Richard Standt, an occupational therapist at Payson Care Center, offers a special kind of therapy to outpatients as well as residents at the facility — myofascial release.
Myofascial release helps patients with their areas of pain.
It involves gently stretching and releasing constricted fascia, connective tissues that run through the body in one uninterrupted piece.
These tissues then become relaxed and flexible, moving as needed with the body.
Jo Ann Toles was one of Standt’s myofascial release patients in December 2008/January 2009.
She says she has gone from a life of debilitating pain with fibromyalgia to a healthy life in which she is studying massage therapy.
Her ultimate goal is to become a myofascial release therapist and share the benefits she received with others.
“Myofascial release accomplished in six weeks what modern medicine couldn’t do in 10 years,” Toles said.
Toles had three different areas of chronic pain, which got so bad that she was diagnosed as disabled.
She almost had to use a cane to walk, and depression set in. She tried many different medications, but her body became tolerant; the medicine was only effective for a while.
Finally, Toles contacted Standt, and after her first week of myofascial release sessions, one area of chronic pain had disappeared.
Over the next five weeks, each of the other areas of chronic pain disappeared overnight, and none has returned since then.
Toles’ outlook on life has changed, too. She now meets life with joy, peace and purpose, she said.
Myofascial release addresses more than the immediate area of pain.
Connective tissues can become damaged, constricted or tense through traumas like falls, whiplash, surgery, inflammation or poor posture. The therapy includes working through those traumas with the therapist.
Patients sometimes feel like they are reliving those events and letting go of them in a tangible way.
For Toles, the sessions included working through the physical and emotional distress caused by the car accident that began her chronic pain.
She felt tense physically from the anger she still carried toward the driver who caused the accident, but through the sessions, she was able to release that tension.
“Jo Ann experienced the benefits of myofascial release by feeling and being aware during her treatments,” said Standt. “Following through physically and emotionally, she was empowered and took her whole recovery to the nth degree. This is an achievement everyone has the potential for.”
For more information about the myofascial release program at Payson Care Center, call the rehabilitation department at (928) 474-6896 or stop by 107 E. Lone Pine Drive.