‘Why haven’t I heard of Myofascial Release?’
It’s a common question we hear from new patients. They also ask whether myofascial release is the same as sports massage or other massage therapies (until they try it for themselves, of course – then the difference is evident).
These types of questions are also the reason why some patients put off having this often-revolutionary treatment. They’re under the misguided impression that Myofascial Release is “just massage.”
For example, Myofascial Release Therapy is usually more expensive than traditional Swedish massage for reasons that will become apparent.
Myofascial Release Therapists spend considerable time studying the foundations of anatomy before becoming fluent in advanced physiology. More importantly, therapists are taught about the fascia and become more familiar with muscles and tissues than most doctors.
Myofascial training isn’t just box ticking. It’s not a rudimentary or rigorous thing. Instead, it’s more like an art form for treating a natural person. It’s down to each individual therapist to practice this art form for the best results. So, patients who don’t understand the difference between Myofascial Release and massage are surprised by Myofascial Release Therapy’s cost commitment.
It’s completely understandable, if not short sighted, because Myofascial Release Therapy performed correctly is entirely different from massage therapy. It delivers extraordinarily better results, which our happy patients tell us is worth every penny and more.
Unfortunately, some massage therapists incorrectly market themselves as providing “myofascial release” as part of their standard massage appointments. This misrepresentation usually comes from over confidence after a short – and necessarily very limited – training course that only covers the very basic terminology. Understanding a handful of basic concepts does not make them a Myofasical Release Therapist.
Our in-house therapists were trained by “internationally recognized physical therapist, lecturer, author, and the leading authority on Myofascial Release,” John F Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB. Your typical therapist won’t have been given the depth of training to help with your myofascial issues. They also won’t have the depth of experience in movement awareness.
In the same way, some fitness enthusiasts think that they can perform self-myofascial release by simply rolling on a foam roller, but this frequently targets the wrong spot and demonstrates their lack of understanding of the proper mechanisms of actual myofascial release therapy (the type taught by professional myofascial release therapy bodies and training institutions, like the John F Barnes organization).
Unlike massage therapy that works at a superficial level, providing short-lived relief – aimed primarily to relax and de-stress, Myofascial Release works much deeper—working in the deep and visceral fascial layers and connective tissue to release restrictions and ensure ease of movement.
So, Why Haven’t I heard Of Myofascial Release?
It’s is a good question, but the answer is entirely subjective. Many people have heard of Myofascial Release Therapy. However, there are still lots who haven’t yet discovered this remarkable therapy.
One of the main reasons, I believe, is the confusion between Myofascial Release Therapy and massage and patients thinking the two things are the same. Therefore, most of these patients immediately dismiss it as a standalone treatment, don’t investigate further, and quickly forget it.
Secondly, even though it’s becoming more mainstream, Myofascial Release is still considered a complementary or alternative therapy. This belief will remain until the scientific community invests more money into research. It’s very much a case of art versus protocol. Scientific communities will invest money into researching protocol-based approaches, rather than the art of treating human beings.
Until that mantra changes, Myofascial Release Therapy is likely to stay on the fringe, even though results are revolutionary for many painful conditions that Western medicine can’t help.
Western Medicine is fantastic, of course. Where would we be without frontline ER doctors, nurses, defibrillators, and antibiotics? Drugs that allow HIV patients to live average lifespans? Pioneering surgeons who replace cancerous bladders with new ones made from bowels and ruptured knee ligaments with hamstring fibers from the other leg? And how many lives do they save with lung, liver, heart, and kidney transplants? It’s nothing short of amazing.
Rewind a few decades, and nobody would ever have believed that, one day, some of these things would be a realistic possibility. Myofascial Release is in that place – people don’t believe it, yet, because it’s not mainstream.
Though medical staff are great in emergencies, they aren’t as proficient at longevity and vitality. You’ll be told to diet, take painkillers, eat better, and work out more. Beyond that, however, they can only shrug their shoulders, especially when so often confronted with people who simply want a pill and a quick fix. If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter someone who can recognize the limitations of Western medicine and has heard enough to suggest trying myofascial release.
On the polar opposite side, there are so-called “snake oil” therapies. These ideas are usually harder to believe at first and aren’t for everybody. Psychic surgery, anyone? I’ll have to see it, first.
But there are therapies and healing modalities that lie in between these two opposing ends of the spectrum. Scientific research is limited due largely to a lack of funding, but anecdotal evidence from patients who have experienced positive benefits is substantial.
