Myofascial Technique Releasing tension to restore tissue health
The Myofascia is the body’s connective tissue and muscles. Besides giving the body shape and texture, it connects one part to the other and supplies motive power. When tissues are healthy and in their proper tension/compression relationships with each other (tensegrity), the body can handle a lot of compressive and tensile force. The elasticity of the myofascia and its role in tensegrity means that when one part shifts all the other parts flex and shift in compensation. Thus the body yields and adapts to changing forces and configurations without breaking.
But when habit or workplace demands introduce unnatural, fixed postures or repetitive motions, tissues can creep into new formations where they are less elastic and off-centered. This results in added stress and strain on joints and ligaments, which in turn leads to degeneration and pain. Restoring the movement system to its pre-injury stability requires a detailed understanding of the play of forces in the myofascia. Soft tissue massage and unwinding techniques have come a long way as effective tools in bringing the body back to full dynamic balance.
“Tissue work is extremely effective in untying the knots that cause chronic pain, especially for longstanding non-resolving cases. This requires that one understand how to work with the direct and indirect influences in the tensile integrity of the bone or soft tissue in question.” - Gale McIntosh
Strain-counterstrain or positional release therapy - This is a passive positional procedure that places the body in a position of greatest comfort, thereby relieving pain by reduction and arrest of inappropriate proprioceptor activity that maintains somatic dysfunction.( Jones Institute)
Gentle muscle energy techniques - This is a gentle direct technique which utilizes isometric contraction to provide a gentle and rational treatment approach for management of hypomobile types of somatic dysfunction. Once the segment in dysfunction is specifically localized using the barrier concept, the client’s muscle will contract isometrically in a precisely controlled direction against a precisely controlled counter force applied by the therapist.
Craniosacral therapy - Is a light hands-on technique that improves the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, relaxing and normalizing membranes and their attachments that can cause chronic pain -- contributing towards total body well-being.
Mechanical link - Gently balances the tensions in the body’s fascial soft-tissue system. Visceral manipulation - Works with the interconnected synchronicity of motion between organs and structures of the body. This is a gentle myofascial unwinding technique derived from old hands-on healers from pre-recorded times. Dr. Barral was a physical therapist before getting his Osteopathic training and therefore developed an excellent study of the mechanical aspects around organ tissue tensions causing structural chronic mechanical/or physical pains.
Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points
What is the Myofascia? The Myofascia is the body’s connective tissue and muscles. It is the largest organ system of the body. It gives the body shape and texture, and connects one part to the other, allowing movement. It is a major component of the body’s whole musculoskeletal system.
What is myofascial pain? Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) or, more correctly, Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) is a painful localized condition affecting the myofascia and a very common cause of musculoskeletal pain. MPS and CMP are characterized by the development of Myofascial trigger points (TrPs).
Did you know? The musculoskeletal system accounts for 50% of body weight. Myofascial pain syndromes are a large source of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction and are seldom treated at all.
What are trigger points (TrPs)? TrPs are sensitive painful areas of the muscle or junction of the muscle and fascia (hence, myofascial pain). They are locally tender when active, and refer pain through specific patterns to other areas of the body. A trigger point develops due to any number of causes. Trigger points are usually associated with a taut band, a ropey thickening of the muscle tissue. Typically a trigger point, when pressed upon, will cause the pain to be felt elsewhere. This is what is considered "referred pain".
Did you know the following can cause TrPs?
Sudden trauma to musculoskeletal tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons, bursae).
Injury to intervertebral discs.
Generalize fatigue (fibromyalgia is a perpetuating factor of MPS, perhaps chronic fatigue syndrome may produce trigger points as well).
Repetitive motions; Excessive exercise; Muscle strain due to over activity.
Lack of activity (e.g., a broken arm in a sling).
Hormonal changes (e.g., trigger point development during PMS or menopause).
Nervous tension or stress.
Chilling of areas of the body (e.g., sitting under an air conditioning duct; sleeping in front of an air conditioner).
Forward head posture (from incorrect posture when working at your computer etc.)
Did you know?
In Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ) or orafacial pain cases quite often a large percentage of the pain is from jaw TrPts.
The majority of pain syndromes have either a primary or secondary cause due to TrPts not being treated.
Active TrPts are recognized easier because of painful symptoms.
Latent TrPts can exist undetected in many patients and may lead to future musculoskeletal pain and weakness.
What is Fibromyalgia (FMS)? Fibromyalgia is a generalized pain syndrome caused by a central nervous system source intensification of pain. Its origin is unknown but may be related to nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxicity. It is characterized by multiple tender points throughout the body which may overlap with certain trigger points in some areas of the body. What does treatment consist of? Gale chooses the most appropriate techniques for each case and may use one or many of the following: