What is the fascia?
Myofascial tissue or fascia is a cling wrap like tissue that envelops the organs and muscles. They are long, fibrous, thin and have a high tensile strength. Fascia is found throughout the body, from the toes to the head. Its purpose is to reduce friction when in movement and provide support for your muscles, making it an important part of how the musculoskeletal system functions.
When this fascia becomes tight or hard it can cause significant issues throughout the body, including pain, discomfort, restricted movement and reduced flexibility. Luckily, there are a number of effective treatment options for fascia that is not functioning as it should be. Foremost among these is acupressure and myofascial release which can help treat the root cause of the symptoms and bring the musculoskeletal system into a more balanced state.
How does myofascial release work?
Myofascial release is a treatment that takes place during a massage, physiotherapy or chiropractic session, that uses massage and stretching to treat stiff or tight fascia throughout the body. When fascia is healthy, it is soft, stretchy and pliable. During the treatment the practitioner will feel along with your muscles, looking for fascia that is tight or rigid. Once they’ve uncovered a problem area they will begin to massage it with gentle pressure. They will continue the massage until the fascia is completely released of tension.
How does acupressure work?
Acupressure is a technique similar to acupuncture that can also provide relief of tension and rigidness throughout your myofascial network. Like acupuncture, acupressure targets trigger points throughout the body that are linked to the healthy performance of different muscles, organs and tissues, with the main difference being that acupuncture uses needles to stimulate the trigger points, while acupressure uses pressure from the hands. By applying pressure to these specific trigger points throughout the body acupressure can have significant impact on blood circulation, stimulating nerve cells and enabling the release of regulatory chemicals throughout the body.
Acupressure can also help release tension in the myofascial network, and much like massage, help make the fascia soft, pliable and elastic again.
What are the potential health benefits of acupressure and myofascial release?
Acupressure and myofascial release can assist with treating issues in the myofascial system, including to help relieve:
- Muscular tension: Tension and rigidity in the fascia can also create pressure in the muscles. Acupressure and myofascial release can help to relieve this tension and treat knots and pressure in the fascia.
- Fascia-related pain: When the fascia is tight or rigid it can often cause pain and discomfort, including muscular pain, headaches or back pain. Acupressure and myofascial release can help treat the underlying issue and as a result, relieve the pain and discomfort.
- Restricted movement: Tension in the fascia, along with the pain that comes with it, can also cause restricted movement and restricted flexibility throughout the body. The right therapy can help release this tension and bring movement back into your musculoskeletal system.
Would you like to learn more about acupressure and myofascial release?
Learn more about why Incline Health offers these two incredible treatments on our acupuncture and myofascial release page.