MYOFASCIAL & MASSAGE THERAPY
Integrated myofascial therapy approaches the body as a single unified system. It addresses issues arising from altered body alignment caused by poor posture, chronic muscle tension, pain or injury.
'Fascia' is the connective tissue which surrounds and envelops every part of the body - it lies within and around every muscle, it cushions and supports internal organs and forms the internal compartments of the body. Fascia is a continuous, unbroken structure forming an internal web of support and acting as the body’s internal shock absorption system. The ‘myo’ part of the word ‘myofascial’ refers to the muscles of the body which are intimately connected to, and surrounded by, the fascia.
Integrated myofascial therapy recognises that focusing treatment on a single body part may not address the root cause of problems that arise in our complex, interconnected body.
Poor posture, repetitive patterns of body use in work or sport, or specific trauma can cause areas of increased tension within the fascia and muscles. The connective tissue responds by becoming thickened and tight, pulling the body out of its natural alignment. This may cause pressure on sensitive structures such as nerves and tendons, resulting in pain, restriction of movement, or loss of function.
Myofascial therapy involves an initial assessment through careful observation of posture and body alignment. The therapist also gains information by feeling for tension and restriction in movement of the tissues under the skin, and by assessing length and strength of specific muscles.
Treatment itself involves the therapist applying graduated sustained pressure to the restricted tissues without the use of oils. The fascia gradually responds to the sustained pressure of the technique over several minutes, by gently releasing and reconfiguring. The fascia is enabled to return to its natural length, allowing muscles to relax, relieving pressure and correcting body alignment. A series of techniques are generally applied to a number of different body areas, addressing restrictions within the whole system rather than treating one body part in isolation.
Jo combines myofascial treatment with a variety of other massage and soft tissue techniques directed at specific muscle groups where this is appropriate. She has used this approach to support a wide variety of clients, from elite athletes to those living with long term medical conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Myofascial and massage therapy should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical care. Always consult your GP or other health professional for medical attention and advice.
Due to the nature of the treatment, a minimum therapy session of 1 hour is recommended. An initial session of 90 minutes may be more appropriate for complex problems to allow time for effective assessment and treatment.
More information on Myofascial Therapy can be found here: