Myofascial Visit- The what and why!
Let’s start with what is myofascial treatment. This is the part of your treatment plan when we focus on soft tissues and it includes elements of massage, muscle energy techniques, trigger points release therapy and anything that involves working on - muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia. We also look at your posture, breathing and muscle co-contractions to ensure that all the muscles that now should be firing properly because you have had adjustments, are communicating well and working in the order they are designed to do.
Why do we do it?
In simple words, if you have had a problem for a while and your nervous system did not have sufficient information from parts of your body, some of your tissues would be under more stress than other’s or fired more than they should to compensate for the lack of the right information going to your nervous system.
As you can easily imagine that leads to changes that will manifest itself in tightness, restriction, pain and all the unpleasant things. Because we want to restore your full range of motion and quality of movements, this is where myofascial treatment comes into play- to undo the changes to soft tissues that built up over months or even years of when you had a problem and to promote the parasympathetic responses which will help your body to relax and heal. Yes, healing does not happen when you are in flight or fight mode so if you want to live in optimal health – take time for yourself to relax. It is not selfish- it is like recharging your batteries so you can look after your loved ones, do the job that you love and perform at your optimal level.
Another thing to remember is that soft tissues need more time to heal fully and create changes and this process can take twelve to eighteen months or even longer if your lifestyle and external factors are not helping it to happen.
Ok. So now you know why we do it, let’s have a look at what to expect.
We use the term myofascial treatment, rather than massage because we look at the body as whole and work along fascial lines, also called fascial meridians, in order to get to the root of the problem. Fascia lines help us to see connections throughout the body and how restriction in let’s say your ankle movement can link to restrictions in your neck.
Because the treatment requires assessment, it is a good idea to wear something comfortable so that we can get a good idea of what your real range of motion is.
Since the treatment involves massage, you may also need to undress to your comfort level, depending on the area that needs to be worked on. If you are not comfortable with that, no worries there are still techniques that we can use. However, we always ensure that you are as comfortable as possible and provide you with a towel so you can cover yourself or a gown if needed. Wearing shorts for the treatment is a good idea.
The therapist will communicate with you throughout the treatment making sure that you are comfortable and happy with the pressure, techniques used, position in which you are in etc. If you feel pain or discomfort, make it known.
Sometimes, modalities such as heat or cold may be used to maximise the results from the treatment so don’t be surprised if now and then the therapist will use some hot stone on your tense muscle or ice/ cooling gel when doing some deep work. Of course, you will always be asked if you are OK with that.
Hopefully now, when your clinician is referring you for the myofascial treatment you are more aware of what to expect and look forward to it. If you are not sure and would like to learn more about why we work on the soft tissues, please speak to a member of our team. We look forward to seeing you in the clinic.