massage therapy used on the meridians of the hand
massage therapy used on the meridians of the hand

Using Myofascial Release on the Meridians

By John F. Barnes, PT, LMT
September 9, 2021

Using Myofascial Release on the Meridians

By John F. Barnes, PT, LMT
September 9, 2021

Myofascial release combines beautifully with many forms of massage and exercise; each complements the other to help increase their effectiveness. Using myofascial release on the meridians—the traditional Chinese philosophy of the body operating on 12 different pathways connected to major organs—also helps to increase its effectiveness. As you know, the theory of our bodies having meridians has been around for over 5,000 years, though the practice hasn’t been widely recognized Western medicine. 

Fascial Restrictions and How Myofascial Release on the Meridians May Help

Meridian theory states that we have meridians running through our bodies that carry energy and information. I have found that there are copious amounts of melanin in these meridian areas, which is our bodies superconductor. When you take a copper wire and crush it or twist it, it loses its ability to conduct energy. Similarly, when fascia restrictions twist or crush the meridians of the body, they lose their ability to conduct energy properly, resulting in pain and/or physiological dysfunction. 

I view the meridians as the main rivers, or transport mediums, of our body. What is commonly missed by many massage therapists are the billions upon billions of tributaries that feed into these main rivers or meridians. These tributaries are the microtubules of the fascial system. As we release the pressures of the fascial system from trauma, the energy flows beautifully, powerfully and in a balanced way. 

Putting Into Practice: Myofascial Release Arm Pull

In an effort to further explain the concept of myofascial release and meridians, here is a simple technique to use on a client. The arm pull can be used with clients who have finger, wrist, elbow, and shoulder dysfunction, and is also excellent for the treatment of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar dysfunction. Only try this technique if it is within the scope of practice within your state.

  • First: The client lies supine with arms down at sides.
  • The therapist takes one upper extremity into external rotation and applies very gentle traction through the length of the limb.
  • Then, the massage therapist can perform a technique I learned in Hong Kong called wheedling. In this particular example, we are going to focus on the Hoku Point, which is in the web between the thumb and index finger.
  • If you take your thumb and push it gently into the web and move around you will feel a hardened area that is tender. 
  • Start by moving your thumb back and forth eliciting some pain to produce endorphins into the system for pain reduction. 
  • After 10 or 12 strokes, hold your thumb like a pincer grip on the Hoku Point with your index finger behind it. 
  • Sustain that pressure and let your client know that if it hurts too much to let you know and you will ease up. 
  • Add traction and always use slow motions until you feel resistance and wait there patiently for five minutes or longer. 
  • Throughout the technique, you should be tuning into subtle barriers, felt as slight resistance, at which point the limb is held until the barrier is released. Taking the arm through the arc of return the upper extremity through the arc, maintaining traction and reversing the rotation. During this technique, stretch can be applied to the fascia over the carpal tunnel and through the fingers and thumbs.

Remember, myofascial release never uses force or moves abruptly. Always use gentle pressure.

How the Fascial System Works with the Body

The revered scientist, Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, in her article, Super-Conducting Liquid Crystalline Water Aligned with Collagen Fibres in the Fascia as Acupuncture Meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine, stated that water is, “hardly recognized in the conventional biochemical community.” Instead, her years of research has shown that water is the dynamo of life! She further explains that, “the liquid crystalline nature of the fascial system extends without interruption throughout its extracellular matrix to the interior of every single cell.”

We are all brought up to believe there are three phases of water: ice, fluid and vapor. However, recent discoveries by one of the world’s leading experts in fluid dynamics, Dr. Gerald Pollack, has discovered a fourth phase of water! Instead of H20, it is called structured water or H302. This is also called the exclusion zone, which enables the fascial system to function as a fiberoptic. In other words, the fascial system is capable of sending energy and information to every cell in the body in a very rapid manner. 

The liquid crystalline nature of structured water has both the characteristics of solid and fluid and is capable of change. H302 plays an important role for our function at the cellular level where it boosts the power of the electrons of mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells. Therefore, myofascial release has everything to do with the healthy functioning of our physiology and life itself!

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