Myofascial Release Therapy
Myofascial releasework addresses the body's connective tissue, or fascia. Fascia is the body's organising tissue; it's what wraps the muscles, bones and organs and what creates tendons and ligaments. Fascia is meant to distribute strains evenly, when we sit, stand or move. Over time as stresses, injuries and daily habits affect the body, fascia reacts, getting thicker and 'gluing' itself to surrounding structures. Adverse tension held within the fascia can cause additional compression and reduced movement and therefore dis-ease. Fascia also contains many of the body's receptors and 'bound' fascia may affect muscle tone and proprioception.
Myofascial release work aims to:
- bring about body-wide balance of minimal tension and movement ability,
- help decompress joints,
- enable fascia to glide and slide relative to each other as nature intended,
- create ease in the body and effortless movement,
- improve tissue tone and proprioceptive feedback for movement control.
Structural Integration (SI)or "Rolfing" as it commonly known, was developed by Dr Ida P Rolf (1896-1979) in the USA. Dr Rolf was perhaps unique in her day for being both a notable biochemist and adept therapeutic practitioner whose interest in the body's fascia, began a field of enquiry and research that provides a scientific foundation for fascial release today.
Kinesis Myofascial Integration (KMI)is a distinct approach to myofascial work developed by Tom Myers, based on his experience with Dr Ida Rolf, Dr Moshe Feldenkrais's approach to movement repatterning and designer Buckminster Fuller's Tensegrity geometry. KMI is based on theAnatomy Trainsconcept, in which Myers has identified a series of lines of fascia that link muscles, ligaments and tendons (myofascial continuities), traversing the body in a longitudinal direction. These are tensional lines and help to identify how stability and strain are transmitted from one area of the body to another. For example, an issue with the hip may be due to imbalances in the joint that are caused by bound fascia and misalignment elsewhere in the body, such as the knees, ankles or arches of the foot. Applying this to treatments enables a holistic approach that is tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
KMI examines patterns that exist throughout the whole body, and helps:
- freeing the fascial tissue based on the logic of the anatomy trains
- re-educate the body into efficient sustaining patterns for both posture and movement
- provide greater ease, fluidity and efficiency in movement
- raise body awareness
- improve breathing and performance
- prevent injury
- promote health and well-being
Types of Sessions
Treatments are usually arranged as either single sessions or as a defined series of sessions, depending on the goals and issues being addressed.
Single sessions- Myofascial release techniques will be applied to specific body areas depending on the goals and issues addressed. For example, a session on the hips and pelvis may focus on improving turn-out or help produce a deeper plie; a session on the shoulders and neck may focus on tension relief, etc.
12-session series- Myofascial release techniques will be used to work through all the anatomy trains in detail addressing specific and individuals needs.
3-session series- working through the lower-body, upper-body then unifying the work through the spine, addressing individual patterns.
A series of sessions is followed by a break for integration and application. Very occasionally, chronic or severe symptoms may require longer-term work.
Each session begins with an assessment of the body, either in standing or in movement, and the sessions are usually carried out with the client in underwear or swimwear. Treatments are a process in which the client actively participates, creating movement as the practitioner works on the fascia.
Acti-Tape has its origin in therapeutic sports tapes for providing support to joints and tissues, for rehabilitation of injuries and enhancing performance in sports and dance without affecting range of motion. The concept was initially developed in Japan in the late 1970's. Newer methodologies have been developed that address benefits associated with preventative health maintenance. Acti-Tape supports the body's own natural healing processes. It is non-medicated which means everyone can use and benefit from it.
- Repositioning, support and protection of joints
- Relaxing overused and overextended muscles and other tissues
- Alleviation of pain
- Reducing edema, inflammation and discomfort
- Supporting rehabilitation from injuries
- Providing proprioceptive feedback for body awareness and control
It is recommended that the first appointment will take 30 minutes which includes a manual and movement assessment. Follow up appointments are either 30 or 15 minutes which are used to re-assess the situation and re-apply the tape.
Myofascial Release & Acti-Taping Practitioner - Ramona Peoples
Ramona has been studying the 3-dimensional moving puzzle of the human body since the late 90's, both in movement and manual therapy. She is a certified practitioner of Kinesis Myofascial Integration (KMI) developed and taught by Tom Myers and James Earls. She holds an MSc in Dance Science from Laban where she researched the relationship between hypermobility and balance in dance students. Ramona completed three years of studies at the Franklin-Method Institute in Switzerland. She is certified in matwork, pre-and post-natal and BackCare Pilates by Body Control Pilates and in equipment Pilates by Polestar Pilates, for whom she worked as a mentor for three years.
Ramona works with a wide client base from all walks of life. She first started working with dancers in Scotland in 2003 and has since taught and treated dance students and professionals in contemporary dance, ballet and musical theatre. She has worked in dance education as a lecturer in anatomy, fitness, health and safety and also taught warm-up classes, e.g. for The Cholmondeleys and for Big Dance at GdA. She has also been developing and teaching movement awareness workshops for Pilates teachers and other movement professionals for many years.
Ramona's special interests are dancers' health, women's health and back care. She is a member of BackCare, the charity for healthier backs and of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) level 4. Ramona regularly attends professional development courses and workshops, such as Acti-Taping, Advanced Myofascial Techniques, etc. to enable her to provide treatments she knows dancers will benefit from.