Myofascial Release refers to the manual massage therapy technique for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integumentary systems, and muscles with the goal of eliminating pain, and increasing range of motion and proprioception. These methods are effective for re-organizing long-term strain patterns in the body.
What is Fascia?
The fascial system of the body is comprised of the connective tissue web that interconnects muscle, skin, bone and organ. Built in a web-like structure, it allows for movement amongst parts, while maintaining the integrity of the system as a whole. Injuries, traumas, inflammatory responses, surgical procedures and habitual movement patterns can create strains, restrictions and dysfunctions in the myofascial system. Because the myofascial system exists in one continuous piece, any restriction or dysfunction in one area of the body will have significant impacts elsewhere in the body over time. One study found that myofascial restrictions can produce tensile pressures of approximately 1,000 pounds per square inch on sensitive structures that do not show up on many standard medical examinations (including x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans and electromyography).
What does Myofascial Release Feel Like?
Myofascial Release usually involves applying shear compression or tension in various directions with very little lubrication, or by skin rolling. Using these techniques, the therapist is able to precisely detect fascial restrictions and apply the necessary amount of sustained pressure for releasing the fascial adhesion. By applying pressure in a slow and sustained manner, the massage therapist effects a change in the piezoelectric phenomenon, which allows the viscoelastic medium of the fascia to elongate, lowering the stretch reflex in the muscles, and allowing chronically contracted muscles to relax.
Focusing on the myofascial system as a unit helps massage therapists to focus on the individual structure and form of their client, as no two fascial systems are alike. The fascial organization holds the entirety of our unique anatomy, as well as the sum of the life experience we’ve lived in our body. Rather than focusing on separate muscle groups, which are largely the same amongst different individuals, a myofascial release treatment focuses on the individuality of each human structure and tailors myofascial release techniques and movement exercises to meet the needs of that person.
Myofascial release treatments can also include an educational component. The massage therapist helps the client to understand and embody proper body mechanics and movement, apply self-treatment and develop greater postural and movement awareness. This educational component gives the client greater independence and ensures that changes wrought in a session become part of larger lifestyle changes.
Benefits of Myofascial Release
Myofascial release is the foundation of deep tissue massage and neuromuscular massage techniques. It is very effective for dealing with a wide variety of chronic pain syndromes, including back, neck, menstrual, jaw, headaches and more. Additionally, it works effectively to improve the circulation of blood and lymph and encourage greater flexibility throughout the body. It can also be used as an effective method for recovery from sports injuries or surgery.
Who We Are
Colorado Body Wisdom is a healing arts and massage studio located in Boulder, Colorado. We are committed to providing the highest quality treatments delivered with compassion by only the most skilled therapists in the field. Our mission is to spread health and relieve suffering through the compassionate, skillful, and joyful practice of massage therapy, healing arts, and wellness education.
We strive to assist clients in living satisfied and authentic lives by: delivering the highest quality massage and therapeutic treatments; receiving clients with deep compassion while creating a safe space for emotional release and personal discovery; and orienting our treatments towards each client’s innate health–not their illness or pain.
At Colorado Body Wisdom, the well-being of our therapists is just as important as that of our clients. CBW owner, Rachel Scott, founded the company with the intention of creating a mutually supportive, inclusive, and harassment-free work environment for women in the healing arts. CBW is committed to providing a safe space for female practitioners to develop their skills and build a career in a profession they love.
We invite you to come in and experience the multitude of benefits of massage therapy for yourself!