What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release is a hands-on soft tissue technique that facilitates a stretch into restricted fascia. A sustained pressure is applied into the restricted tissue barrier: after 90-120 seconds the tissue will undergo histological length changes allowing the first release to be felt. The therapist follows the release into a new tissue barrier and holds. After a few releases the tissue will become softer and more pliable. The restoration of length and health to the myofascial tissue will take the pressure off the pain sensitive structures such as nerves and blood vessels, as well as restoring alignment and mobility to the joints.

Fascia is tough connective tissue that spreads throughout the body in a three-dimensional web from head to toe. The fascia is everywhere, surrounding every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and organ all the way down to the cellular level. Generally, the fascia system provides support, stability, and cushioning. It is also a system of locomotion and dynamic flexibility forming muscle.

Tightening of the fascia system is a histologic, physiologic, and biomechanic protective mechanism that is a response to trauma. The fascia loses its pliability, becomes restricted, and is a source of tension to the rest of the body. The collagen becomes dense and fibrous, and the elastin loses its resiliency. Over time this can lead to poor muscular biomechanics, altered structural alignment, and decreased strength, endurance, and motor coordination. Subsequently, the body is in pain and functional capacity is lost.