When I was a little boy, my parents asked me to step on their feet almost every night before the bed time. They always told me, “oh dear, thank you, my body feels so much lighter!”
In Japan, where the concept of reflexology is commonly accepted, stimulating on feet is believed to have positive effects on the body. Besides the concept of reflexology, current science demonstrates how the human body is connected from one place to the other. The Myofascia is one of the crucial networks of the body to function as a whole.
What is Myofascia?
The Myofascia is a thin layer which covers and wraps around the muscle. You can imagine the Myofascia is like a wetsuit covering and protecting your whole body. Since it covers from the superficial to a deep layer of the body, it is also considered a second body framework. Myofascia has a soft texture, and because of this, can get atrophied (deteriorate) or adhered (stuck). This tissue atrophy and adhesion can cause pain or stiffness which may result in decreasing muscular functionality.
What does the Myofascia do?
The Myofascia plays several important roles in our body.
- Wraps the tissues to shape them into groups and connect them each other, supporting body posture.
- Prevents friction between the tissues by covering the surface of muscles.
- The triple-layer-construction (Endomysium, Perimysium, Epimysium) allows the muscular movement and delivers power through the body.
Since the Myofascia connects the whole body, adhesion of the fascia can limit the movements of the muscle. (Imagine when you wear a very tight wetsuit, your movement is restricted!).
By freeing up the fascia, the surrounded muscle will regain its movements and functionality. For example, when lower back pain is present, treatment on not only the pain source, but also on myofascia around the painful site such as the glutes, hamstrings, and adductors can decrease the symptoms.
I conducted some research to see how we can feel the myofascial network in the body. Participants of the study were asked to roll a golf ball on their feet and measure flexibility of the hamstrings and the lower back before and after the practice. Interestingly, that flexibility was increased in most of the participants. Further studies show that myofascial release on the feet can help or prevent clinical conditions such as lower back pain or hamstring strain.
As stepping on my parents feet may have relieved myofascial tensions and free up their muscles on the back and legs, proper treatments on myofascia can improve and maintain the musculoskeletal functions.
To make an appointment with Shinya at our Langwarrin Clinic go our Make a Booking page or call the clinic on 9789 1233.