Myofascial release massage is a growing trend in the massage and medical community. More than just a rub down, this form of massage is reported to have far reaching benefits. Here we look at whether or not the reality matches the hype.
What Is Myofascial Release Massage?
Most massages specifically focus on muscles. They seek to loosen and relax muscles by applying pressure to them and gently manipulating them. Myofascial Release Massage (MRM) does this too, but takes it one step further. MRM operates on the principle that you store stress and tension in your muscles and your connective tissue. This causes them to become stiff and locked, which results in discomfort, or even pain, in your every day life. MRM seeks to unlock this discomfort through stretches.
A MRM therapist identifies the trouble areas in your body through a massage. Then, stretches are used to open the muscles and connective tissues that are holding the stress. The massage focuses deeply on ligature as well as muscles. The stretches can be intense. Sometimes massage therapists will even use traction devices to help their clients acheive the more difficult poses.
Myofascial Release Massage can lessen the pain you feel from other conditions. Like with any physical routine, if you have a pre-existing condition, you should consult your doctor before signing up for MRM. When you do consult your doctor, there is a chance that not only will she approve of MRM, she might even prescribe it for you.
People with fibromyalgia, back pain and other muscle associated health issues are often sent to MRM specialists by their doctors. MRM is often prescribed as part of a pain management program, as clients often feel less daily discomfort after engaging in it. This therapy has also been used to treat pains of a different kind, including those associated with chronic fatigue, severe tension and anxiety. It has even been used as therapy for repetitive stress injuries of the muscular-skeletal system.
Loosens Tight Muscles and Tissues
According to the Mayo Clinic, "It is thought that tightness within the fascia (connective tissues) causes restriction of muscle and other tissues, resulting in back pain and loss of motion. Injuries, stress, inflammation, trauma and poor posture supposedly contribute to this tightness." MRM loosens and frees this connective tissue. This means that any physical condition the tightness of the fascia is exaggerating can be relieved by MRM. This is thought to include fibromyalgia, a slew of muscular and joint pains, fatigue, tensions, and even some of the physical side effects of old age. It is also thought to help with injuries and other sustained physical damage.
Add to this the more common documented benefits of massage. Massage provides relaxation and a higher sense of well being. It is also linked with lower heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels. It must be noted that not enough research has been conducted to conclusively prove the connection between MRM and all the benefits its supporters claim. But, the anecdotal evidence is pretty strong, strong enough to gain support from a large percentage of the medical community.
Myofascial release massage has gained credence in the medical community. There are many benefits from the therapy. Besides making you feel good, it is thought to help reduce the discomfort of many medical conditions. Consult your doctor to see if MRM is right for you.