Roll Your Winter Worries Away!
Roll your Winter Worries away with Myofascial Release Techniques
Do you experience tight muscles, sore joints, restricted movement, repetitive injuries, or fatigue?
Myofascial release techniques can be hugely beneficial to our physical health and well-being, with long lasting results. Megan Hamilton, our myofascial guru, has shared with us her knowledge so that we can gain a better understanding on what it’s all about.
So what does myofascial mean? Myo refers to muscle; and fascia is the network of tough connective tissue that surrounds almost every muscle, bone, organ, and nerve in your body. Think of it as one giant sheet encasing every tissue in the body and connecting everything together.
The fibers of our body are designed to easily slide and glide over one another during physical activity. But for a number of reasons this isn’t always the case! Injury or repetitive actions like running, working at a computer, or even repeating yoga poses, can create areas of tissue which can become thickened and inflamed. This means that the fascial sheaths that encase the muscles no longer have as much give, and can become more like hardened chewing gum then a flowing elastic band. This thickening and inflammation can contribute to restrictions with movement, strain in the body, and can often lead to pain as well.
This is where myofascial release comes in. Specific exercises can help improve the slide and glide of our tissues. Gently rolling, draping, and massaging different muscle regions within the body, creates a compression and release effect. This in turn is very hydrating and rejuvenating for the tissue.
For the past several decades, in the sports industry and other fields, fascia has been neglected. The stretches and exercises many of us have learned to enhance our athletic performance have been limited to the muscular system. These stretches and exercises can be temporarily helpful but must be repeated several times a week because they only offer short-term relief.
Myofascial release exercises on the other hand, can be hugely beneficial for all walks of life, from the 9-5 desk jockey to the high performing athlete. Classes often utilise a variety of props such as foam rollers, smooth myo balls (similar to a hard tennis or lacrosse ball), and spiky myo balls. Each works with the fascia between the bones, muscles, organs and nerve fibres to create the compression and release effect.
When you address the fascia directly, the results can be profound to your range of motion, speed, posture, and efficiency; with long-lasting results.
Here is a list of some of the benefits:
- Relaxes contracted muscles
- Lengthens chronically shortened muscle fibres
- Increases range of motion and mobility in joints
- Decreases overall body tension and specific areas of tightness
- Accelerates recovery
- Helps improve old structural holding patterns
- Addresses the root cause of muscular tension
- Increases circulation
- Enhances lymphatic drainage
- Decreases pain
- Improves mobility
- Breaks down scar tissue and hydrates the body
If you’re interested in learning more, we have a Trigger Point Release class each week dedicated to myofascial release techniques. The classes are suitable for everybody of all levels.