Myofascial Release: the benefits
Is Myofascial Release the secret to a better life? A lot of people that have experienced the technique claims that it indeed is. Myofascial release is a bodywork technique focused on the fascia: the main connective tissue of our body – permeating all of it, from muscles and bones to nerves and organs.
The fascia provides support and protects our entire musculoskeletal system. The problem, however, is that this tissue is highly likely of being damaged and losing its flexibility throughout life, which in turn creates movement restrictions that causes pain.
Therefore, the term release refers to the gentle way in which myofascial release works on fascia to release its restrictions. Restoring, thus, balance, movement and the tissue’s health.
Now that you know the basic idea behind myofascial release, let’s discover all its benefits together!
1. Eliminates muscle tension
Myofascial Release is a massage technique that applies pressure on some points of the body, either manually or with specific instruments aid. During the process, this pressure works on muscle tension, eliminating it and its consequent pain, promoting, accordingly, muscular relaxation.
2. Increases flexibility
We have already seen that fascia tends to lose its flexibility. It can happen due to a lot of factors involving environmental stressors and daily habits. The loss of flexibility causes restrictions. Nonetheless, myofascial release gives back this flexibility and, as a result, muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons, among other organs, are not under tension anymore and our joints are capable of moving properly again!
3. Improves blood flow
Myofascial release also helps to improve blood flow while getting rid of knots (the known trigger points) and tension in the fascia. It happens because this restrictions also may be interfering on blood circulation: when muscle fibers loses its tension, blood flows better.
4. Makes our body heal faster
By increasing blood flow, our muscles and connective tissues get well hydrated as well. Water, oxygen and other nutrients are able to circulate better throughout the body, resulting in a greater use of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. That means that our body will recover and heal faster as well. What is awesome to athletes since they need to train constantly and need to be in good condition.
5. Decreases muscle soreness
This is specially good to people who practice exercises (again!). By increasing blood flow, our body also experience less muscle soreness after a physical activity.
6. Provides physical and emotional changes
The importance of physical along with emotional health is clear. It is known that most of us live in environments that places both of these aspects under constant pressure.
That is why myofascial release has been described as the medicine of our century: it affects body and mind, easing chronic pain and other conditions through its involvement with both.
Improvement in mood, decreased levels of anxiety and stress, a meaningful improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness and other psychological and emotional benefits are also the result of a healthy fascia, in its natural state.
7. Increases functional muscular length
One of myofascial release main benefits is mobility gain: individuals can sense a better range in their movements after a few sessions of treatment. And that is not all: certain muscles have their action range extended as well.
Because of its increasing in funcional muscular length, the technique is one of the most recommended ones for those who want to improve their physical condition and have better capacity for efficient movements.
8. Avoids repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) are caused by repetitive movements and overuse that damages muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons and, in consequence, the fascia. It often results in disorders such as bursitis, tendonitis, myalgias and others, which means a limited life for many people.
Once again, myofascial release can be the answer to this problem: it releases the tension that may exist before it becomes a serious injury. Therefore, when using this technique, the paciente is also healing current discomforts and preventing them from getting worse.
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