Myofascial Release Therapy

Myofascial release is a therapy that focuses on releasing tension and tightness in muscles and connective tissues.

Introduction

Myofascial has two root words myo (muscle) and fascia (connective tissue).

Fascia is a sheet of connective tissue, mainly made from collagen, which is found beneath the skin. It connects, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.

Myofascial release therapy is often recommended for patients who are losing flexibility or who are experiencing pain in any area containing soft tissue.

The therapy focuses on releasing muscular tightness in the body due to excessive tensing and knotting up. It works by loosening up contracted muscles and releasing solidified connective tissues.

The fascial system is an integrated system that has a multiplicity of effects on neurological messages and biochemistry. Fascia is sensitive, dynamic and extraordinarily adaptable. Under natural and healthy circumstances, the fascia is relaxed and able to stretch in response to physical demands and natural forces.

However, repeated inflammation, overuse, poor posture, disease, physical or emotional trauma, surgery, acute and chronic injuries (repetitive strain) will eventually diminish fascia elasticity – the fascia becomes “solidified”. This diminished capability of the fascia disrupts biomechanical homeostasis and functional mobility. This in turn can lead to chronic pain, dysfunctional movement patterns and limitations of motion throughout the body.

Cancer patients often suffer from chronic pain and excessive body tension, which contributes to the development of tightness and pressure. Through massage, stretching and other techniques the shortness and tightness in the muscles and surrounding tissues can be released, relieving tension and pain. This process also supports the body’s natural ability to heal.

Myofascial release therapy may work on different areas, for example:

Deep Muscle Tissue

Myofascial release techniques can be used to help damaged or injured muscles and connective tissue. This work can improve recovery time and reduce the risk of complications from trauma.

Trigger Points

Trigger points are tight areas of muscle. These areas tend to become tight and painful due to injury or overuse, tension or bad posture. Working on these areas will allow the release of tightness, bringing a relief in tension and pressure.

Fascia Tissue

Fascia tissue is dense tissue that covers muscles and bones. Stretching this tissue can help decrease pain and increase mobility.

Myofascial relief can be also achieved through other techniques, other than massage, and may include disciplines such as stretching, yoga, tai chi, Postural Therapy, Mechanoreceptor and Proprioception training.