One thing that sets this type of myofasical release work apart from other types of bodywork, is that it is a gentle, but uses sustained pressure working 3 dimensionally into the fascial system, instead of superficially or through force. The practitioner gently connects into the fascial system through his/her hands and when met with resistance, rather than pushing past it, he/she maintains the pressure and actively waits for the body to release on its own. With the release, the connective tissue is taken to the next restrictive barrier, with releases in the collagenous fibers beginning around 90 seconds and greater.
Where as the elastic type fibers begin to release quickly with pressure/stretch, the collagenous fibers have been shown to require more prolonged stretching in order for there to be a long lasting change in the quality, and dynamic function of the soft tissue. Fascial restrictions can result from a wide range of injuries, repetitive stress, emotional experiences, and traumas. The fascial system has a protective role in our body, to guard and brace against these types of traumas, yet we do not readily do things to help it to release these accumulated restrictions and bracing patterns- that is where MFR comes in!
Myofascial work is done directly on the skin, so clients wear minimal clothing but something that they feel free to move in. Depending on what is needed for healing, this type of myofascial release can be passive, with the focus on melting, softening, and opening into the gentle but sustained pressure. It can be experienced as going into a "still point", sometimes images, colors, body sensations come to the awareness. People can also have recollections of certain meaningful memories or life experiences, bringing greater insight and understanding. Other times, especially as people begin to go deeper into the healing journey, they may experience physical "unwinding" where the body begins to move involuntarily, on its' own, guiding itself into the positions it needs to in order to facilitate releases.
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