If you've come to a workshop, course or class recently, you'll have heard me talking a lot about MFR. But what is it? And why do I keep banging on about it?!
Myofascial Release (MFR) is a therapeutic tool used by a wide range of fitness professionals, including yoga teachers (me!).
It woks with a delightful connective tissue in our body called Fascia.
Fascia is one of those things that until relatively recently, nobody cared much about.
Science has only recently started catching up on how amazing and crucial fascial health is to the rest of our body.
Here are some quick Fascia facts:
Fascia forms one interconnected system that exists from your head to your toe WITHOUT INTERRUPTION!
It is it's own sensory organ: communicating with the brain directly
It is flexible AND strong
Memories can be stored in it's tissues
Fasica is pretty amazing.
How can we support it to stay strong and flexible?
A requirement of fascia is that it needs to stay hydrated, so tissues can 'slide and glide' creating optimal movement.
There are many ways to do this, and one of them is simply TO MOVE, stretch and stress tissues!
The body is made to move, and fascia responds well to any kind of movement. In fact, staying sedentary is one of the worst things we can do for Fascial health.
My tip: find a form of movement that you enjoy doing, and the rest will work itself out!
But my favourite way is through MFR
As it states in the name, MFR is all about releasing the Fascia, but I see it as so much more than this.
So WHY practice MFR?!
1. INCREASED AWARENESS
As we manipulate the Fascia using tools, we are creating a self-care map of our own bodies.
Through increased awareness of sensation in the communication system of Fascia, we understand more deeply what our own bodes need, and can respond more appropriately.
MFR can be incredibly relaxing in releasing held tension throughout the physical body (sometimes even in spaces we didn't realise we were holding it!)
Also, because of the way it works with our sensory organs and nervous system, I encourage students to find a sweet spot, between pain and no sensation, where they can stay.
Through staying with uncomfortable sensations in our own bodies, we also begin to strengthen our relaxation response in the mind too.
3. IMPROVED POSTURE
We all know that we sit a lot (you're probably doing it right now, reading this!) Although sitting isn't inherently bad for us, sitting for long periods of time and in the same, hunched over posture IS!
MFR can help to rectify this. Firstly by encouraging postural muscles to relax and fire correctly, and secondly by forcing us into different postures while doing MFR!
Want to try MFR, but don't know where to start?
Sign up to my mailing list and receive a free, simple MFR practice.
And, look out for online workshops, courses and videos that are coming soon!