Skin rolling, also known as myofascial release treatment is a form of massage therapy. But what is skin rolling aka myofascial release treatment and how can it help you? This article covers everything you need to know.
These massage techniques are used to treat areas on the body with abnormal, cross-linked fascia issues. When the connective tissue under the skin becomes damaged it can lead to a number of painful issues. If left untreated, further more complicated issues can develop. This is where skin rolling techniques are used to resolve these issues.
What Is the Fascia in the Body?
Fascia in the human body is a system of densely woven matter that is termed as a ‘system’. It runs all over our bodies in one continuous structure. Covering every muscle, nerve, bone, vein, etc.
You can look at fascia as a loose irregular clear tissue that sits between the muscles and other structures. Helping to hold everything in place. Fascia resembles a spider web when it’s healthy, in place, pliable and organised.
It strengthens the body’s immune system, separates body parts, helps with fluid flow, and more. So as you can see, it’s an incredibly important part of our bodies. Yet most people have never heard of it and are not aware of it.
When you experience infections, trauma, surgery or other damage to an area of your body the fascia becomes damaged. The fascia becomes ‘sticky’ and abnormal links form between areas of the body.
This is what causes inflammation, pain, and abnormal issues. In the long-term you can experience loss of motion, poor posture, reduced immune system, a decrease in lymphatic function, and other issues that reduce your overall health.
How Does Skin Rolling Work?
Skin rolling breaks up the abnormal cross linking of tissue in the fascia. This increases the mobility and helps regenerate the tissue. A myofascial release treatment therapist will use skin rolling techniques to work the areas where the pain and inflammation is.
They do this by pinching the skin between their fingers. Similar to a pecking motion, and this pulls the skin away from the structures lying under the skin. The therapist will form a rhythm moving along the surface of the area being worked on.
This can be painful depending on how damaged the area is. The process stretches the fascia, breaking the cross-linked web that shouldn’t have formed, and improving the mobility of the tissue.
Skin rolling is very effective at loosening up the areas of skin that have become tight. It’s not unusual for the skin to become red and warm where it’s being worked on, this means the techniques are working.
What to Expect from Skin Rolling
The process can be a little uncomfortable, or even painful is more severe cases. This is part of the process and necessary to achieve positive results and repair the damage. Some of the benefits a patient receiving myofascial release treatment can expect include:
- Released tension in tight areas
- Reduction in pain in the damaged areas
- Improved lymphatic flow
- Reduced swelling
- Improved range of motion
- Improved nerve function
Additional Treatments to Use with Myofascial Release Therapy
There are some other forms of therapy that can be used in conjunction with, or after skin rolling. Other nonsurgical techniques used to treat and control pain in muscles and joints include:
- Over the counter medications such as anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen
- Using heat patches on areas with deep muscle pain
- Using ice packs on swollen areas and sore joints
- Performing stretching exercises to increase the blood and oxygen flow to the muscles
Acupuncture is also another form of alternative medicine that has proven to have good results. Along with physical therapy or occupational therapy.
There are a range of treatment options available and they are certainly worth looking into. Living with muscular or joint pain can reduce a person’s day to day quality of life. You should always seek treatment as soon as possible and not leave it to progress and worsen.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.