Do you tend to wake up stiff in the morning? Is getting out of bed a real pain? Are you stiff after sitting for any length of time?
We tend to think it’s our joints that are to blame but more often than not, it is the soft tissue that surrounds the joints – the fascia – that is the source of stiffness, illness, and pain.
Does this happen to you?
- Do you suffer with pain that hasn’t responded to the conventional treatment?
- Did your pain get better but keeps coming back?
- Did you have it sorted and now it’s on the other side?
- Does it keep moving around?
- Have you been to the Dr or specialist and they said nothing is wrong?
- Have you had a CT scan, MRI, and other tests that do not back up your symptoms?
- Is your pain keeping you awake at night?
- Is it stopping you from being as active as you would like to be?
- Are you totally exhausted and warn out?
- Have you had it for AGES? Years even? Is it getting worse, or spreading?
- Is it making you feel depressed or isolated?
- Does it feel like no-one wants to hear about it anymore?
- Do you feel like your nervous system has become supper sensitive?
If any of this resonates, it is likely that your symptoms are coming from the fascial system and that is ‘good news’ as we can treat the fascia and most likely resolve your pain!
The fascia renews and adapts itself all the time so making changes to the fascial system will bring changes that last.
What is Myofascial Release?
Myo is the Greek word for muscle and the fascia is the connective tissue that permeates the body, forming a 3D matrix of structural support. It surrounds all organs, muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels and every cell. It is the ‘in between’ space that holds most of the water in our bodies (interstitial fluid or ground substance), and the ‘scaffolding’ (collagen and elastin) that holds the body up against gravity due to a dynamic, ever changing balance between tension and compression. It is highly innervated with sensors for pain and awareness of where our body is in space.
The fascia’s role is to contract during injury or in response to inflammation, infection or surgery and does not release on its own. Because the fascia is an interconnected system, any strain or tension on one part of the body, may generate pain, reduce range of movement or cause dysfunction elsewhere in the body. Thus, releasing restrictions in the Myofascia, will have an effect on the fascia elsewhere, including at a deeper level.
As it surrounds all structures, a thickening in the fascia will inhibit the flow between blood vessels and the cells, starving them of nutrients and hydration and trapping toxins in the cells. Furthermore, scar tissue produces a huge tensile force which can crush nerves and blood vessels anywhere in the body, including in the brain, resulting in changes at cellular level. This could be the cause of many illnesses/ conditions though is is rarely identified by the medical profession as it does not show up in current imaging techniques.
Fascial techniques are very useful in treating a huge variety of symptoms, such as back pain and Sciatica, neck pain, jaw dysfunction and headaches, sport injuries or repetitive strain injuries such as plantar fasciatis. Fascial release is also effective in reducing scar tissue and adhesions post-surgery (even years later), and in addressing symptoms of IBS, constipation and many more.
Treating the fascia allows the body to rid itself of patterns of asymmetry, which may cause excessive wear and tear on joints, pain and dysfunction. One can then learn to realign the body and re-programme a neutral, symmetrical pattern of movement thus restoring function and reducing pain long term.
More recently I discovered how potent a super gentle MFR technique is in calming down the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight response) after major surgery (such as open heart surgery, hip and knee replacements, compartment syndrome, hand and wrist surgery) by clearing the memory of the trauma of surgery or intubation from the tissue. More so, a gentle tug on the fascia facilitated an instant reduction in swelling (a major contributor to pain post surgery). Even bruising has cleared at an astonishing rate! All in all, treatment in the first few days post surgery dramatically enhances recovery by reducing one’s anxiety and swelling and pain, allowing the immune system to function at its best.
Myofascial Release Treatment
Treatment requires a focused ‘listening’ touch. A gentle, hands on skin technique allows the therapist to tune in to the tissues and ‘feel’ what is going on.
A prolonged light pressure/ tension on the fascia will induce the piezoelectric phenomenon (pressure/ electricity) which releases the musculo-elastic component causing it to elongate. Holding tension for longer (5 minutes or more) will allow the collagen barrier to relax, the ground substance (liquid crystals) to return to its liquid form, restoring flow to the system and important chemicals (interluekin 3 and 8) to be released, allowing the body to heal itself and produce permanent results.
Recent research confirms that intentional skin to skin touch by a skilled therapist not only calms the autonomic nervous system (ANS) but can also reduce cancer cells around a tumour while increasing cytokines – immune fighting cells!
