myofascial massage

Swedish Massage Can Decrease Stress and Boost the Immune System

Do you often lack energy, feel stressed, and pick up every virus making the rounds?  The solution could be as easy as committing to regular Swedish Massage Therapy sessions.  Lorrie’s article on Page 10 in the April issue of Memphis Health and Fitness will catch you up on what the research has to say.  Click here to read the April issue.

Celebrating Ten Years

10 yearsThe last ten years have passed in the blink of an eye.  When I began my business in 2007, I had no idea that it would become such an integral part of my life and who I am.  My clients and I have studied the human body together with curiosity and compassion.  We’ve watched one another age and go through many life changes.  We’ve explored what it means to let go of trauma and to finally heal.  It seems that what begin as a business has become a laboratory in which to explore what it means to be human.

I’d like to thank each and every one of you who have walked beside me on the journey.  Here’s to the next ten years!

 

 

What the heck is Fascia and what does it do for me?

Many magazines, health journals, and news stories tell us that healthy fascia is key to a healthy lifestyle.  Leaving many to wonder what exactly fascia is and where it is in our bodies.  How does fascia help us in our everyday lives?  What happens to it as we age?  Why is myofascial release the type of bodywork recommended to keep us pain free and moving easily?

As a massage therapist with extensive training in John Barnes Myofascial Release,  I’ve answered these questions countless times.  Now, you can read the answers and more in my article from the March 2016 issue of Good Health Magazine.  On page 19, you’ll find an easy to understand summary of what fascia is, where it’s located in the body, and what it does.

In next month’s blog,  I’ll explain in more detail about why waiting 3-5 minutes minimum for fascia to release is crucial.

Click the link below for Lorrie’s article on page 19:

 https://issuu.com/fixmemphis/docs/good_health_memphis_march_2016

Sports and Myofascial Release

When it comes to sports, fascia can be your friend or foe. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, John Barnes Myofascial Release is essential for stellar performance, less injury, and staying on top of your game as you age.

fascia manMyo means muscle and fascia is connective tissue. According to the International Congress on Fascia, “Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It forms a whole-body continuous three-dimensional matrix…”.  For muscles to contract and relax and tissues to glide against one another during movement, fascia must be hydrated and pliable.  Fascia is also the body’s shock absorber and when it becomes stiff or restricted force disperses unevenly throughout the body, leading to injury. Did you know tight fascia can even prevent muscle firing and lead to muscle weakness?

Fascia becomes tight and stuck in athletes for many reasons.  The healing process after trauma, surgery, and muscle tears can leave layers of fascia to stuck together (adhesions).  Poor body mechanics, repetitive strain, and chronic inflammation can cause tightness in fascia that doesn’t respond to traditional stretching.  Unfortunately, as we age, fascia becomes stiffer and less pliable.

John Barnes Myofascial Release is an effective form of bodywork that can get you moving with more ease.  It’s a non-aggressive modalitydr. g fascia that produces profound results. Your therapist will gently elongate your fascia for a minimum of 3-5 minutes, releasing the elasto-collagenous complex. No lubrication is used and your therapist may work in areas that seem unrelated to your symptoms.  This is because the fascial system is completely interconnected.

After a few sessions you will notice greater range of motion, less pain, and better performance. Even long-standing injuries respond to the gentle methods used in John Barnes Myofascial Release.  The longer you’ve been experiencing problems, the more sessions it may take to get you back in top form.  However, including self-myofascial release in your daily care regimen will speed up the results exponentially.

Where is fascia in my body?

Let’s imagine your body were an orange.  This is how your fascia would be arranged:

  • Superficial fascia is like the thick, white, hard tissue that attaches the orange to the peel.  In us it holds the skin to the body and provides a framework for subcutaneous fat.
  • Inner Layer-  Deep fascia is like the white fibers that separate the sections of an orange. For us, it separates our organs and keeps them in place. Without deep fascia our organs would drop down into our legs every time we stand!
  • Cellular Level- Cellular fascia is like the white fibers that weave through a single slice.  It holds the slice together and holds in the juice. In our bodies, cellular fascia keeps the 70% of our bodies that is fluid in the right place.

