I just came back from a wonderfully intense massage session with my therapist, Mardon Dary of Pura Vida Oceanside Massage Therapy. Mardon uses a technique that has been quite a breakthrough for me – Myofascial Release.
I found an excellent description of the myofascia and treatment on the Jennings Training and Treatment site:
Myofascia, pronounced “my o faashaa”, is the dense tough tissue that surrounds and covers all your muscles and bones. This outer covering, called fascia is very strong and very flexible. In fact is has the tensile strength of over 2000lbs.
Under a microscope Myofascia resembles a spider web or fish net. It is very organized and very flexible in a healthy state. It can best be described as a complete body suit which runs from the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. It is continuous and has no beginning or end and can be found almost everywhere in your body. Like yarn in a sweater the entire body is connected to every other part of the body by the fascia. It is a continuous weave of material. And like a pull in a sweater, damage to an area of Myofascia can effect other distant areas in your body even years later.
In the normal healthy state the Myofascia is relaxed and soft. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When you experience physical trauma or inflammation the Myofascia loses is pliability. It can become tight, restricted and a source of tension throughout the rest of the body.
In a healthy body Myofascia helps to maintain good posture, range of motion and flexibility. It also gives our bodies tremendous strength and helps us deal with excessive stress and injuries.
Myofascial Release is an effective hands-on therapy which can directly change and improve health of the fascia. The purpose of Myofascial Release is to break down scar tissue, relax the muscle and myofascia and restore good posture.
Myofascial Release techniques focus on relaxing the deep tissue of the body providing lasting and effective relief to the client and patient.
Myofascial Release technique is applied directly on the body and uses slow and sometimes deep pressure to restore the proper health of the fascia.
The techniques of Myofascial Release therapy help to re-organize and lengthen the tight tissue allowing for better movement and health to the tissue.
Myofascial Release was specifically designed to relax the fascia throughout the whole body. And because tension in fascia can effect and cause pain in other areas, your therapist may treat other areas of the body to positively effect your treatment outcome. For example, your Myofascial Release practitioner may work on the hips and low back to help reduce tension in the neck which in turn can cause headaches. This is the benefit of a whole body approach that makes myofascial release such an effective treatment.
The reason I have devoted my entire post to this treatment approach is that I am fascinated by the interconnectedness of muscles and tissues in the body, of the relationship between mind and body, of the action of one being upon another and resulting responses, and the change to one part of our landscape and its effect on the whole ecosystem. What we unwind in one area will have an effect on another area.
Jim and I made a decision at the end of August to close our cafe. Just announcing our decision resulted in the unwinding of many emotions we have been holding for some months as we slowly came to grips with the fact something needed to change. And two weeks later I had a massage and a whole new load of emotions are emerging. Waves. Undulating. Ebbing and flowing. Constricting and relaxing. In fact, I know that where this leads will be some time in coming, as we still have close to three months to slow down and shut down the business permenantly and all that will entail. Doors will shut much sooner than the conclusion of the actual work. And our bodily tension and 18 months of strenuous time and labour will take weeks to dissapate and completely leave the body. Further changes to our personal mindset and opening to new possibilities will require considerable thought and reflection. More unwinding. More releasing of different fibers of the web.
We can never unwind just one area of our mind, body, spirit, or heart without effecting another part. For we are whole. A mere fiber in the fabric of life – both public and private. And if only for a nanosecond, each unwinding does make a difference.
Recipe for Unwinding
Just as I begin to unwind one chapter in my life, the ideal post pops into my inbox as a reminder of the moment and all that occurs when we shed some light on the totality of our health.