Myofascial therapy is the name of a variety of techniques used to manipulate the fascial and muscular systems of the body. Synergetic® myofascial therapy is my humble take on the work of our myofascial pioneers. This type of bodywork greatly improves structural alignment and is useful in relieving chronic muscular pain. Deep tissue applications with and without movement, myofascial lengthening, and myofascial techniques are utilized in this multi-faceted approach to healing physical and emotional wounds.
What Is Fascia?
Release of myofascial restrictions can affect other body organs through a release of tension in the whole fascial system. – Carol Manheim.
Fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve artery and vein as well as all our internal organs, including the brain and spinal cord.
It is a system of an interconnected web without separate coverings that exists from head to foot without interruption – much like the yarn in a sweater. Restrictions in fascia, caused by injuries, stress, inflammation, trauma and poor posture can spread to other places in the body, like a pull in a sweater.
Fascia was thought of as a packing material with no important use other than that.
Ostheopaths, and others in the USA like Ida Rolf 1962, Little, 1969, Taylor 1958, brought light onto the fact that fascia had much more important function in the body's structural support. Fascia is involved in all of the body's basic processes such as structure, metabolism and function. Fascia is in practicum not a separate structure from muscles and bones, but in fact closely related. If we removed fascia the muscles would be jelly like, and joints could simply not function without the fascial support.
The fascia is an elastic and gluey substance that separates, divides and connects the connective tissue network to the rest of the body.
(Ingber 2008, Myers 2009) The fascia supports not only the muscles and the osseous tissue, but also the skin, ligaments, tendons, neural structures, lymph and blood in a symbiotic relationship. (Schleip 2006, Ingber 2008, Solomonow 2009).
When the fascia is under stress, which can be caused be mechanical overuse, immobility, or a shortened state, the collagen and matrix becomes disorganized.
This will result in fibrotic tissue, fascial thickening (Which Langevin 2009 described as 'densification') and adhesions where the tissue can bind to osseous structures.
Fascia also plays an important role in the support of the body's structure.
The bones are like tent poles, and the fascia can be thought of as the guide wires that keep the right amount of tension, so that the tent can stay upright and the body in balance.
Normal fascia is in a relaxed and wavy state.
When there is tension in the fascia, it starts to lose its pliability, becomes tight, and is a source of tension for the rest of the body. The restrictions can cause intense pain and limited ROM by limiting flexibility, stability, and the sense of a "space freedom" state in the body.
The History of Myofascial Therapy
German physiotherapist Elizabeth Dicke in the 1920's developed connective tissue massage (bindegewebs massage) with superficial lengthening of the myofascia.
In 1920, an Ostheopath named William Neidner developed a system called fascial twist, one of the pioneering techniques in myofascial work. In the 1950's-1970's, Dr. Ida Rolf developed structural integration, a holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education with the goal of balancing the body in the gravitational field. Rolf discovered that she could change the body's posture and structure in a remarkable way, by manipulating the myofascial system.
Fascial work is also done by Heller work practitioners
Rolf Guild practitioners, KMI or Kinesis by Tom Myers Rolfer™, Rolf Institute, Soma, IPSB Structural Integration, Core Structural Integration among many other myofascial bodyworkers.
In 2006, Thomas Findley MD-PhD co director of research at the VA medical center in East Orange, NJ organized the Fascia research Congress at Harvard Medical School.
Scientists researching connective tissue and deep tissue massage therapists met at the first convention of its sort. Findley's motivation was to bring together deep tissue therapists that have the practical experience with scientists having the laboratory knowledge. He said that deep tissue therapists can see results in their clients, but cannot scientifically prove why it works, and the scientists want to see clinical applications of their work.
Gil Headley is doing exciting practical research on fascia in laboratory with cadaver tissue.
This exciting field of bodywork is growing rapidly and might change the way people think of massage and bodywork in how it is traditionally done in the west.
A unique quality of connective tissue is its ability to be elongated.
Working the fascia requires different skills than working the muscles. When the connective tissue receives the correct amount of tension it immediately changes shape from a solid state to a gel state. To lengthen the fascia we have to make contact in less than 45 degrees. We start the work at the superficial fascial layer, and will only proceed to the deeper layers when the tissue has released. Forcing our way through resistant tissue will not get desired results. The myofascial therapist will us a "scouping"/lifting action in the application of the myofascial stroke, in combination with active or passive client movements.
Without the lengthening of the fascia, we cannot release restrictions in the fascia.
To be able to apply effective deep tissue strokes to affect the deeper muscles, the fascia must be addressed first. We sometimes also use deep cross fiber friction and positional release work to access deeper muscles, once we have released the superficial. We often work in between muscles, separating the muscle tissue from fascia and bone. Working this way improves functional movement in a profound way.
The connective tissue therapist will lean a significant amount of body weight into the client.
In this way the pressure feels broad and less painful to the client, and also makes the treatment less stressful on the therapist's body by utilizing gravity. The therapist will keep this line of alignment in his/her own body and move through the massage stroke, from the core of his/her body. This work has to be done at a slow pace with no or little lotion to be effective in releasing taut fascia. Take your time, slow down, and have fun with it!.
