Myofascial Release 101

By: Mike Booth, RMT, Feb 22, 2013
  Question

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release is most effective when the therapist allows their hands to sink slowly into the tissue.

Myofascia, pronounced "my o faashaa", is the dense tough tissue that surrounds and covers all your muscles and bones. This outer covering, called fascia is very strong and very flexible. Myofascia is like a superficial body suit, which allows us to move freely, breath properly and perform our daily tasks pain free. It spans the whole body and is totally connected as one piece of material.

Myofascial Release is an effective hands-on technique that involves applying sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. Myofascial release is most effective when the therapist allows their hands to sink slowly into the tissue to allow the fascia to adapt to the changes being placed upon it. The principle of myofascial release is sustained pressure over time, so one technique may be used in the same spot for multiple minutes. Myofascial release often increases blood flow into the tissue so a feeling of warmth and redness in the area is to be expected.

When Myofascia is damaged it can cause a number of problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain 
  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Recurring injuries
  • Reduced flexibility

Mike is owner/therapist of Massage Athletica. He is a graduate of Massage Therapy College of Manitoba, and a member of MTAM. Winning the Manitoba Marathon  4 times, he is a veteran runner. His interests are in helping athletes improve performance and preventing injuries during training. http://www.massageathletica.com/