Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Growing Trend of Self Myofascial Release

By Jay Scott Rivera

Self Myofascial Release is gaining widespread popularity around the world. Though the practice is not new to those in the world of healthcare, it has recently found its way into the homes of many consumers. So what exactly is Self-Myofascial Release? Before we try to tackle the subject head on, it would be wise to understand what the fascia is.

The prefix myo-' refers to the commonly known muscles of the body. Fascia however, is a very strong, fibrous connective tissue that encompass many areas of the human body from head to toe, and keeps them in place. These parts include but are not limited to muscles, bones, joints, and organs. Some of the responsibilities of fascia are to: provide an environment for muscles to slide across each other, hold organs in their place, and transmit movement throughout the body.

Fascia tend to tangle up with muscles as a result of overuse or injury. This occurrence is common with many people around the world especially athletes or those that live a sedentary kind of lifestyle. These 'tangles' are known as knots, or myofascial trigger points in the medical world. If these points develop, they can cause tenderness and pain, which can eventually lead to decreased range of motion, as well as decreased flexibility. These knots must be massaged so that they may 'untangle' the muscle from the surrounding tissue. This process is call myofascial release.

The reason why Self-Myofascial Release,' or SMR has gained a great deal of popularity lately is because of the fact that everyone can now do it in the comfort of their own home, in the office, or perhaps at the health club, provided you possess the proper equipment which includes foam rollers, or massage balls. You no longer have spend a lot of money at the masseuse or spa to get a deep, therapeutic and beneficial massage.

SMR can relieve pain, increase blood circulation, as well as range of motion. What separates SMR from a regular massage is that fact that with SMR, the individual must actually look for and target trigger points themselves, so that they may start to release them from the fascia. For deep tissue massage, the individual should use a foam roller. Foam rollers require using ones body weight to massage deep tissue. In addition, massage balls can be used to massage areas such as the chest and lower back.

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