Myofascial / Fascial Therapy

Also called connective tissue, fascia surrounds, envelopes and infuses ALL structures within the body from head to the toe including, but not limited to: bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, organs (viscera) and skin. All interconnected, this is like pulling on a knitted sweater, where one thread will pull throughout the whole.

Fascia can hold approximately 2000 lbs. per sq. inch of tensile strength, which makes it incredibly strong. Because of this, when there is a restriction in the fascia, a great force or load can be placed on the body and have far reaching effects, causing pain and dysfunction. It is important to find the area of initial restriction, and to treat that, so resulting issues can resolve.

Whether it be at a superficial or deep level, Fascial Release Therapy approaches the tissues in a manner that uses its mechanical properties to release holding patterns and restrictions in the body, thereby allowing greater ease of movement, decrease in discomfort or pain, and greater sense of well-being.

This form of therapy does not use oils or lotions.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral Manipulation evaluates and treats the mobility and suspension of the internal organs (viscera), membranes, fascia and ligaments. Connective tissue not only surrounds the various organs, but also creates the framework (stroma) of each organ.

As the abdomen and the organs have a huge relationship to the function of the rest of the body, treating this area can help with:

  • Back, shoulder, neck and abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues such as IBS, constipation and bloating
  • Bladder dysfunctions
  • Reproductive issues
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Scar tissue restrictions from surgery

This therapy includes some very subtle techniques, as well as a lot of patient positioning to engage the organs to release holding patterns.

Scar Tissue Release

Scar formation is a normal healing process in response to all injury — from a muscle strain to surgical incision to radiation therapy. Several factors affect the development of scars such as swelling or tension in the area, stress at the time of injury or surgery, and genetics.

Initially, the affected area comprises a loose matrix with lots of extra blood flow. Slowly over a period of weeks, the body produces collagen fibres that absorb the extra blood. Ideally, these fibres align themselves with and become similar to the surrounding tissues. Unfortunately, sometimes these fibres are produced sporadically, not always following the structures of the surrounding tissue.

Although the scar is created locally at the injury site, it can also project to far-reaching areas. Over several months, the scar tissue contracts to create stability; however, as it does so, it pulls at the far-reaching connections or adhesions. This can create restrictions and tension in the body that can lead to pain, dysfunction and range of motion problems.

Using Fascial Therapy and Visceral Manipulation helps reduce scar tissue restrictions — as well as any compensations the body has had to do — resulting in a decrease in pain and swelling and improved and freer range of motion and mobility.

I have several areas of specific focus to my scar tissue practice:

I help people who are going through cancer treatment and are dealing with the ramifications of lumpecotomies, partial mastectomies, radical mastectomies and the effects of radiation.

I have also worked extensively with the cancer population, who have had to deal with lymphedema and scars that restrict lymph movement. Treating the scars can work in tandem with other therapies that are helping to move the lymph.

Addressing breast surgery scars can help with range of motion, pulling and tightness, difficulty breathing and pain as a result of the surgery, radiation or breast implants done after a mastectomy. I have also worked with people who have chosen to have non-cancer-related top surgeries and breast augmentation.

Sometimes the outer scar line or laparoscopic site is small and “normal” looking, but the scar tissue that develops between the layers of skin, peritonium (sac that encases the organs) and organs are the areas that are creating restricted movement, pulling and tightness, limiting breathing or contributing to pain in areas like the low back, pelvis, mid back and shoulders. Working gently through these layers, allowing tissue to hydrate and slide and glide on each other, allowing the nervous system to re-calibrate can be very effective, even years after the surgery.

The craniosacral system is comprised of the dura (fascial membranes), individual cranial bones, the sacrum and the cerebrospinal fluid. The dura surrounds and separates the lobes of the brain, as well as covering and protecting the spinal cord.

The membranes have various attachment points to the bones of the skull, plus two vertebrae in the upper neck and one at the base of the spine. This suspends the brain and spinal cord in cerebrospinal fluid, which also helps to protect the brain.

Fascial tissue restrictions within the craniosacral system can cause imbalances in the bones of the skull and face, which affects the central nervous system and body. Initial injury may have occurred as part of everyday life — or even stem as far back as in utero.

Craniosacral Therapy assessment and treatment are generally applied with a very soft touch, but can have powerful effects. Babies respond particularly well to cranialsacral techniques because of the light touch and minimally invasive style of this modality.

It can be used to treat whiplash, headaches, migraines, sleep difficulties, concussions, acute and chronic pain, sensory abnormalities, sinusitis, and TMJ (jaw dysfunction). It can also helpful for pelvic issues and low back pain.