Myofascial release’ is a soft tissue therapy and is used for the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. It focuses primarily on the fascia and other connective tissues. Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together. It is a thin, tough, but elastic type of connective tissue that wraps around most of the structures in our body, including our muscles, providing support.
It is believed that our fascia can tighten; constricting our muscles, decreasing blood supply, causing pain and decreasing range of movement. The aim of myofascial release is to relax contracted muscles, improve lymphatic and blood circulation, and stimulate the ‘stretch reflex’, in our muscles.
With myofascial release, gentle, sustained pressure is applied to loosen and lengthen the constricting fascia. During this time, the practitioner may work on breaking down adhesions between the tissues. It may take several minutes for each specific area to be worked on for the tissues to be softened and re-aligned. This is generally done without the use of lubricants as the therapist needs to be able to accurately feel and manipulate the fibres of the fascia.