Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, and TMJ Treatment.
I apply John Barnes Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, and TMJ treatment as specialty hands-on techniques to relieve physical restrictions and to alleviate pain.
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial is a combination of the words “Myo,” meaning muscle and “fascia” which is the connective issue that is found throughout the body.
Fascia is a densely woven substance that surrounds and penetrates every muscle, bone, artery, vein and nerve as well as every organ of the body. Fascia is found within the muscle unit and runs throughout the muscle fiber. Fascia also connects muscle to bone. This collagenous fiber is normally soft and pliable but can become restricted, tight, hardened or thickened (as in scar tissue). When this happens, it can restrict the movement of muscles and the bones to which they are attached.
When movement becomes limited to any degree, the body will compensate in an attempt to bring balance back into the overall system. This compensation can cause further stress and strain and often results in increased pain and restriction of movement. Restricted fascia can even impair the flow of hydration, nourishment, and oxygen into the tissues and cells while inhibiting the release of cellular wastes and trapped toxins within and around these cells. This can impact the function of organs in areas where restrictions are located.
Because fascia is one continuous structure that exists from head to toe, restrictions can become like a pull in a sweater; as a fiber is tugged in one place, tightened strands of fascial tissue can put tension on other areas of the body.
Accidents, scarring, trauma, inflammation, repeated postural stresses and/or surgery can create myofascial restrictions that can produce pressures of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures. This can impose a “straight jacket” of force which may cause pain, headaches, anxiety and other symptoms.
Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective manual therapy that involves applying gentle, sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue restrictions. As gentle pressure is applied slowly, the fascia begins to “release” or elongate. This amazing hands-on technique helps to soften and open up (or release) these restricted areas, eliminating pain, restoring motion, and improving function.
Myofascial Release (MFR) is a manual, hands-on technique.
Myofascial Release (MFR) is a manual, hands-on technique that is very different from traditional massage therapy. Although treatment is performed directly on the skin, no creams, lotions or oils are used. This enables the therapist to accurately detect connective tissue restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure without sliding across the skin in order to facilitate release of the fascia.
While traditional massage is generally done through a continual gliding or sliding across the skin, Myofascial Release utilizes a prolonged pressure over specific areas where restrictions are located and uncovered. At times treatment can be quite gentle, and you may think that nothing is happening. Other times deeper restrictions may be uncovered which brings about a variety of sensations as these restricted areas release.
For Myofascial Release appointments, I recommend that women bring a pair of loose fitting shorts and a sports bra or a two piece bathing suit to wear during the treatment session. Men can bring swim shorts or something similar. Please do not apply lotions or creams to the skin before a treatment session. As a therapist, I also promote education on postural and movement awareness along with self-treatment instruction as a means to enhance and maintain optimal overall health.
The craniosacral system is a functioning physiological system composed of cerebrospinal fluid, the membranes that contain it, its osseous (bony) attachments, and the mechanisms that produce and reabsorb the cerebrospinal fluid. It has a powerful influence over the nervous, endocrine and immune systems and a total body effect.
What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a very gentle, hands on technique that utilizes therapeutic touch to manipulate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium and also addresses the client’s spine and pelvis. The manipulations regulate the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid which runs through the cranium and spinal cord; they also release restrictions in the craniosacral system and positively impact the nervous system.
Craniosacral therapy can relieve headaches, sinusitis, low back pain, migraines, obsessive/compulsive behaviors and the effects of concussions and minor head trauma.
Craniosacral Therapy and TMJ treatment
TMJ dysfunction affects millions of people each year and can be quite debilitating. It often arises from misalignments in the craniosacral system as well as tissue restrictions in the neck and upper body. TMJ treatment consists of minor manipulations of skull and jaw bones to alleviate pain from TMJ dysfunction. TMJ treatment eliminates the need for painful guards and surgeries.