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Austin Therapeutic ​Bodywork

Nan Hofer, LMT, CKTP, CSRT

What is Myo-Fascial Release?

Fascia is very densely woven connective tissue, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs. 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. 

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. However, trauma, such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture and repetitive use conditions have cumulative effects on the body. As the muscles shorten, through overwork, injury or poor posture, the fascia begins to "stick" or adhere to the muscle tissue. The result is a loss of function, restricted range of motion and, often, pain. Over time, these restrictions and the resulting muscle imbalances can even affect the body's structure....your bones. Often, spinal dysfunctions are a direct result of muscle imbalances.

Since many of the standard tests, such as x-rays, CAT and MRI scans, etc, do not show these fascial restrictions, it is thought that an extremely high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial problems. Unfortunately, most go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The course of treatment, by traditional medicine, usually involves prescribing over the counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications and/or cortisone injections to the site of pain. These treatments offer temporary "band-aid" relief, at best. 

Myo-fascial Release bodywork treats the entire myo-fascial system, by systematically releasing the adhesions in the fascia and eliminating the pressure of the restrictions that cause pain and restrict range of motion.

Healing is not an event.  It is a process.

Fascia is not like muscle. It has no blood flow. It doesn't stretch like muscle and does repair like muscle. It also has a memory of 7-10 days. Like a rubber band, it will recoil and attempt to return to the position it has been occupying. For this reason, myo-fascial bodywork must be received at regular intervals, initially, in order to release the adhesions and "re-train" the fascia. Of course, any release work will result in reduced pain and improved range of motion, but long term, cumulative results require a more concentrated approach. Every client's situation is unique. Nan will address your conditions and suggest a course of treatment, which will best fit your condition and goals, as well as your time constraints and financial situation.