Part of the attitude of Esalen is that touching is a basic need, as essential as air, food or water: that caring about others is natural; that getting in touch with one’s own body leads to a more effective way of loving and relating to others, and that healing comes from within as well as from the outside.
The term “Swedish Massage” refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.
Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes.
It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable.
Swedish massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves themselves at the same time. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical.
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.