Myofascial Stretching is a unique self-treatment technique that follows the principles of Myofascial Release (MFR) as developed and taught by John F. Barnes, PT. I teach this method of self-treatment and recommend the following book to all of my patients. Myofascial stretching results in permanent lengthening of the body’s connective tissue and can dramatically improve health and quality of life. The techniques employ sustained pressure using a small inflated ball and active elongation into restrictions in the fascia.
If you have used a foam roller for self myofascial release and to massage, stretch and release your muscles, you will find that this is a natural progression and a very complimentary form of self-treatment. Using an inflatable ball can get into some of the more specific areas and will allow you to work on some of the areas of your body for which the foam roller is too hard or provides too much pressure.
The Myofascial Stretching book was written by two of my colleagues and is written for both the lay person who has chronic pain, muscular tightness and/or postural dysfunction and for clinicians to provide to their patients for home exercise programs. It will benefit anyone with pain or tightness. This type of home based self-treatment can also eliminate many of those aches and pains that you were told are part of the “normal” aging process and you just need to live with. Maybe you don’t!
I recommend working through the book, start to finish, and trying something new each day. Then you can go back and repeat the techniques/stretches that made the biggest difference or change in your body and the way you feel. Another option is to start with techniques for areas of your body where you currently feel tight, tender, or stuck. However, you should be sure to work all areas of your body as the fascia permeates your whole structure, and a release in your feet can affect your neck.
Please let me know if you have any questions or you are interested in learning how to treat your own body with Myofascial Release.
Have a great day!