What is fascia?
Fascia is tough connective tissue that creates a 3-dimensional web extending without interruption from head to toe. Fascia surrounds and infuses every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, and organ, all the way down to the cellular level.
The fascial system affects every system and function in your body- musculoskeletal, neurological, metabolic, etc. The white, glistening fibers you see when you pull a piece of meat apart or when you pull chicken skin away is fascia.
What does fascia do?
Fascia: The Body’s Richest Sense Organ
The fascial system generally supports, stabilizes, and cushions. Fascia creates separation between vessels, organs, bones, and muscles. It creates space through which delicate nerves, blood vessels, and fluids can pass. The fascia throughout the body is all interconnected like the yarn in a sweater or a complex spider web. A restriction in one area of the body creates a drag or tension throughout this web pulling on other adjacent or distant structures. This explains why some people may have pain or symptoms that appear unrelated to their original injury. For example, if a sweater is pulled down in the front, it tightens around the neck, but the neck is not the source of the problem. Furthermore, myofascial restrictions do not show up on common standardized tests such as x-rays, MRI, CAT scans, etc.
What causes the fascia to become shortened, thickened, or restricted? Some of the many factors that can lead to fascial restrictions are:
• An awkward fall • Car accidents that cause whiplash or other injury• Physical trauma• Years of repetitive poor posture • Stress and anxiety that results in chronic muscular bracing and holding patterns • Inflammation • scar tissue from injury or surgery.
So what sets myofascial release apart from other forms of therapy?
The John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach is considered to be the ultimate mind/body therapy that is safe, gentle, and consistently effective in producing lasting results. The cornerstone of this approach is the gentle application of sustained pressure into the fascial restrictions. This low load (gentle pressures), long duration stretch applied slowly over time allows the fascia to elongate. Older forms of myofascial work applied too much force, too quickly. They are too forceful, mechanical, and painful and produce only temporary results. The John F. Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release is all encompassing and focuses on YOU, the entire person, not just a diagnosis. Symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg! Authentic myofascial release releases the straightjacket that crushes muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and other pain sensitive structures, thereby relieving pain and restoring motion.