This is a technique to release tension the body. It is a more
general or wholesome approach, which is applied to more than one
area of the body in one treatment. NST is a technique that when applied,
initiates a process of natural auto-regulation in the spinal column, and
consequently in the whole body.
The resultant effect of this is a rapid elimination or reduction of
symptoms, followed by an increase in energy and an unmistakable sense of
It is especially helpful with chronic conditions, RTAs or simply where
there are more areas of the body involved.
NST is based on the releasing of energy by opening and closing energy
channels, which causes a general relaxation post treatment. They may
also be other side effects as result of releasing the muscle
tension. (for more information on this technique see www.nsthealth.com)
NST is originally derived from an older technique, the Bowen technique (Tom
It was further developed by Michael Nixon-Livy health
Myofascial Release is a highly specialized stretching technique used by physiotherapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems.
To understand what Myofascial Release is and why it works, you have to understand a little about fascia. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn't expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.
In other words, Myofascial Release is stretching of the fascia. The stretch is guided by feedback the physiotherapist feels from the patient's body. This feedback tells the physiotherapist how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch. Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes the physiotherapist uses only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. The feedback the physiotherapist feels determines which muscles are stretched and in what order.
Each Myofascial Release technique contains the same components. The physiotherapist finds the area of tightness. A light stretch is applied to the tight area. The physiotherapist waits for the tissue to relax and then increases the stretch. The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed. Then, the next area is stretched.
The physiotherapist will be able to find sore spots just by feel. Often, patients are unable to pinpoint some sore spots or have grown used to them until the physiotherapist finds them. The size and sensitivity of these sore spots, called Myofascial Trigger Points, will decrease with treatment.
Most patients are surprised by how gentle Myofascial Release is. Some patients fall asleep during treatment. Others later go home and take a nap. Most patients find Myofascial Release to be a very relaxing form of treatment.
Myofascial Release is not massage. Myofascial Release is used to equalize muscle tension throughout the body. Unequal muscle tension can compress nerves and muscles causing pain. Progress is measured by a decrease in the patient's pain and by an improvement in overall posture.
Who can benefit from Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release requires intense one-on-one treatment time. More traditional physiotherapy treatments which are less labour intensive should always be tried first to avoid over-treatment. Myofascial Release is highly effective in treating patients with the following diagnoses.
- Back strain, chronic back pain, low back pain, thoracic back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic cervical pain
- Complex pain complaints
- Dizziness, vertigo
- Myofascial pain dysfunction
- Plantar fasciitis
- Post-Polio symptoms
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- TMJ dysfunction
- Trigger points, tender points *
* Trigger Points and tender points cause different types of pain. For example, a Trigger Point in the neck muscles can cause headaches, the sensation of your throat closing or eye pain. Pressure on a Trigger Point causes increased pain at the site and radiating pain in other apparently unrelated parts of the body. Pressure on a tender point causes increased pain only at the tender point itself.
It is very important to stabilise the muscle/joint structure post
manipulation/realignment. This is achieved with various exercise
programmes specific to the area treated.
This would involve stretching, strengthening, awareness/knowledge of
movement patterns, balance/reactions education.
A Trigger Point (TrP)is defined as" hyper-irritable spots in skeletal
muscle associated with hypersensitive palpable nodules in a taut band".
Basically Trps exists in a muscle where that part of a muscle or fascia is
taut which presents itself as a "knot" in the muscle belly. Also There is
reduced blood flow to this area so it is necessary and therefore very
release it. TrPs can be caused by Muscle weakness, overload, poor posture,
pain from other structures, general fatigue or as a result of a direct
Trigger Points were originally identified by Dr.Janet Travell and Dr.David
Dry Needling is a relatively new treatment used by chartered
physiotherapists. It is used to assist the release joint and Muscle
Tension/guarding. Acupuncture needles are applied directly to the Trigger
Points/Taut band identified in the skeletal Muscle. The result is generally
Many people can identify with "pronated feet" or "flat feet" which
affects their walking or running. This can be addressed by
providing appropriate footwear which will place the foot in a
This is achieved by measuring each foot and identifying what is
needed to add in order to achieve this neutral position. Orthotics are then
prescribed with the appropriate changes.
Orthotics are made to wear like an insole and can be worn in most footwear.