Frequently Asked Questions
How many treatments will it take?
It depends on the patient, however, most people notice significant changes within three or four sessions. MFR is particularly effective when you group sessions close together (such as 2–3 treatments per week). Many people receive several MFR treatments within a short time to address a specific concern, and then find themselves receiving “MFR maintenance” sessions every few months.
What do I wear to treatment?
Loose fitting clothing, gym shorts or bathing suit bottoms (men and women), and swimsuit top or sports bra for ladies. Please do NOT apply lotion or oil of any kind as this will interfere with the direct hand to skin contact necessary for effective myofascial release.
What will it feel like?
To the recipient, it feels like gentle sustained pressure with the therapist’s hands directly on your skin. We do not use lotions or oils of any kind during myofascial release. Please be mindful and do NOT apply lotion or oil to the skin the day of treatment. The holds vary in length depending on tissue response, and many people describe a warm or vibratory sensation. It also feels like letting go, softening, or melting this can feel scary to some people, and feel like a huge relief to others. Occasionally, people will experience “therapeutic pain” during myofascial release. It will not injure you and is merely tissue memory. To some, this feels like a mild burning or tingling sensation and is non-injurious. For more information please read the following article on therapeutic pain by John F. Barnes, PT: http://myofascialrelease.com/downloads/articles/TherapeuticPain.pdf
To the therapist, it can feel like butter melting, taffy stretching, heat, vibrations, or water rushing.
Should I talk during my Myofascial Release Session?
Initially, verbal communication is necessary with your therapist. You are in control of the session at all times. You have safety words like “ease up” or “halt” this indicates to your therapist that the pressure is too much, or you would like to stop at that particular moment, for whatever reason. The therapist will respect your wishes to do so.
Everyone has different tissue sensitivities, and each therapist, a different touch. You should communicate to your therapist any areas of “therapeutic pain” that come up during treatment, as it can be indicative of where a restrictive fascial pull is prevalent. You may feel sensations of any kind in any area away from where the therapist’s hands are located: this is called the FASCIAL VOICE. Please let your therapist know what you are feeling during a session.
Emotions may surface during a release, it is ok, and we encourage you to let it come up. You may express yourself emotionally as needed, or vocalize as it feels right. This is healing. Your therapist may dialogue with you during this time. You are never obligated to share what surfaces for you unless you want. This time is for your journey to health and your return to wellbeing. MFR is a powerful tool for accessing the mind-body connection in order to heal the cumulative effects of inflammation, trauma, and stress in the body.
How will I feel when I’m done with an MFR session?
Many people feel great when they experience structural releases! Some people report feeling energized, uplifted, and a deep sense of relaxation. They can move around better than when they arrived after years of being restricted.
Sometimes we experience what is known as a Healing Crisis. This occurs when the release stirs up the remanent tissue congestion that has been trapped inside of a fascial restriction. You may experience mild muscular soreness, heightened emotional awareness, temporary exacerbation of pain, or have a generalized feeling of malaise. This is a good sign that your body is releasing.
I like to use the visual of a dam busting to allow the water to flow downstream. The “debris” that was trapped, is now released, and free to exit the body. Please drink plenty of water and relay any healing crisis to your therapist. Follow up treatments, self-treatment, and performing your home program will help this clear. It usually resolves in a few hours to a few days. This is authentic healing.
“MFR is a journey of exploration that requires you to feel without trying to figure it out.”
– Richard Harty, PT
How much water should I drink?
Our bodies are roughly on average 60-70% water. A good start is drinking half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150lbs then your intake would be 75 oz of water/day. Two quarts of water is 64 ounces plus a glass, or roughly half a gallon of water a day, minimum.
If you work out or sweat a lot, then add 8 oz per hour of activity. We get some water from the fruits and vegetables we ingest. Thirst is a sign of dehydration. Drink throughout the day. The urine will turn pale yellow or clear when you are adequately hydrated.
Are there any conditions where Myofascial Release Therapy should not be administered?
MFR treatment should not take place if the following is present:
- open wounds
- healing fractures
- active blood clot
- anti-coagulant therapy
- advanced diabetes
- advanced degenerative changes
- obstructive edema
- systemic or localized infection
Please inform your therapist of any of these conditions.