Myofascial Release Therapy
What is Myofascial Release Therapy?
Myofascial release is a therapeutic treatment utilising a gentle form of stretching, producing a healing effect on the body tissues, eliminating pain and restoring motion.
Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, and organ of the body, down to the cellular level. Malfunction of the fascial system due to trauma, posture, or inflammation can create a binding down of the fascia, resulting in abnormal pressure on nerves, muscles, bones, or organs. By freeing up fascia that may be impeding blood vessels or nerves, myofascial release is also said to enhance the body’s innate restorative powers by improving circulation and nervous system transmission.
People with longstanding back pain, fibromyalgia, recurring headaches, sports injuries and a host of additional complaints are all said to benefit from the technique.
Like many alternative therapies, myofascial release is part of a larger philosophy of healing that emphasises the importance of mind-body interactions and preventative care. It may also be part of a pain management program that would include behavioural health techniques, acupuncture, nutritional counseling and relaxation techniques.
The therapy’s easy stretches break up, or “release,” constrictions or snags in the fascia. The stretch is guided by feedback the therapist feels from the patient’s body. This feedback tells the therapist how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch. Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes the therapist uses only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. The feedback the therapist feels determines which muscles are stretched and in what order.