Have you ever found your muscles tightening back up soon after a massage? The problem might be restricted fascia — the collagen-based web of connective tissue that interpenetrates and surrounds our bodily structures, including muscle tissue. “When healthy, fascia is fluid and muscles slide past each other easily,” says massage therapist Tony Schelin. “With time, injury and stress, the fascia gets tougher and starts to adhere.”
Enter Myofascial Release Massage (MRM), a highly effective but not well-known treatment popular with athletes and massage aficionados. “It’s not their first massage,” says Schelin. He starts by warming up the body with traditional Swedish massage before turning to the slower, deeper techniques of MRM. He will “touch” the whole body during the service, but the MRM technique — which involves holding the fascia until it starts to soften — will focus on the area of complaint, usually shoulders and back but sometimes hips, knees or ankles.
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With a bucolic setting overlooking Hessian Lake, The Spa at Bear Mountain is surrounded by great natural beauty and miles of hiking trails. Join a membership club that makes monthly treatments affordable, and visit its capable team of therapists and estheticians every month.
Because it takes time, Schelin recommends the 90-minute service. “It’s a deep technique that takes the fascia from a solid state and melts it into a liquid state,” says Schelin. “As a therapist, I can see the physical change.” One client’s shoulders were hunched around her ears when the session began. Ninety minutes later, her shoulders had dropped and her pain was gone.
Myofascial Release Massage: $120 for 60 minutes, $155 for 90 minutes; 845.233.2152; www.bearmountainspa.com