While in Canada one of the places we stayed was on Bowen Island in British Columbia, near West Vancouver. It was a beautiful little island with awesome hiking and character to spare. The best part though was the amazing Myofascial Release (MFR) practitioner with whom I studied and did massage trades with. She showed me a more nuanced way to pay attention to muscle fibers and connective tissue (fascia) direction.
With this new sensitivity and a few effective tools under my belt, we traded MFR sessions so I could receive feedback…and of course we both wanted to have massages, I mean, let’s be honest.
The truly remarkable element of MFR is that it is not invasive and yet penetrates very deeply into the true root of the dysfunction. A lot of Deep Tissue and other more aggressive styles – though they have their places – fail to address the body’s needs by listening to their source. This means, if your shoulder is losing range of motion and you find it difficult to put your t-shirt on or reach over your shoulder, there may be an adhesion (“knot”) in your neck that is the culprit and by applying MFR to that area, the body can release a full network of muscles to ease the pain and restriction in your shoulder.
Oh, and how did chasing chickens help in all this? Well, between MFR and exercise, I felt completely invigorated and my joints, muscles and spine felt much more natural in movement and had more strength. MFR and exercise complement one another in this way: Let’s say you are riding a bike. Your hips, knees and ankles need to be functioning pretty optimally to have an efficient ride. Those joints will be greatly affected if there are adhesions in the muscles that connect them and thus limit the body’s ability to use the muscles properly.
MFR isolates the issue, utilizes differentiation – which is when the fluid in the fibers become more slippery and freer – and brings about greater elasticity – the muscles lengthening and ability to adapt and also move freely and thus brings about greater perception – and this allows the brain to perceive and recognize how the body responds to stimuli. Then comes exercise. With this new perception, the muscles can contract more efficiently (this is how muscles grow), fresh blood flow can reach the muscles and thus bring nutrients and oxygen and if that wasn’t enough, the recovery time is quicker, meaning you won’t have to walk bow-legged to work the next day.
So, keep on chasing chickens, riding bikes, canoeing, hiking, swimming, practicing yoga, running, doing pilates or whatever it is you love to do and get yourself regular Myofascial Release sessions to stay in balance and to enhance your Wholeself Health.