Synergetic® Myofascial Therapy™
Sources: Ida P Rolf – Ida Rolf talks about Rolfing™ and physical reality Langevin 2009; Leon Chaitow – The Explosion of Fascial Research Fourie 2009; Cantu et al 1992.
Synergetic® myofascial therapy™ is a deep tissue bodywork.
This work is very results oriented in nature. We work slowly, never forcing, listening to and communicating with the tissue in order to experience the "melt" of the fascia. The client has to participate in this work for it to be useful. We never just push on the tissue without a movement component in our application.
I have found that clients really get this work.
When they stand up after a session they can feel the changes in their bodies. This type of work can give clients a feeling of openness and lightness in the body. Functional movement and a more grounded stance, feeling all parts of their feet touch the floor is common. I have also noticed that this work "holds" for longer periods of time than other bodywork that I have experienced. It's the only work I have found that dramatically affects a positive change in posture. – Written by Magnus Eklund, LMT 144.
Discover Craniosacral Therapy
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University
Where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.
CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system
Comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel
Practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:
Chronic Neck and Back Pain
Central Nervous System Disorders
Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
Spinal Cord Injuries
Stress and Tension-Related Problems
Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Somatoemotional Release (Ser)
SomatoEmotional Release (SER) is a therapeutic process that uses and expands on the principles of CranioSacral Therapy to help rid the mind and body of the residual effects of trauma. SER1 offers applications designed to enhance results using CST and other complementary therapies.
Assess and mobilize the Avenue of Expression working through more than 10 different body components, including the thoracic inlet, hard palate and hyoglossal tissues.
Locate and release Energy Cysts.
Release suppressed emotions that may be inhibiting complete structural releases.
Refine listening and comprehension skills.
Improve palpation and whole-body evaluation skills.
Patient resources including intensive therapy program information.
Including a video link from MCNBC with Aetna CEO.
For more information about The Upledger Clinic or the programs they offer, please call 561-622-4706 or for therapy questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find a local therapist trained in Upledger CranioSacral Therapy, visit iahp.com.
Craniosacral Therapy Definition Poster
Available for free downloading and printing!
Excellent visual for your clinic
Share in your enewsletters for your clients.
Flyer to pass out.
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy
Lymphatic drainage therapy consists of a manual massage, performed by a lymphatic drainage therapist. A lymphatic drainage massage primarily focuses on specific nodes and points of the body, as well as the natural flow of the lymphatic system. Proponents of lymphatic drainage believe that the process will reduce blockages of the lymphatic system, which in turn promotes a healthier body. Description of specific massage modalities does not imply all Therapists are certified in all forms.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain. The massage therapist may use his/her forearms, elbows or thumbs/fingers to apply pres-sure. Deep tissue work can be used in conjunction with Swedish massage and/or stretches to loosen the muscles in a specific area, or by itself for a mini-target session. escription of specific massage modalities does not imply all Therapists are certified in all forms. Unlike classic massage therapy, which is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as:
Chronic muscle pain
Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injuries)
Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Muscle tension or spasm
Description of specific massage modalities does not imply all Therapists are certified in all forms.
Reflexology is the physical act of applying pressure to the body with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas of the body which may effect a change to the physical body. Benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the body reflex points help set the tension level for the rest of the body they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium.
Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best known type of massage. It was developed by a Swedish physiologist, Henri Peter Ling at Stockholm University in 1812. It uses a firm but gentle pressure to improve the circulation, ease muscle aches and tension, improve flexibility and create relaxation. Swedish massage employs five different movements: long, gliding strokes – kneading of individual muscles – friction – hacking or tapping – vibration. The therapist generally uses massage oil, lotion, or cream to facilitate making long, smooth strokes over the body. Swedish massage is done with the person covered by a sheet, a technique called "draping". One part of the body uncovered, massaged, and then covered up before moving on to another part of the body. Swedish massage is the foundation for other types of Western massage, including sports, deep tissue and aromatherapy.Description of specific massage modalities does not imply all Therapists are certified in all forms. Benefits of Swedish Massage:
Reduction in muscle soreness & stiffness
Increase blood circulation
Help restore muscle tone
Increase joint flexibility
Decrease chronic pain
Thai massage is more energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage. Thai massage is also called Thai yoga massage, because the therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches. Many people say Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work. Muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure are also used during treatment. People describe Thai massage as both relaxing and energizing. Description of specific massage modalities does not imply all Therapists are certified in all forms. Many people find that Thai massage has the following benefits:
Improves range of motion
Centers the mind & body
Description of specific massage modalities does not imply all Therapists are certified in all forms.
Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers and other parts of the body to skillfully press key points, which stimulates the body's natural self-curative abilities. When these energetic points are pressed, they release muscular tension, and promote circulation of blood, and the body's life force energy to aid healing. Advantages of Using Acupressure include relieving pain, balancing the body, and maintaining good health. Acupressure's healing touch reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply.
disclaimer:pricing and availability subject to change.
ackson Posture Center is a co-operative group of proffesional therapists. We provide Acupuncture, CranioSacral Therapy, Massage and Physical Therapy, to men, women and children in central Mississippi. Details on our services are listed above.