Myofascial Release Therapy inhabits this gap, but it moves further and further into mainstream medicine and physical therapy as the years go on. However, because not many people of heard of it, it is sometimes dismissed by medical doctors.
So, whether or not you’ve heard of Myofascial Release Therapy depends on whom you talk to and whether or not your doctor is up to speed on the latest developments in effective complementary therapies.
Once upon a time, the same was true for acupuncture – an ancient Chinese practice popular for centuries. It involves using tiny needles inserted into the skin along meridian lines, depending on the presentation of symptoms and examining the patient.
Acupuncture arrived in America back in the ’70s. Even though patients’ scores reported positive results, the medical community doubted its legitimacy until very recently because there were no studies into its effectiveness.
Large brands, multinational companies, and the pharmaceutical industry are usually the money behind research studies. They weren’t interested in researching acupuncture or other alternative therapies like Myofascial Release Therapy.
Why? Well, because they’re chemical-free, natural treatments that work with the body’s immune system and innate capacity to heal. Nor can they be patented or monetized in the same way as drugs. Basically, there isn’t the same profit margin to be had.
Practitioners and patients were adamant; it helped, but the doubt remained – courtesy of a lack of awareness.
Recently, however, more studies have been conducted. What ancient Chinese healers have been advocating for thousands of years now carries serious weight. Currently, medical doctors regularly prescribe acupuncture, and more and more studies are reporting positive effects.
In the case of acupuncture, some scientists believe the effects are like a placebo drug. That results are more likely in patients who expect it to work. It can also be a relaxing treatment that calms the nervous system and, perhaps, allows the body to heal itself while in a state of relaxation.
However, unlike acupuncture, Myofascial Release Therapy is a physical, hands-on treatment that releases adhesions in your fascia. It’s more like a distant relation of Physical Therapy. Although, instead of dealing with specific injuries in isolation like physical therapy, Myofascial Release deals with the subtle dysfunctions in the body that are harder to identify and fix. It treats the body as a whole.
The dysfunctions, or myofascial restrictions, are often in entirely different areas of the body from the site where you feel pain. They are more likely to be missed and go untreated with traditional physical therapy methods. Yet, when we find them, release them, and restore proper movement of the connective tissue, the results can be revolutionary for chronic pain patients. Particularly in cases where previous treatment and physical therapy have failed to make any remarkable difference.
You know, the kind of pain that nothing else has helped. Well, that’s where we can step in and help you.
“The body is one integrated system, not a collection of organs divided up by medical specialties. The medicine of the future connects everything” – Mark Hyman, MD.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Myofascial Release?
One of Myofascial Release Therapy’s best selling points is that it’s a non-invasive and non-injurious natural treatment. It uses nothing more than the therapist’s hands—using varying degrees of pressure, stretching, and elongating. There are no chemicals, drugs, electrical currents of machinery, or anything else that could cause accidental harm.
It’s a gentle treatment but with significant, powerful results. Most of our patients feel relaxed and invigorated after a treatment session. They feel “looser” than they have in many years, with benefits continuing and the positive building after each successive treatment. We should state that discomfort can come from starting the treatments, but that this discomfort stems from your body finally being able to address long-standing, hidden problems that are always going to be sore at first.
There are some contraindications, which we will discuss with you. Still, in the majority of cases, we’re able to perform the treatment.
Due to the risk of infection or further injury, we’re unable to provide treatment if you have any open wounds, burns, or skin abrasions in the affected area. The same, too, applies for fractured and broken bones or if you’re recovering from surgery. Some blood-thinning medications may also limit your suitability for treatment.
Is Myofascial Release Therapy Right For Me?
Headaches, tinnitus, pelvic, low back, and neck pain.
Stress, anxiety, digestive issues, and loss of mobility.
They can all improve with Myofascial Release Therapy, sometimes after just one session.
It eases pain, reduces tension and stiffness, and improves wellbeing.
Your body feels free and flexible again, sometimes for the first time in decades.
What are you waiting for?
If you’re still unsure whether Myofascial Release Therapy is right for you, we have the perfect solution. We offer all new patients a complimentary call with one of our Myofascial Release Therapists. Talk through your issues, and we’ll explain how we help patients just like you. This service is a quick and straightforward way to decide whether to proceed with Myofascial Release Therapy treatment or try something different.
If you’d like something a little more in-depth, then book a visit to our clinic in Salt Lake City for a free, 30-minute discovery visit.
How does that sound? Are you ready to find out more?
Contact us now to book your free consultation and say goodbye and good riddance to your chronic pain. Or download our Free Guide to find out what Myofascial Release Therapy can do for you to get started.