I get a lot of people asking me about the difference between Remedial Massage and Myofascial Release. I could probably write an entire book answering that question, but here is a brief and (hopefully) simple answer.
Remedial Massage consists of a variety of techniques aimed at treating specific injuries, restrictions or limitations in muscles, tendons, joints or ligaments. Conditions like tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, vertebral disc injuries, limitations in range of movement e.g. stiff neck, tight lower back can all be treated with remedial massage.
Myofascial release focuses on the fascia (connective tissue) within, around and between the muscles. Fascia is the ‘blueprint’ out of which we are formed. We begin life as a blob of connective tissue, divided into sections. As we are subjected to forces in the womb, and the imperative of growth, our fascia ‘instructs’ various cells within it to differentiate. Some areas that are subject to strain or compression become bone, areas where movement is required become muscle, areas where specialised functions are needed become a liver, kidneys, intestines, brain etc. All our bones, muscles and organs are wrapped in individual fascial bundles, so working on the fascial level gives us access to the deepest and most fundamental structures in the body.
After we emerge from the womb, our fascia continues to adapt and rearrange itself in response to the strains, pressures and forces we are subject to. This includes things like gravity, injuries, movement patterns, habits, emotions, ‘life stress’ and more. If we develop restrictions in our fascia, this can start to create dysfunction, pain, or restriction, either in specific areas or throughout the body. Myofascial release aims to identify and release these restrictions. As the fascia is one interconnected multi-segmented structure within the body, releasing a restriction in one part of the fascia will have flow-on effects throughout the entire body. Myofascial work also has a powerful emotional component. Our fascia stores unprocessed emotions, trauma etc, so working on the fascial level takes this work beyond the merely physical into the psychological and emotional.
My approach is generally a blend of techniques, depending on individual requirements. I begin by listening to the client’s story and asking questions about injury history, lifestyle, daily activities to understand the types of forces acting upon the body. I then undertake a whole body assessment, looking at things like posture, muscle length and balance, joint movement, spinal movement etc. This gives me an initial insight into where the cause of the problems might be, and where treatment needs to focus. If there are specific issues such trigger points or contractions in a muscle, limitations in a joint etc then I will work on those and release them first. If there is generalised tension in the whole body, or in particular parts of the body (e.g. neck, shoulders), high levels of pain or a powerful stress or emotional component, myofascial is my go -to. Remedial massage allows me to treat specific symptoms or areas of limitation, myofascial release allows me to work more at the blueprint level, addressing causes and creating potential for lasting change.
Rebecca is available Tuesday to Saturday, for a consult book here – https://clientportal.powerdiary.com/clientportal/lotuswellbeingcentre
Or call 0242264740 or 0413290741