Myofascial Release & Connective Tissue Health
Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that works on the muscles and the fascia. There are many different ways of doing so, however, the most common self-myofascial release (SMFR) techniques usually involve the use of balls or foam rollers. The beauty of SMFR is that it can be done with simple tools and training, making it accessible to everyone.
Some of the benefits of MFR are:
Increased blood and lymphatic circulation
Increased hydration of the tissues
Reduction of pain and stiffness
Improved neuromuscular coordination
Improved physical function
Improved posture stability
The Fascia system is a whole-body continuous, three-dimensional matrix of structural support that consist of soft collagen containing, loose and dense fibrous connective tissue that permeate the body. The fascial system surrounds, interweaves between and interpenetrates all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibres, endowing the body with a functional structure and providing an environment that enables all body systems to operate in an integrated manner.
Connective tissue, has a long history of being overlooked in favour of what seem to be more important features in the body. In medical school cadaver dissections, the connective tissue is carefully extracted and thrown away to reveal the more precious structures and organs.
Fascia has lots of functions, it acts as scaffolding for the body's structure, it links nearby tissues, supports organs, reduces friction that comes with muscular force eg. sliding, it forms compartments that enclose groups of muscles and other structures, separating tissues, invests the tendons (thereby adding to their strength and resilience), creates functional chains of muscles that allow us to move more smoothly and efficiently, and much more.
Another important feature of fascia is that it is a continuous system of fibrous tissue that weaves through the body, from head to toe. This interconnected system can be the reason your pain in one area may be influenced by changes in another part of your body, and it is also a big part of how we adapt and respond to stress via a body-wide tension-distributing system.
The hydration of the connective tissue is a key component in its health, influencing communication, adhesions, and immune function. Imagine dry tissues rubbing over each other with every movement. Impaired hydration of the fascia causes increased friction, stimulating the fibroblasts to lay down more collagen cross-links between layers of tissue, eventually leading to adhesions between the layers. You might think drinking more water would solve the problem, and though that may be part of the answer, it doesn’t necessarily equate to connective tissue hydration. Gentle SMFR techniques help to increase the hydration of the connective tissue to decrease adhesions, enhance communication, and facilitate healthy immune function. Think about it as 'wringing the sponge', through stretching, contracting or compressing, the tissues get squeezed, letting the old water out and let new clean water in.
Did you know that receiving SMFR just once or twice a week will help you to get a more resilient fascial system in six to twenty-four months, so slow and steady wins the race for connective tissue health. As with any healing modalities, it’s important that you consult your doctor before using SMFR and seek the help of someone trained to use it.
Myofascial release techniques will help to increase mobility, increase proprioception, support injury prevention, promote tissue healing, regulate inflammation and immune function, optimise tissue resilience and the beauty of it is that SMFR has so few side effects!
I teach Mayofascial Release Workshops using the Massage Balls and other props. Different rolling techniques, and how to incorporate the use of Massage Balls in your daily life, your Yoga, Yin Yoga and Pilates practice.
I also teach Myofascial Release in private sessions. Please contact me for more information or to book a workshop or private session.
" Nina helped me after a shoulder injury. During our private sessions I learned about the importance of releasing fascia in order to gain range of motion, to move my body with no pain and tightness. Learning to use the massage balls helped me tremendously and I use them on a regular basis. I also learned and experienced that the human body is super inter connected". Lari Canon