12 Months of Self-Care - March Starts My Myofascial Release Therapy
Disclaimer: I can admit that I’m about 2 months behind with our “12 Months of Self-Care” series. I can also admit that it’s been due in LARGE part to being totally consumed by work and stress! I don’t think I ever promised to be “on time” with these posts, but I can promise that I will do a full 12 months of different self-care activities.
Now, back in March I started something called “Myofascial Release Therapy” (MRT) to help with my sciatica, fibromyalgia and chronic pain. What is MRT, you ask?
It’s a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions throughout your body to eliminate pain and restore motion.
Trauma, inflammatory responses and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that don’t show up on many standard medical tests.
MRT is not your typical “massage” therapy in the sense that it’s performed directly on skin without oils, creams or machinery. It enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the right amount of sustained pressure to facilitate the release of the fascia.
What the Heck is “Fascia”?
Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater. A high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial problems, but are not diagnosed.
Fascia plays an important role in the support and function of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture and repetitive stress injuries has cumulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influences comfort and function of our body. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure causing all kinds of symptoms producing pain, headaches or restriction of motion. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.
How is MRT working for me?
I haven’t been able to keep a regular schedule due to everything I’ve had going on. Early morning on Sundays worked fine for the first couple weeks, but it’s been a challenge to keep. And, I need to get back to it!
I have an amazing therapist though! Her name is Vijiya Singh Rathod and she’s owner of Body Wisdom Physical Therapy and Wellness, LLC, located in Maryland. Vijiya specializes in Myofascial Release.
Recently, she has started pool therapy which I’m sure is amazing since water therapy has tremendous healing benefits of its own.
Vijiya is a sweetheart and has been there for me in others ways for emotional and moral support. She’s let me “vent” to "release” things that have been “bottled up” and perhaps causing some of my tension.