To better understand Myofascial Release it is beneficial to visualize the fascial system. Please view a 5 minute video created by Richard Harty, PT. and MFR Practitioner. Also, included are eloquent illustrations from Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau’s phenomenal book, Architecture of Human Living Fascia: The extracellular matrix and cells revealed through endoscopy. We are grateful for their contributions and dedication to help us all understand the critical role the fascial system plays in our own health and the provision of healthcare services to our clients.
Fascia is a liquid-filled connective tissue matrix that runs in a three-dimensional spiderweb from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. It surrounds and infuses every structure in your body including organs, bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and even the nucleus of a cell. It is a dynamic tissue with complex vasculature and innervation that forms a continuity throughout your entire body. Within this fibrillar network of connective tissue we find the extracellular matrix where our cells are embedded and supported.
The fascial system transmits electrical signals everywhere throughout the body and is our body's primary mode of instant communication among all of its structures from the largest organ to the smallest intracellular structure. The conductive nature of this fluid filled system allows the trillions of cells in our body to communicate.
Cellular communication is critical and facilitates our body's systems working together as a whole mechanism. In fact, the fascial system should be considered a single organ that envelopes and networks together all the systems in our body. The fascial system creates a body-wide communication essential for homeostasis and a healthy, vibrant life.
As a fluid-filled system, fascia is subject to restrictions when its substance becomes restricted in any way. Conversely, a fluid fascial system without connective tissue restrictions facilitates functional movement, and provides a healthy environment for our cells, blood vessels, and organs. Our blood vessels are free to supply our cells and tissues with the fuel and nutrients they require and we are able to eliminate the cells' waste products through metabolic processes.
Our cells can function and produce ATP, our body's natural energy source. The living environment of the cells, often referred to as the interstitial space and extracellular matrix, are fluid. In other words, if we are free of connective tissue restrictions, the cell itself is alive and functioning, and the living environment of the cell is fluid, our cells can receive the information and nutrition necessary for optimal cellular performance. Our cells are happy and we feel and perform better!
However, when fascial physiology is disrupted, we observe notable consequences to our health. Traumas, surgeries, chronic inflammation, poor posture, toxins and the aging process alone or in combination can lead to restrictions in the connective tissue and ultimately result in the fluid component of the fascial system crystallizing or hardening. Solidified fluid causes a variety of problems. Cells cannot receive the necessary information, oxygen and nutrition they require to thrive. There is often a crushing effect on our nerves, tendons and other pain sensitive structures. The small blood vessels-capillaries cannot carry the necessary blood, oxygen, and nutrition required for healthy cells and tissues.
Finally, our organs are compromised. Cellular function is compromised resulting in loss of energy, pain, loss of sleep, stress and limitations in movement and performance. We must restore the crystallized ground substance in the the extracellular matrix to a fluid state.
Fortunately, John Barnes, PT and a leading authority on myofascial release developed methods that consistently produce effective results to release fascial restrictions. After the connective tissue is released other phenomena occur that melt the crystallized ground substance. Myofascial release is a therapeutic art rooted in the principles of piezoelectricity, mechanotransduction, phase transition, production of interleukin-8 (the body's natural anti-inflammatory) and cellular chaos-reorganization.
MyoFascial Release works well beyond the muscular and osseous levels.
The secret sauce of myofascial release is SUSTAINING a gentle to moderate pressure for several minutes at the collagenous barrier. The John Barnes method engages the barrier for a sustained period of time releasing fibrous or restricted connective tissue. In addition, biochemical changes follow allowing the ground substance (another term for extracellular matrix) to return to a liquid state. Returning the extracellular matrix to a liquid state allows cells to receive the information and nourishment they require to function.
Melting crystallized ground substance in the fascial system releases tremendous pressure from pain sensitive structures decreasing pain symptoms, minimizing inflammation, and creating potential for functional movement. The small blood vessels are released and can carry the necessary oxygen and nutrients to our cells and tissues. As discussed in the topic VT a functioning microcirculatory system is mandatory and can be impacted by a European Electroceutical Device that we use before, during and after MFR treatment sessions.
MyoFascial Release impacts our body at a cellular level. This is authentic healing without side effects. MyoFascial Release practices are booming across the globe and are a significant part of the paradigm shift in healthcare. Again, we thank John Barnes, PT for his fearless and persistent pursuit to share MyoFascial Release with as many people as possible during his lifetime. He has trained well over 100,000 healthcare practitioners and impacted millions of lives. MyoFascial Release is clearly part of 21 Century Healthcare!