Myofascial Release Therapy
What is myofascial release therapy?
Myofascial release therapy, or MFR for short, is a hands-on form of physical medicine. MFR is used to treat muscular pain, headache, joint dysfunction (temporal mandibular joint dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction), tendon inflammation, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, texting thumb and plantar fasciitis. Recently it is used to treat anxiety, insomnia and poor posture.
MFR is a widely accepted non-pharmaceutical (opiate/narcotic) means of managing pain related to, or caused by, serious medical conditions such as autoimmune disease, degenerative spinal conditions, osteoarthritis and some types of cancer.
Do I need a prescription for MFR?
In Alaska, a prescription is necessary for coverage through your health insurance policy. Commonly MFR is covered through Aetna, Premera BCBS, Federal BCBS, State of Alaska Worker Compensation and Motor Vehicle no fault policies.
I don’t have an illness, can MFR help me?
Myofascial release therapy is a means of managing pain that keeps you from enjoying moving your body. Movement is the beginning of good health. If you don’t walk, run, play tennis or do yoga because your feet, back, elbows or knees ache, you increase your likelihood of illness related to weight gain and high blood pressure.
Your immune system (lymphatic system) requires your body to move. Unlike your circulatory system, which is powered by your heart, your immune system relies on muscular contraction/relaxation to move your lymphatic fluid to your vital organs. Thus, lack of movement makes you more prone to catching every little virus around.
What does MFR feel like?
MFR has many similarities with massage therapy. Long, gliding strokes, assisted and passive stretches, deep trigger point releases and body positioning props will all be used. MFR is done on bare skin on a massage table or on a sports massage mat. There is however rarely lubricant applied as the ability to grip the soft tissue (skin and underlying fascial connective tissue) is key to the success of the therapy.
The fascial layer supports, connects and sends signals from the nervous system to the muscular system. This fascia is the structure that your MFR therapist is reaching for to affect change in muscle, tendon joint or organ systems. It is the one structure that can positively or negatively affect all other body structures. You, as the receiver of this powerful bodywork, have the final say in guiding your therapist as to the depth, pressure, stretch and force that your body needs. This can change from day-to-day, so for each session please remember that communication is your right and responsibility. Your therapist can best help you if she/he knows that you will speak up if you are uncomfortable with the method being applied.
What should I wear for MFR?
Ideally you will wear loose-fitting clothing. Shorts and a t-shirt are appropriate for men and women. Some prefer to wear underwear and be draped with a sheet for comfort. Often your therapist will request that ladies wear a sports bra or a cloth breast drape to allow work to the tops of the shoulder/neck area. Remember again that your comfort is the priority.
Who can prescribe MFR?
Your general physician, naturopathic physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, osteopathic physician or chiropractic physician will be able to write a prescription for MFR.
Schedule your appointment in Fairbanks, Alaska
If you live in or around Fairbanks and you have a prescription for myofascial release therapy, schedule your appointment at Mountain View Medical Center (where Revive Aesthetics is located). We can help you manage your pain so that you can revive your overall health and wellness. To get started, call (907) 371-1766.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.