What Is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release

What Is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release is a total body therapy used to treat consistent, widespread pains in various muscle groups.

The name refers to a dense, three dimensional web of connective tissue made of both collagenous and elastic fibers (fascia) that covers all organs of the body, including muscle fibers, organs, nerves, veins, and arteries. It is a continuous uninterrupted sheet of tissue that extends from our heads to the very tips of our toes.

When this tissue becomes constricted due to poor posture, trauma, scarring due to injury or surgery, overuse, inactivity, or a medical condition such as fibromyalgia, it can restrict movement in muscles and joints and cause stiffness, dramatic loss of flexibility, and pain. Hydrogen bonds form within the fascia which is what creates that feeling of tightness and stiffness. These bonds also form between fascia and other tissues and organs in the body creating patterns of pain and discomfort when left untreated.

In order to stretch your muscles, you must first start with your fascia.

Myofascial release

What Happens During a Myofascial Release Session?

During a myofascial release session, our therapist identifies the problem areas by assessing the tightness of the muscles and fascia in each area of the body. Once all points in the body are targeted, the therapist gently and steadily uses various techniques to stretch the fascia until it is eventually released.

What Is the Benefit of Myofascial Release?

Not only does this process reduce bodily tension and relieve pain, it increases blood and lymphatic flow. That means healthier organ function and a stronger immune system.

This kind of treatment is helpful for anyone with any type of ongoing pain in various soft tissue areas of the body. It is especially beneficial for those who suffer from any of the following conditions and symptoms:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • A sense of tightness or pressure that restricts movement
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ
  • Sciatica
  • PTSD
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle spasms

It can even be performed pre-emptively to achieve better alignment before undergoing strenuous exercise. Myofascial release equalizes muscle tension throughout the body, reducing the risk of injury. It is highly complementary to physical training sessions and can preserve the strength and function in the muscles and joints of competitive athletes.

The Two Parts To Myofascial Therapy

Myofascial Therapy is both superficial and deep. It works in two parts for creating the maximum effect in releasing restricted tissue and tightness.

  1.  Myofascial Drag: This method is used without lotion. The therapist gradually moves from shallow to deeper tissues with increasing pressure, dragging across the restricted tissue breaking up the mature hydrogen bonds and releasing superficial fascia. This is generally performed three to five times in any direction depending on the type of restriction. With this method, the patient may feel a burning or a stinging sensation as the hydrogen bonds are broken. Sometimes, but not always, there is a slight increase in pain during the treatment. The therapist may need to regulate the applied pressure according to the patients tolerance.
  2. Myofascial Release: This is the second part of the treatment, and is the most effective in unwinding the fascia on a long term basis. The therapist gently holds the tissue against restriction for at least 5 minutes for the most ideal effect. The release significantly affects the deeper fascia, surrounding bones, organs, arteries, veins, and muscle fibers. The release creates a thixotropic effect and returns the fascia to a more liquid, and pliable state.

While you won’t generally find this type of therapy at any run of the mill day spa, you can find this enormously effective treatment here at Loving Life Therapy. If you are someone who suffers from chronic pain, restricted movement or rotation, postural imbalances, or you want breathe easier, have more flexibility, more energy, and more blood flow — Myofascial release therapy is the treatment for you.

Although it may take a few sessions to feel the overall effects and get used to the type of treatment your therapist carefully chooses for you, the ending results will blow your mind!

We also offer numerous other therapies, spa services and even yoga.
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