The myofascial release approach is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat dysfunction that causes pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.
What is fascia?
Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle. (thin white sheath that covers and connects all muscles and their fibers) This soft tissue can become restricted due to overuse, trauma, inactivity, or disease, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and diminished blood flow.
The school of thought behind myofascial release massages is very different from traditional clinical massages like deep tissue; while deep tissue targets inconsistencies in the muscle fibers themselves, myofascial release targets abnormal pressure placed on the fascial network, creating adhesions, resulting in adaptive tissue restrictions on the body’s ability to move. In other words, muscles don’t get tight or knotted, it is actually the fascia (that covers and connects the muscles) becoming adhered then causing abnormal pressure and dysfunction in the body… when the fascia is released the muscle automatically releases as well.
Why Myofascial Release?
– Works to free disruptions through the application of a gentle, sustained force to the restriction.
– Increases space and mobility and restores balance between the body and gravity.
– Enables the body’s self-correcting mechanisms to alleviate symptoms and restore proper functioning.
– Individuals that don’t benefit from deep tissue may want to try the myofascial route.
Humor for understanding fascia:
I’m not well known, but I’m everywhere
I cover your body, support in mid air
Day I am smooth, at night I grow fuzz
Years ago no one knew what I was
Surrounding every muscle, every organ, every cell
I allow every structure, every position, every movement as well
No beginning or end, one continuous sheath
When you bump your shoulder I can hurt your feet
Most people don’t think of me, but I am profound
Per square inch I exert 200 pounds!