by Victoria Armstrong, Founder & Practice Manager at Bristol Massage Therapy
You may or may not have heard about this form of bodywork. It’s a very slow, ‘gentle’ yet highly effective form of touch therapy and there is something of a buzz about it over the past few years. If you haven’t heard about it in terms of the ‘massage’ world, you might have come across it from the fitness world … in the form of Foam Rolling, or SMR (Self-Myofascial Release). I even wrote an article about it a few years back …
The thing with fads, buzz-words and terminology is that all of a sudden, you will come across lots of practitioners offering said popular ‘treatment’ type. I remember when I worked as a Personal Trainer seeing people who were foam rolling their legs, going at it hammer and tongs as though they were rolling a piece of stubborn pastry – when in actual fact for pressure to be effective on the fascia it has to be slow and sustained.
If you want to know more about fascia and myofascial release, Zoe (who left on maternity leave a few years ago, and whom I’m hoping might return to us one day!) wrote a brilliant piece for us called Myofascial Release Demystified about it ( … update note from Editor).
So why am I writing about it? Because, as with all fads, there has been a marked increase in the number of clients and prospective clients who have enquired as to whether any of the BMT team are qualified in MFR. So, I thought it might be useful if you knew where we stand.
Do we offer MFR?
Not all massage, and not all Myofascial Release is created equal. As with all qualifications there are various levels available here in the UK, even though it’s a relatively new form of bodywork, and where possible I look for practitioners who hold the gold standard in any specific modality. With pregnancy massage, this is the Well Mother diploma and with Myofascial Release this is the MFR UK’s Advanced Clinical Diploma in Myofascial Release.
Why am I telling you this?
Because to date, we don’t have any practitioners who hold the Advanced Clinical Diploma in Myofascial Release. What we do have, however, are exceptional practitioners, some of whom have undertaken additional CPD in this modality.
Rosie, Ollie & most recently Ellie have completed Level 1 (of 3 with additional modules) with MFR UK, whilst Tamara’s Bachelor of Health Studies – Neuromuscular Therapy in New Zealand integrated MFR together with other techniques like Muscle Energy Techniques and Neuromuscular Massage Therapy.
So, if you are interested in finding out a bit more about fascia, or experience some myofascial release we might be able to help by incorporating some of this wonderful work into your appointment. However, if you are looking for a certified Myofascial Release practitioner, I’m afraid that at the moment we just don’t have the right person for you.
All is not lost
If you are after a specialist, someone who is qualified in Myofascial Release then you can use the Directory offered by Myofascial Release UK. Please note, this directory does include some students who have completed just Level 1 of MFR UK’s courses, the same as our BMT practitioners.