Myofascial Release is a specific therapeutic massage technique that addresses the muscle and its casing – the fascia. Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscles. This soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and thus diminished blood flow. Although fascia and its corresponding muscle are the main targets of myofascial release, other tissue may be affected as well.
As with most tissue, irritation of fascia or muscle causes local inflammation. Chronic inflammation results in fibrosis, or thickening of the connective tissue, and this thickening causes pain and irritation, resulting in reflexive muscle tension that causes more inflammation. In this way, the cycle creates a positive feedback loop and can result in ischemia and somatic dysfunction even in the absence of the original offending agent. Myofascial techniques aim to break this cycle through a variety of methods acting on multiple stages of the cycle.
Myofascial techniques generally fall under the two main categories of passive (client stays completely relaxed) or active (client provides resistance as necessary), with direct and indirect techniques used in each.
Direct technique myofascial release offered at Seacrest Massage
With the direct myofascial release, our therapists use their knuckles, elbows, forearms or hands to slowly stretch the restricted fascia. The direct myofascial release looks for changes in the myofascial structures by stretching or elongation of the fascia or mobilising adhesive tissues. The therapist moves slowly through the layers of the fascia until the deep tissues are reached. Whilst this is a form of deep tissue massage due to the slow pace it can be deeply relaxing.
Myofascial release technique can be described as:
- Land on the surface of the body with the appropriate ‘tool’ (knuckles, or forearm etc).
- Sink into the soft tissue.
- Contact the first barrier/restricted layer.
- Put in a ‘line of tension’.
- Engage the fascia by taking up the slack in the tissue.
- Finally, move or drag the fascia across the surface while staying in touch with the underlying layers.
- Exit gracefully.
It is an invaluable form of treatment plus it is oil-free, thus for those people wishing to go to work or somewhere other than a shower after a massage it is a terrific style to choose. It is the treatment style of choice for Sharon.