Myofascial Release works directly with the fascial matrix - the root of most discomfort and dysfunction. Specifically, the John F. Barnes technique applies a very slow, steady, and sustained pressure to this fascia (3-5 minutes per area) and allows it to soften, or undergo a phase change, all at the preferred pace, depth, and resonance of the body. Myofascial restrictions can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.). By coming into the tissue slow and gentle, the therapist can slide in under the radar of the central nervous system and make structural changes to this supporting fascial matrix, which then frees the surrounding structures and allows for restored mobility and function. Myofascial Release therapists promote independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, self treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.
Myofascial Release may help treat many conditions seen in people and horses.
Generalized Results may include:
Changes in Quality of Motion
Increased ROM - read: More/bigger and less restricted/smoother joint mobility and movement
Increased flexibility in Suppleness
Reduction/Elimination of pain
Reduction of injuries and inflammation (or, faster healing times)
Released holding patterns
Mental clarity, i.e. ability to handle new and old events with a fresh belief system and leave all the "drama" behind
Ability to remove the layers of injury or compensatory patterns, potentially exposing the origin or real restrictions surrounding injuries (open communication with doctors, veterinarians, farriers, and trainers is an important part of treating any injury or "rehab" transition
Gain insights and keeps tabs on health before larger or more chronic problems develop
What is Fascia?
When dehydrated, this hardened fascia acts like glue and begins to pull on surrounding structures and effects the whole body (i.e referring pain), since it exists as one complete matrix in the body. Think of it like a snag in a wool sweater -- one snag will begin to pull and effect the integrity of the whole sweater. The pulling and tightened fascia can cause pressure and pain resulting in dysfunction. The restricted fascia acts like a straight-jacket around the body preventing full range motion (including your organs -- they're supposed to be able to glide against each other and function harmoniously). Because of this restriction, the body will compensate by moving (or not moving) in a different way.
What is Myofascial Release?
Fascia is a 3-D gelatinous matrix that innervates the entire body. Think of it like the white pith of an orange -- this web lies underneath the skin, surrounds every muscle, muscle fiber, organ, and blood and lymph vessel. ...It's inside every cell, it's the tendons of the body and it connects and supports all of the structures of our body. In it's healthy form, fascia is a gelatinous web that allows the body to glide and recoil with movement. When stressed or traumatized by overuse, injury, surgery, accidents or emotional challenges, the fascia becomes solidified and dehydrated.