Karen Small...Creating space for healing and change



Myofascial Release Massage

What is it?

Myofascial Release Massage is focused on the fascia of the body rather than on your muscles. Fascia is a type of connective tissue that wraps all the muscles, organs, nerves, blood vessels, and bones of your body. The importance of fascia to muscles is that it allows muscles to slide easily over other muscle layers and to stretch while still maintaining form. Healthy fascia is soft, pliable, stretchy and slippery. When fascia is damaged, by trauma (physical and emotional), disease, habit patterns or drying due to aging, it becomes rigid, inelastic, and shortened. The muscle layers can become stuck together and the muscles can become shortened. This results in loss of range of motion and weakness. Myofascial Release Massage focuses on stretching out the fascia and releasing adhesions, resulting in less pain, stress and tension in your body, along with increased range and ease of motion.

How are Myofascial Release Massage sessions set-up?

(Often I use this technique in a typical massage session. This information applies to a session where I am only using this technique.)

A general full body session would last about 2 hours, so normally sessions are broken down into upper and lower body sessions. If you are dealing with a specific problem, injury or condition, we can spend the session focused on your specific issue, covering the areas involved. The initial sessions will begin the process of releasing long held, tight tissues. Please be aware that multiple sessions will be necessary to fully release tight fascia. If you are very active, very sedentary, or engage in repetitive motion tasks, the fascia will become tight and stuck. An excellent wellness plan would be to have regularly scheduled sessions to maintain healthy fascial tissue and to counteract the effects of everyday life. Receiving a variety of bodywork is also very helpful in maintaining healthy tissues.

Even if you feel your issues are very specific, full body work is essential. Fascia is interconnected throughout the entire body and adhesions and shortenings pull on and restrict the entire structure. This means that the discomfort you are feeling is not necessarily coming from the area that hurts. Addressing your full body will make it more likely that we achieve a total release of tensions.

An option you may want to consider is to alternate Myofascial Release Massage sessions with Lymph Drainage Therapy sessions. The deeply relaxing, and very subtle techniques of Lymph Drainage Therapy will provide your body with the space needed to take in the changes resulting from the Myofascial Release Massage techniques and help to cleanse your newly released tissues.

What kind of results might I see?

The upper body session can:

  • enable you to breathe more deeply, fully, and easily
  • relieve your neck, shoulder and back pain and tension
  • open and relax your arms and hands
  • improve your posture

The lower body session can:

  • resolve pain due to high or fallen arches
  • relax your overly tight abdominal muscles
  • increase your stability
  • relieve back pain
  • improve your posture

Altogether this work can increase your ease of movement, flexibility, stability and balance.

Read a testimonial about the results I've been getting with this technique.

How are these sessions different from a typical massage?

Although many people do find the work to be deeply relaxing, it is not meant to be a passive, relaxing massage. You will need to change positions many times and move according to my directions to enhance the work. You should wear underpants, swimsuit, or loose fitting shorts and women should wear a bra, sports bra, or bikini top (preferably one that opens in the back). You will be draped while on the table and your modesty will be honored.

We will take time before, during and after the session to compare how you feel and to see how the work increases your mobility and sense of ease.

Where can I learn more about the technique?

This work was developed by Howard Rontal, a certified Hellerwork Practitioner. There is a great deal of information available about this technique at Howard Rontal's website, including many testimonials about the work's results for a large variety of conditions. I highly recommend that you visit Howard's website to learn more.

Feel Better...Peform Better...Sleep Better...Think Better...Be Better

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Wellness is so much more than the absence of illness...
It is a path towards a healthy balance in mind, body and spirit.
Regularly receiving bodywork is a fundamental step along that path.

Karen Small
Licensed Massage Therapist
Westerly, RI

Copyright © 2008 by Karen Small.
All rights reserved.