What does fascia do in my body?*

  • Supports and stabilizes, enhancing the postural balance of the body.

  • Is vitally involved in all aspects of motion and acts as a shock absorber.

  • Aids in circulatory economy, especially in venous and lymphatic fluids.

  • Fascial change will often precede chronic tissue congestion, creating fibrous tissue.

  • Is a major area of inflammatory processes.

  • Has it’s own contractile forces that allow fascia to contract during fight-or-flight.

  • When tight, can inhibit muscle firing, leading to weakness.

*John F. Barnes, PT

There’s no reason to be stuck on the side lines.  Call 901-496-2881 to schedule your first appointment for John Barnes Myofascial Release.

Breast Cancer: After Survival

The statistics can be overwhelming.  2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer live in the US and one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

The good news is that great strides have been made in saving lives.  But often lifesaving treatment comes with a price.  According to the American Cancer Society, “Almost any cancer treatment can have side effects.  Some may last for a few weeks to months, but others can last the rest of your life”.  This is the elephant in the room no one talks about.

Long-term side effects from surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are common among survivors.  Perhaps the most common are those due to scar tissue.  Current breast cancer research (compiled by Breast Cancer.org) tells us that,  “Radiation therapy can cause scar tissue to form”.  Surgical scars can cause, “stiffness, pressure, and nerve pain or numbness if scar tissue forms around nerves”.  Central venous catheters used to deliver chemotherapy drugs can create problematic scarring as well.

mastectomy 1After recovery, women hesitate to talk about how long-term side effects change their lives.  Discussions about physical pain, loss of range of motion, and new back or neck pain rarely take place outside online forums or support groups for survivors. Despite friends’ and family’s good intentions, some women feel pressure from society to appear stoic and grateful they survived, no matter the cost.   Others assume they must give up activities they enjoyed before breast cancer because they’ve become painful.

Traditional physical therapy is regularly prescribed by doctors when a woman asks for help.  When the results of physical therapy are limited, she often feels hopeless and frustrated.  Leading her to wonder, “Does quality of life always have to diminish after breast cancer surgery or radiation treatment?”.

If John Barnes Myofascial Release is part of the plan, the answer is no.  To understand why it helps, we need to look at the healing process and how scar tissue forms.  After the trauma of surgery or radiation, the body begins producing collagen to repair damage in the wound.  Collagen fibers are microscopically welded together, one filament to another, producing cross-links that begin building the scar.  This is followed by a period of remodeling where the scar changes to fit the tissue.  Ideally, the repair should be strong, but have enough flexibility to allow movement.

When the repair (scar) becomes stuck to healthy tissues it can cause the loss of range of motion, pain, and pressure on nerves women experience after breast cancer treatment.  Adhesions in the fascia (a webbing of connective tissue throughout the body) which prevent movement can pull on healthy tissue in other parts of the body leading to neck, shoulder, and back pain.

fascia2John Barnes Myofascial Release uses gentle stretching for a minimum of 3-5 minutes, releasing the elasto-collagen complex.  The scar quickly becomes unstuck from surrounding healthy tissue. After a few sessions,  layers of muscle and fascia  begin to glide against one another with ease.  Dense scar tissue left by radiation becomes more pliable, allowing better circulation of blood and lymph.  Pressure on sensitive nerves is eased over time.

Even years after surgery and radiation, the body will respond to the gentle techniques used in John Barnes Myofascial Release.  Generally the longer side effects have been present, the longer it will take for a woman to become completely pain-free.  However, adding daily self-myofascial release to her wellness regimen will speed the results exponentially.

Remember,  survivors DO have the power to reclaim their quality of life!

*Learn more about what happens during and after surgery in these fascinating video clips from the 2007 Fascial Research Conference at Harvard Medical School.