The Fascial Network: Depression

Written by: Dr. Jessica Papa, PT, DPT


In this week’s blog, we will discuss Myofascial Release and its many important and well-known benefits. MFR can reduce pain, headaches, and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. A secondary benefit many people have experienced has been lifting depression, decreasing inner anxiety, and bringing a general calmness and joy to their life. 

Depression & MFR

A possible explanation for this, is depression seems to be related to the depression of the occipital-condyles. Excessive pressure on the brain from this type of compression from fascial restrictions can cause cervical pain or headaches. Unresolved emotional trauma can also resemble depression. 

Our brains are fascial sponges, which have specialized structures embedded within them. The dura is the fascia which covers our brains and central nervous system. Enormous pressure that impedes the proper oxygenation of our cells, nutrition, obstructing the flow of neurotransmitters, and the release of toxins within the brain and cranial cavity, can all be caused by fascial restrictions. This can be a structural reason for the physiological chaos behind some people’s depression, anxiety, pain and/or headaches. 

It’s possible that the brain interprets this pressure as a life-threatening event and the person is thrown into a fight-or-flight response. In other words, it is as if the danger is there and the alarms are ringing. Over time, your body responding to these events causes it to be stuck in a state of mental/emotional sensitivity. This leads to exhaustion and depression.

Myofascial Release can relieve that pressure in your body and allow it to return to equilibrium. Often, when people have myofascial occipital-condyle releases and/or cranial work, their depression lifts, anxiety lessens and the person is able to return to a more healthy state of peace and tranquility. 

Postpartum Depression

Unfortunately, many women suffer with postpartum depression for weeks, months, sometimes even years. More than 90% of these women have pelvis torsions or severe facial restrictions that have gone unrecognized. During delivery of the baby, that pressure now exceeds what she should be expected to endure.

Pushing further puts pressure on the body and creates the symptoms that appear to be postpartum depression. Myofascial Release is beneficial to the whole body, including balancing the pelvis, opening your spine, and releasing the occipital-condoyle area. MFR for the cranial area, can be extremely calming and therapeutic. 

Contact Arancia Physical Therapy for more information.

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