Recently, I led a community workshop at a beautiful space – Kind Lab in Beverly, Massachusetts. At workshops like this, I find that people are both curious and eager to learn more about fascia, but they also want to know more about their bodies in general. The participants want to know about this internal webbing known as fascia that contributes to pain, stiffness and other physical symptoms.
It’s refreshing to find that so many people want to know about their bodies and how they function. These are the same people who want to improve their diets, reduce inflammation, and work on physical activities to improve their overall well-being. It’s empowering for people to know that they can help themselves on their path to wellness. Working to reduce fascial pain is working through the manifestation of BOTH physical and emotional traumas that we’ve experienced — so myofascial release should be on the radar of anyone who wants to feel better, and overcome any barriers that are holding them back in life, or getting in the way of achieving a more vibrant, energetic physical body.
Since so many of my private clients and people at group workshops, like the recent one in Beverly, have the same questions, I thought it would be helpful to share some answers to these common questions.
What 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. ( from www.myofascialrelease.com)
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release is a hands-on technique that a skilled, trained practitioner uses to assess pain and provide release by applying gentle, sustained pressure, to relieve the connective tissue restrictions in the fascia.
How does the fascia affect the body and contribute to ongoing/ chronic pain?
Healthy fascia is a fluid system, sliding and gliding as we move. But through life experiences, trauma, injuries, stress and repetitive motions, the fascia begins to bound down and solidify — it gets “sticky”, like glue — into what we call restrictions. This puts enormous pressure on our blood vessels, nerves, muscles and organs which can lead to muscle spasms, pain, tightness, fatigue, loss of movement and other bizarre symptoms.
How will you help me relieve the pain, do you use tools, machines, or injections?
NO! I will not use tools, machines or injections during the treatment portion of our time together. It is with my skilled hands and heart that I assess and release the tight restricted areas of the fascia. It is my experience that nothing can ever replace the energy and hands of another person. The energy and heat combined with pressure is what allows for the body to melt and soften. The therapeutic treatments encourage tight, hardened areas to return to softened, flexible areas, taking the pressure off nerve endings and blood vessels. The technical term for it is the piezoelectric response (when solid material responds to electricity or heat).
While I don’t use tools during the treatment portion of our sessions, there are some really great tools that can help. In my programs, I teach clients how to use them at home — in between sessions — to help them get the most out of their treatments.
If you feel like you might benefit from a consultation or a personalized myofascial release treatment plan, or if you have had ongoing chronic pain and are struggling to stay active, email us at [email protected] or call us at 978-548-6475
We would love to speak with you, talk with you about what’s going on and share with you exactly how we can help you on your journey to recovery.
Jessica Kaloutas, LMT, is an expert Myofascial Release therapist and teacher for those suffering from chronic pain, acute injury and trauma. It’s her calling to facilitate the body’s natural ability to heal. She’s known for blending the ancient wisdom of Myofascial Release with empathy and compassion to offer powerful, mind/body education and treatment, resulting in personal empowerment, long-lasting pain relief and an amazing, joyful life. North Shore Myofascial Release is here to help you.