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How to Become a Myofascial Therapist

by Chris Daniels, studioD

Sometimes it feels like the stress of daily life builds up in certain parts of your body, in particular, the muscles and connective tissue that connects your bones and joints. Collectively, your muscles and connective tissues are your myofascia. Through misuse, injury, stress and poor posture, trigger points can build up in your myofascia like a knot in a rubber band. These trigger points, in turn, can cause pain and restriction of movement. As a myofascial therapist, you will help locate these trigger points in patients and help patients recover through anatomically guided massage, physical therapy, and instruction on proper posture, nutrition and ergonomics.

Complete the requisite education and training to obtain a state license to practice in a field of medicine, nursing, physical therapy or massage therapy. Myofascial therapy is not a career in itself, but a specialized technique used by health care professionals. In the case that you are a massage therapist in a state that does not require a license, you will need to document at least 500 hours of specialized education from an accredited institution, according to the Certification Board For Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Pursue specialized education in myofascial anatomy and physiology as well as education about pathology. Simply put, you will need to learn how muscles and connective tissue work to move the human body and how the process can go wrong, leading to pain and impaired movement. You will have gained much of this knowledge through your training as a doctor, nurse, physical therapist or massage therapist.

Learn how to take a patient history and perform a physical evaluation in order to diagnose patients with myofascial trigger points. Often, trigger points will result in symptoms that are commonly misdiagnosed as other disorders. Rather than learning a new method of diagnosis, you will add myofascial trigger points as a new disorder to consider when seeing patients.

Study the specialized massage and movement techniques used to relieve myofascial trigger points. Combine these with strengthening exercises, lifestyle and occupational advisement, and interface with other medical care in order to create a full treatment package for your patients. Specialized training in myofascial therapy can be obtained by enrolling in specialized courses such as those offered by the Institute of Medical Careers, National Holistic Institute or the Body Therapy Institute.

Complete the certification exam offered by the Certification Board For Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists. While this is not a legal requirement to practice myofascial therapy, it will demonstrate to your patients that you have the specialized expertise to deliver them concrete results.

About the Author

Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.

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