By Kristen Miller
KINGSTON, MN With six years in massage therapy, Shari Seifert of Kingston is expanding her therapeutic realm to include a whole body approach with an increasingly popular technique called myofascial release.
Traditional massage therapy deals with muscle tissue, whereas myofascial release is all about the fascia in one’s body, explained Seifert.
Fascia is described as a tough connective tissue which spreads throughout the body in a three-dimensional matrix from head to foot without interruption, according to information Seifert received during a myofascial release seminar in April. The three-part seminar, which took place in St., Louis, MO, was with John Barnes, physical therapist and authority on myofascial release.
The techniques which Seifert learned during the seminar are needed when injury, trauma, posture, or inflammation causes restrictions in the fascia, putting excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and organs.
The technique is actually quite different from massage and other types of therapy, Seifert said.
These restrictions can produce about 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on “pain sensitive structures that do not show up in any of the standard tests, such as CAT scans and x-rays.”
Though it is still hands-on, the myofascial release approach taught by Barnes is more gentle than other forms of therapy, Seifert said.
“Some people don’t handle physical therapy or massage therapy well and that’s when it’s really great to have myofascial release as a technique,” Seifert said.
It can also be used in conjunction with these therapies to enhance the results, especially for those with injuries, she said.
One of Seifert’s friend who has Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease affecting various parts of the body, prefers myofascial release over massage therapy because it works better for her, according to Seifert.
Her sister, who has joint hypermobility, which can cause injury and a longer healing process, has also seen good results.
Seifert also suffers from this syndrome, which is one of the reasons she decided to explore this gentler approach. Myofascial release is easier for her to practice on others than massage, she said.
There is also an emotional healing that can come from myofascial release, Seifert said, and she can attest to this.
She explained that traumatic experiences cannot only be in one’s mind, but they can also affect the body in the fascia.
“I believe everybody can benefit from myofascial release,” Seifert said.
Myofascial release is becoming increasingly popular and is being used alone or in conjunction with other forms of therapy, Seifert said, adding that she likes to start with myofascial release and then work into a massage.
Depending on the level of severity, relief can come after only one session, or it may take multiple sessions, she said.
Currently, Seifert is taking appointments for either massage or myofascial release, which she does from her home in Kingston.
“I am intent on using my skills as a therapist to provide an experience that is therapeutic to the body and mind,” Seifert said.
She first became interested in therapy because her grandmother Mary Ann Wuollet of Cokato, at age 50, became a massage therapist working out of her home.
After spending a lot of time there, Seifert was able to see the impact her grandmother had on her clients through massage therapy.
Hearing the praises for her grandmother, Seifert was inspired to go into massage therapy. “I thought it was really neat that she could make people feel that good,” Seifert said.
Seifert is available for either massage therapy or myofascial release Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the evenings, as well as Saturday mornings. She charges $30 for 30 minutes, $50 for 60 minutes, and $75 for 90 minutes.
For an appointment, call (320) 275-9824.