Myofascial Release

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release is a form of soft tissue therapy which includes, but is not limited to, structural assessments and manual massage techniques for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, muscles, and bones are applied with the goal of eliminating pain, increasing range of motion and balancing the body. The fascia is manipulated, directly or indirectly, which allows the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion.

What are the Fascia?

Fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, organs, and skeletal structures in our body, which is located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone. Muscle and fascia form the myofascia system.

Injuries, stress, inflammation, trauma, and poor posture can cause restriction to fascia. Since fascia is an interconnected web, the restriction or tightness to fascia at a place, with time can spread to other places in the body like a pull in a sweater. The goal of myofascial release is to release fascia restriction and restore its tissue health.

Where ‘Myofascial Release’ originated from as a treatment

Myofascial release is a treatment which is still fairly new to the UK. It has its origins in late nineteenth century osteopathy. Ida Rolf (a Ph.D. in biological chemistry) pioneered ‘Rolfing’, (a form of ‘Structural Integration’) in the USA in the 1950s. John F. Barnes popularised myofascial release (a name coined as a course title in 1981 at Michigan State University), teaching physical therapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists and physicians. The standard current textbook for the practice is written by Tom Myers.

The Benefits of Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release (MFR) is necessary for recovery from all types of physical injuries and conditions such as sporting injuries, back and neck pain, whiplash, stress-released muscular tension and repetitive strain injuries. MFR is also used in the treatment of immune system dysfunctions such as Fibromyalgia, CFS, IBS and others. MFR is unparalleled in its ability to provide fundamental release from pain and fatique arising from physical and other trauma such as:

  • Chronic pain, neck and back pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Jaw problems, TMJ
  • Whiplash and other trauma
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Sports injuries
  • ‘Pulled’ muscles and muscle tears
  • Scar tissue and other adhesions
  • RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis, heel spurs
  • Undiagnosed or generalised pain
  • Stress-related muscular tension
  • Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome.

See Christian Platts of City Therapy, Manchester, in action with myofascial release (You Tube, April 2007).

Let me see what a typical session involves