Following a traumatic experience such as an operation, the body will go in to what is known as a ‘fight/ flight mode’. This is a normal stress response caused by activation of the Sympathetic nervous system, and should, but doesn’t always resolve when the threat is over. Very gentle but deep touch activates the Ruffini receptors in the fascia calming the fight/flight response, thus bringing a sense of relaxation, and restoring well being.
Gentle fascia release following a fracture or surgery assists the lymphatic system to operate; by creating flow in the system, toxins can be cleared and local swelling reduced to minimise pain and optimise healing.
The fascia also holds a strong connection with emotional holding patterns which may be contributing to pain and will be released during treatment. Some may experience a therapeutic pain following a session, before feeling better. This is also referred to as a ‘Healing crisis’ and is the experience of old, blocked pain/emotion being released from a locked system. Fascia release can do no harm. The worst that can happen is … nothing at all!
Every person has their own unique fascial system so every treatment is different. In releasing the fascia we treat the cause, rather than the symptoms. This is a truly transformational touch which releases restrictions that hold both physical and emotional pain.
A series of treatments can not only address pain but also bring on a deep and lasting change in body awareness, posture, movement and flow, allowing the body to heal itself and restore well-being.
Our body is built for movement. Fascial restrictions build up overnight and need breaking up in the morning with a good dynamic wiggling stretch.
So what do you do? How do you stretch? Is your stretching effective in releasing your stiffness?
In my sessions I will teach you how to become aware and respond to what your body needs, and how to make your stretches highly effective whilst staying gentle and pain free.
Assessment of ergonomics (objects you interact with) and ADL (activities of daily living)
The way we sleep, sit, work, garden, exercise and move is often a contributor to our pain and stiffness.
Pain which has been treated and has returned, especially more than once, is often an indicator that something in your daily activity is aggravating or indeed causing the irritation.
An integral part of your assessment will be to identify irritating factors.
Alongside hands-on treatment for pain relief and realignment of the tissues, very specific advise will be provided on how and what needs changing. Anything from the height of your pillow (to ensure neck support), to the angle of your bike saddle, from the armchair you use to the position of your TV.
I will also provide advice on optimising and modifying your workspace, be it a computer on a desk at work or a laptop in bed.
Once we can eliminate the contributing factors we can maximise recovery and your chances of staying well.
What does fascia look like?
Click on the links below to view some excellent videos explaining more about the fascia and Myofascial Release:
What does the fascia look like? https://youtu.be/JgNoUrNlgr4
The Fuzz Speech, Gil Headley: https://youtu.be/_FtSP-tkSug
Skin, scars and stiffness, Dr Gimbarteau: https://youtu.be/RQloBVwkieM
Strolling under the skin, Dr. Gimbarteau: https://youtu.be/eW0lvOVKDxE
What is fascia? https://youtu.be/frgQ3k0v_Dg
Biotensegrity, Tom Mayers: https://youtu.be/BzgxYpDyO0M
I highly recommend this informative and easy to follow documentary called ‘HEAL’, which explains how our bodies are designed to self heal, highlights the most important factors in the healing process and explains the new science behind new thinking. (I would recommend purchasing it as you may well want to watch it more than once.)
And JUST for fun, watch ice crystals form on a freezing soap bubble…. so beautiful! Is this how the crystalline water of the fascia crystallises in the body –https://youtu.be/8UhjxHurl0Y
Myofascial Release Prices and Booking
Sessions are for an hour or 90 minutes to enable the whole body alignment to be addressed and give time for the delicate tissues to respond.
Further sessions are spaced a week or more apart to allow the body time to integrate the changes.
