Massage is no longer a luxury, it has almost become a necessity for everyone.
In this blog, we talk about fascial and myofascial therapies that have gained much popularity in recent years. Learn more about the treatment - when, how and why you can offer it to your clients.
With endless hours spent in front of computer screens, people are opting for massages every now and then. Your clients may have tried deep tissue massage, chiropractic, cupping, and many other therapies. Fascial stretch therapy (FST) and myofascial release are comparatively newer forms of pain relief that have some amazing health and wellness benefits.
Facts about fascia
Before we get on with what fascial and myofascial stretch therapy are, let’s dive a little into what fascia is. Fascia is a connective tissue that occurs throughout the human body. It is a thin yet tough elastic tissue that connects bones, muscles and organs.
Stretching something that intertwines your entire body might seem risky. Clients may even fear painful experiences. However, you can assure them that it is just the contrary. The therapy is completely pain-free. In fact the technique helps people with injury and muscle tension gain mobility and provide great pain relief.
Origins in sports, not limited to It
Fascial stretch therapy (FST) was first developed by Ann Frederick who used it for the USA Men’s Wrestling team at the 1996 Olympics. The team went on to win the gold medal. Since then the treatment has gained popularity in several sports organizations such as the NFL, NHL, rugby and others.
Nowadays, FST is used by people at large for its amazing benefits of pain reduction, relaxation, recovery from injury, muscle activation and many more.
Myofascial therapy, fascial therapy, myofascial release
Clients may often be confused with so much jargon. As an RMT you can help clarify their doubts.
During myofascial therapy, practitioners treat the myofascia (myo means muscle fiber) - a subset of fascia. A massage therapist will target the fascia (the connective tissue that covers the muscles) to relax contracted muscles, improve both blood circulation, lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in the muscles. So in a nutshell, myofascial therapy is all about treating the muscles while fascial therapy is a much broader technique.
Myofascial therapy was started by John F. Barnes, a physical therapist who started using myofascial release in the 1970s.
Myofascial therapy is also often used interchangeably with myofascial release. A myofascial release means eliminating tension, soreness and stiffness from an injured muscle fibre. Therapists believe clients benefit from this hands-on healing technique as it releases built-up tension within the myofascial tissues to alleviate muscle pain.
Face, shoulders, hips and quads...
Myofascial treatment has wonderful benefits for the entire body. It can be used on body parts that often get stiffened by posture, screen time, and other such activities and habits. Therapists can apply the technique particularly on the face, neck, shoulders, arms, jaws, lower back hips, quads, calves and feet to release tension and soreness.
Knocking out the knots
There are a lot of advantages for the body from Myofascial Release including:
- Removing knots in muscles
- Relax contracted muscles
- Improve blood circulation
- Boost lymphatic circulation
- Treat stiffness in muscles
- Muscle activation
- Reduce stress and tensions in body
- Improved mobility
- Reduces body pain
What conditions fascial treatments heal
Myofascial Release can help a lot of body conditions including chronic neck and back pain (both upper and lower), acute shoulder and hip restrictions, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines and headaches, severe sprains and strains, poor posture and/or loss of flexibility and many more.
When not to offer fascial treatments
When your clients have fractures or broken bones or even fragile and weak bones, these treatments shouldn’t be offered. Do not offer the therapy to people with burns or open wounds and deep vein thrombosis or deep vein issues. People on blood thinners are also advised to avoid these treatments.
RMTs can effectively treat scar tissue, fascial restrictions and tightness to help clients gain mobility. Apart from a massage table, therapists can use a variety of myofascial massage tools that include foam rollers, scraping blades, as well as several creams and ointments.
We recommend scraping blades to provide relief from pain and it is a great choice for fascial massages. Natural stone massage cone is perfect for deep tissue massage and pain relief. It also helps with myofascial release and joint relaxation.
Use of TheraBlend Myofascial Warming Ointment is also a great addition to myofascial therapy. The all-natural, free of all chemicals ointment can address adhesions in muscles and tendons. We also recommend TheraBlend Myofascial Cream. The product allows therapists to hook and stretch into the deeper invested fascia while maintaining just the right amount of glide.
Should you offer these treatments at your spa?
Myofascial and fascial therapy are becoming popular among massage enthusiasts. Now that you know more about these techniques, and its benefits, you should consider offering them at your clinic.
Once you master the proper technique, you’ll be able to expand your list of spa services and cater to all the people looking for these services.
To get started, make sure you have the proper tools. Head to our online store today to check out other massage aids.
We make no claim or recommendation about the medicinal benefits of the products listed in this article. We advise you seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.