Myofascial release is a type of therapy that uses hands-on techniques to reduce tension, tightness, and restrictions in the fascia and muscles. Whereas in massage we use an oil or cream, with myofascial release we either don’t use any lubrication at all or we use a small amount of wax that allows some glide over the skin but also allows the practitioner’s hands to grip the surface of the skin and influence the deeper tissues below allowing movement of the tissue layers and creating a stretching feeling.
What is fascia?
Fascia is a type of connective tissue that surrounds and infuses our bodies. It surrounds our muscles, nerves, vessels and bones. The superficial fascia lives just under the skin, between the skin and the deep fascia. The deep fascia surrounds and covers our muscles, it infuses the muscles right down to the muscle cells/muscle fibres.
The main ingredient of fascia is collagen which gives it a fibrous nature. In addition to collagen, the ground substance allows for glide and lubrication and some elastane which allows some stretch.
What does it do?
Myofascial release aims to relax and soften areas that are tense and tight and free up areas of restriction. The techniques are applied slowly and steadily to allow the fascia and surrounding tissues to soften, relax and rehydrate.
Myofascial release helps to realign collagen fibres and rehydrate the tissues. This allows it to disperse the forces we put upon our bodies more efficiently. The slow melting techniques applied during the treatment have a profound relaxing and restorative effect and calms the nervous system.
Who can receive myofascial release?
Although there may be the occasional person for whom myofascial release isn’t appropriate, for most people it is a safe treatment with very few contraindications. Contraindications to myofascial release include but are not limited to those with malignancy, aneurysm, acute rheumatoid arthritis, advanced diabetes, severe osteoarthritis, and healing fractures. Always see a qualified therapist who will take a full case history before giving any treatment.
Can myofascial release help reduce muscular pain?
Yes! I use it daily in my practice to help clients with musculoskeletal pain and to relieve tension stiffness and tightness. Often areas of tension and tightness are contributing to the types of muscular pain that many people experience in their day-to-day lives.