- £100 for up to an hour
- £130 for up to 90 minutes
Having seen four specialists and various physios with no concrete diagnosis or results I was in a pretty low place with the intense nerve pain I was suffering in both arms when I was referred to Dana. I had been suffering for a few months and had been off work for two, but she was quite confident she could improve things in three or four sessions. By session three most of the nerve pain had gone, and a few weeks later I was back to work. Her approach is very different to any other physio I’ve seen and she’s clearly incredibly tuned in to the workings of the body, as well as the mind, and has provided relief for me in both areas. I can’t recommend her highly enough.Paul Friend
I was recommended to Dana by my golf pro who felt I could improve my golf after Myofascial Release, and it would also help my other aches and pains. She was so right! Within a few sessions, my former stiffness and pain had been substantially relieved and I was driving the ball further. Dana has worked her magic on me and given me wonderful advice on how to relieve problem areas myself through stretches and simple exercises. I have tried physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractice, but Myofascial Release is by far the most effective in my experience. Dana is a true professional. Jacky Simons
Dana Bregman is more than just a gifted physiotherapist. She has a true vocation for the healing arts and brings great intuition as well immense knowledge and experience to the work that she does. I have recently had a knee replacement operation and the pain relief her treatments have brought me has been remarkable. She studies incessantly and is always adding new techniques to her repertoire. She has often stepped in to help members of my family and we all cannot praise her highly enough. I bless the friend who recommended her to me.Meredith Daneman
I’m genuinely amazed at the improvement I’ve seen since you’ve been treating me, and I don’t exaggerate when I say it’s really made a huge difference to my life.Paul
As a professional sportsperson for 35years I have endured my fair share of injuries and received numerous treatments! I just wish I had discovered MFR when I was younger, especially when delivered by Dana and her “magic hands”. Dana’s experience and special intuition ensure that I have benefitted not only from the treatment at the time but my body has continued to heal itself afterwards. The result has been that most of my chronic injuries have completely disappeared. She has also helped me to strengthen my body in a safe way through her enthusiastic Pilates tuition.50+ from Battersea
Almost completely pain free! (in one session) You have worked miracles. Thank you so much! X Claire 2, Wimbledon
Just a couple of lines to say how impressed I have been with the treatment I received from dana. I came to her with a very stiff neck and head pains and in 2 sessions she managed not only to relieve a lot of the stiffness and pain but also to explain exactly what she was doing and why and to give me a wide range of exercises and ideas to manage and release this stiffness. I have nothing but praise for her. Many thanks.Paloma Renteria
Dana’s breadth and depth of knowledge have enabled a comprehensive skill which she employs with great empathy. In my particular case she has virtually eliminated intense, chronic neck and head pain to the extent I am now completely weaned off strong prescription medication. Dana has achieved what my doctors and previous physiotherapists couldn’tBrian S
I was recommended to Dana by a friend, after a recurrence of old spinal injuries, which were causing me great pain and therefore an inability to sleep. He was effusive in his praise of her, which turned out to be absolutely correct. She has an extraordinary ability to identify areas of pain, and the relevant techniques required to alleviate, and subsequently rid me of all pain, so much so that I am now running again.
Her approach is holistic, her demeanour kind, attentive and calm.
I recommend her very highly, and shall be sending my friends and family to her should they need her healing hands.
Mopsy Wass, Battersea, SW11
I called Dana’s treatment ‘a process of forgiveness’….Now I’ve had time to reflect – and can still feel my body continuing to respond today to her gentle style… The body absorbs and remembers and compensates for trauma – physically and mentally, but it also wants to be free of the trauma.
I suspect the body can only be truly free of trauma if it trusts someone to ‘release’ it.
I think Dana’s gift is trust: from the first time she laid her hands on me, and more significantly when she began her treatment, she understood my body and muscles – as opposed to ‘me’ – sensed that she could be trusted and I could feel them ‘wanting’ to respond to Dana’s manipulation. That is her gift.
I was recommended to contact Dana Bregman by a dear friend and golf professional.
I was concerned that I had constant back pain and no cure could be found. I confess to being somewhat sceptical about physiotherapy having never encountered it before. Imagine my surprise on discovering that not only was fascia release uncovering the source of the pain but inducing a sense of wellbeing and inner calm.
Result: after one session, no pain and increased movement, and after second session, again no pain, improved range of movement and an increased sense of wellbeing.
Am scheduled for repeat session in five weeks’ time. No longer a sceptic me!!
Brian St Clair
Dana is Great!
She works sensitively using a variety of techniques to ease tension, alleviate pain and free up movement.
Thoroughly recommended!Christine, Wimbledon
An athlete with chronic shoulder and neck problems, after treatment from Dana’s magic hands I can now lift my arm above my head!
I suffer from cramp in my legs and Dana really helped, much better sleep now!
My headaches and neck issues disappeared and no one has ever managed to help before. I have tried acupuncture, massage. Physiotherapy, osteopathy…
Dana managed to resolve chronic bowel and bladder issues I have had since my kids were born 20 yrs ago, amazing! No one else managed to make a difference…
Had a good session with Dana today – gives me hope!
Can’t get better than that, Dana!Sophie Dhenin, Scorpio Clinic
I was recommended to Dana after having a massage, seeing 3 different Physiotherapists, an MRI scan and a consultants view of what needed to be done. After 2 sessions with her, my back feels as strong if not stronger than it did before I had my back problem.
I would recommend Dana to anyone that has back problems.Ian Irving