During my sports massage therapy treatments, I utilize many techniques for the benefit of the client. I take a holistic approach to assessment and treatment in every case. The techniques mentioned here are extremely effective in many cases, so I'll explain a little further about them.
The fascia is a tough connective tissue that spreads throughout the body in a 3-dimensional web from head to foot functionally without interruption. It is a living tissue and has memory. It has been estimated that if every structure of the body except the fascia were removed (bones, muscle, etc), the body would retain its shape. An interesting way to visualize the theory is to consider the concept of tensegrity geometry, as explained in the video by Tom Myers on the youtube link below:
Restrictions of the fascia can create pain or malfunction throughout the body, sometimes with bizarre side effects and seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Dr Ida Rolf - "Where you think the pain is, the problem is not"
Symptoms are not the problem, but are signs of the problem. Treating both the cause and effect using myofascial release can reduce symptoms and produce lasting improvement.
Fascial restrictions brought about by poor posture, injury or trauma (physical or mental) often result in the emergence of trigger points. The term 'Trigger point' was coined in 1942 by Dr Janet Travell to describe painful lumps or nodules felt within tight bands of muscle. In 1992, along with David Simons, she described a trigger point as
"A highly irritable localized spot of exquisite tenderness in a nodule in a palpable band of (skeletal) muscle."
All trigger points seem to have similar characteristics:
- Pain (often exquisite) at a discrete point.
- A nodule embedded within a taut band in the muscle
- Pressure reproduces the pain symptoms, with radiations in a specific and reproducible pattern.
The goal of treatments is to remove fascial restrictions and restore the body's equillibrium. When this is accomplished the body's inherent ability to self-correct returns.