the myofascial tissue restrictive barrier, the tissue is loaded with a constant force until tissue release occurs.[1] Practitioners use knuckles, elbows, or other tools to slowly stretch the restricted fascia by applying a few kilograms-force or tens of newtons. Direct myofascial release seeks for changes in the myofascial structures by stretching, elongation of fascia, or mobilizing adhesive tissues. The practitioner moves slowly through the layers of the fascia until the deep tissues are reached.

Robert Ward, D.O. suggested that the intermolecular forces direct method came from the osteopathy school in the 1920s by William Neidner, at which point it was called “fascial twist”. German physiotherapist Elizabeth Dicke developed Connective Tissue Massage (Bindegewebsmassage) in the 1920s, which involved superficial stretching of the myofascial. Dr. Ida Rolf developed structural integration, in the 1950s, a holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education based on yoga, osteopathic manipulation, and the movement schools of the early part of the twentieth century, with the goal of balancing the body by stretching the skin in oscillatory patterns. She discovered that she could improve a patient’s body posture and structure by bringing the myofascial system back toward its normal pattern. Since Rolf’s death in 1979, various structural integration schools have adopted and evolved her theory and methods.

Dr. Rolf reduced her practice to a maxim: “Put the tissue where it should be and then ask for movement.”

Michael Stanborough summarized his style of direct myofascial release technique as follows:

  • Land on the surface of the body with the appropriate ‘tool’ (knuckles, or forearm, etc.).
  • Sink into the soft tissue.
  • Contact the first barrier/restricted layer.
  • Put in a ‘line of tension’.
  • Engage the fascia by taking up the slack in the tissue.
  • Finally, move or drag the fascia across the surface while staying in touch with the underlying layers.
  • Exit gracefully.

Different practitioners bring their own sensibility, style, level of maturity, and awareness to their work with clients which can have a significant effect on the client’s experience.

Indirect myofascial release

The indirect method involves a gentle stretch, with only a few grams of pressure, which allows the fascia to ‘unwind’ itself. The dysfunctional tissues are guided along the path of least resistance until free movement is achieved.[1] The gentle traction applied to the restricted fascia will result in heat and increased blood flow in the area. This allows the body’s inherent ability for self-correction to return, thus eliminating pain and restoring the optimum performance of the body.

The indirect technique originated in osteopathy schools and is also popular in physiotherapy. According to Robert C. Ward, myofascial release originated from the concept by Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathic medicine in the late 19th century. The concepts and techniques were subsequently developed by his successor.[vague] Robert Ward further suggested that the term Myofascial Release as a technique was coined in 1981 when it was used as a course title at Michigan State University. It was popularized and taught to physical therapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists, and physicians by John F. Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB through his Myofascial release seminar series.[4]

Carol Manheim PT summarized the principles of myofascial release:

  • Fascia covers all organs of the body, muscle and fascia cannot be separated.
  • All muscle stretching is myofascial stretching.
  • Myofascial stretching in one area of the body can be felt in and will affect the other body areas.
  • Release of myofascial restrictions can affect other body organs through a release of tension in the whole fascia system.
  • Myofascial release techniques work even though the exact mechanism is not yet fully understood.

The indirect myofascial release technique, according to John Barnes, is as follows:

  • Lightly contact the fascia with relaxed hands.
  • Slowly stretch the fascia until reaching a barrier/restriction.
  • Maintain a light pressure to stretch the barrier for approximately 3–5 minutes.
  • Prior to release, the therapist will feel a therapeutic pulse (e.g., heat).
  • As the barrier releases, the hand will feel the motion and softening of the tissue.
  • The key is sustained pressure over time.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader.