Myofascial [mī·ōfa′shē·əl] pertaining to a muscle and its sheath of connective tissue, or fascia. – Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
Sometimes the source of pain is soft tissue, either muscle or the fascia that encases and connects muscles. The tissues could be inflamed, swollen, or scarred and will often will feel tight or sensitive, and/or have limited mobility. Myofascial therapy is a touch therapy, practiced by a massage therapist.
Before, during, and after an appointment
The day before a myofascial therapy appointment, it’s important to give attention to drinking enough water, so that your tissues are fully hydrated during the session. This also helps prevent soreness after the session.
During your treatment, the massage therapist will ask you some questions as they go, often about your comfort. Just be honest about how the pressure feels, so they can better understand what you’re experiencing, and how things are feeling to you. The massage therapist will manipulate tissues to break up adhesions, increase blood flow, and restore normal functioning, often repeating or holding the same movements until they tight tissue loosens. The places they may focus on are often called “trigger points” and you may tense or tighten when they are initially touched. That’s okay, and help identify what your body needs.
After your appointment, you may feel very relaxed and want a nap, but you’re fine to drive and do normal activities if you feel like it. Some people become nauseous or lightheaded or develop soreness during or after treatment, although this is rare. Keep hydrating, and if you feel sore for more than one day, call your massage therapist.