What is it?

  • A stretching technique that delivers:
    •  improvements in flexibility
      • muscle recovery
      • movement efficiency
      • inhibiting overactive muscles
      • pain reduction.
  • In just minutes of application!
How can it be done?
  • Foam rollers
    • Vary in density, surface structure, and even temperature modifications
  • Medicine balls
  • Handheld rollers, such as “the stick”
How does it work?
  • Focuses on the neural and facial systems in the body that can be negatively influenced by:
    • Poor posture
    • Repetitive motions
    • Dysfunctional movements
  • These mechanically stressful actions are recognized as an injury by the body, initiating a repair process called the “Cumulative Injury Cycle”
    • Cycle follows this path:
      • Inflammation
      • Muscle spasm
      • Development of soft tissue adhesions that can lead to altered neuromuscular control and muscle imbalance
    • The adhesions, also known as “trigger points,” reduce the elasticity of the soft tissues and can eventually cause a permanent change in the soft tissue structure
    • Self Myofascial release focuses on alleviating these adhesions to restore optimal muscle motion and function.
  • The science:
    • Based on the principle of autogenic inhibition
      • Skeletal muscle tissue contains 2 different neural receptors:
        • Muscle spindles
          • Sensory receptors running parallel to muscle fibers, sensitive to a change and rate of muscle lengthening
          • When they are stimulated, they cause the muscle to contract.
        • Golgi Tendon organs (GTO)
          • Located in the musculotendinous junctions, are stimulated by a change and rate of tension.
          • When they are stimulated, they cause the muscle to relax.
      • When a change in tension is sustained at an adequate intensity and duration, muscle spindle activity is inhibited causing a decrease in trigger point activity, accompanied by a reduction of pain.
      • In other words, when the pressure of the body against the foam roller is sustained on the trigger point, the GTO will “turn off” the muscle spindle activity, allowing the muscle fibers to stretch, unknot, and realign.
Benefits of SMR
  • Correction of muscle imbalances
  • Increase blood flow
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improved joint range of motion
  • Improved neuromuscular efficiency
  • Reduced soreness and improved tissue recovery
  • Suppression/reduction of trigger point sensitivity and pain
  • Decreased neuromuscular hypertonicity
  • Provide optimal-length tension relationships in the muscles
  • Decrease the overall effects of stress on the human movement system
When to do it?
  • Should be done before static or dynamic stretching activities, to improcpve the tissues’ ability to lengthen during stretching activities.
  • Can and should also be included as part of he cool down.
Not appropriate for those with:
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Any organ failure
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Contagious skin conditions
How to do it?
  • Begin at the base of the muscle attachment point. (Calf, for example).
  • Slowly roll 1″/1 second until the most tender spot is found.
  • Hold on that spot while relaxing the targeted area and discomfort is reduced, between 30-90 seconds
  • Maintain core stability during the entire exercise, by drawing in he navel toward the spine.
  • Pay attention to how slight variations in position can target different areas of the muscles that you may need relief in.
If all else fails, come get a massage from one of us at Richmond Wellness! 

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