Myofascial Release occurs when light pressure is put on the points of tension, pushing the damaged tissue gently. It can be used on very small, localized areas as well over larger areas such as the torso, arms, and legs. It differs from massage in that MFR can be very localized and is very gentle and tailored to each patient’s body and needs. Someone practicing MFR listens to the cues of the patient’s body and works at pace in line with the body’s needs. Massage is usually much more forceful and often pushes the body’s pain limits to achieve results.
Fascia is the connective tissue that covers all the body’s living cells from your head to your toes. If you only had fascia, there would be a complete outline of every muscle, bone and organ inside the body. More specifically, Myofascia is the connective tissue that covers the muscles and tendons. Your fascia contains a pattern of tension that can be changed based on poor circulation, posture, tight or restrictive clothing, surgeries, scar tissue, acute injuries, and more. The fascia can “bunch up” in places so that the layers are no longer uniform but instead have knots, similar to abnormal knots in a piece of lumber. These form restrictions as we use and move our bodies in different ways it might not be used to. It can be very painful if the fascia is pulled tight and stretched in places where it’s not meant to, resulting in tissue damage.
MFR is all about relaxation and comfort so the practitioner can work effectively and access every layer of fascia while improving the patient’s health, posture, flexibility, circulation, alleviating their pain and any muscle tension.
Trauma is one of the main instigators of fascia and traumatic events such as surgery, stress, accidents, injuries, etc. can stress the fascia, which produces tensile pressure of close to 2,000 pounds per square inch, producing a kind of pain that doesn’t show up on X-Rays or MRI tests.
These kinds of traumatic events restrict the fibers of the fascia, which in turn prevents fluid from getting through the fascial system. These restrictions and points of stress affect the entire body and can also affect areas that are seemingly unrelated or are far in distance from the point of restriction. For this reason, the fascial system is often called a “straight jacket,” because nothing can change it, not stretching, heat, or exercise. Until the myofascial release treatment is given, the pain will come back.