What is Myofascia Release and can it help me?

May 03, 2017

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a specialized stretching technique used by therapists to treat a variety of soft tissue problems.  The word “myo” means muscle and the word “fascia” means the “fibrous tissue” that supports our entire body.


To understand how MFR works, you have to understand a little about fascia.


Fascia runs from the top of our head to the tip of our toes in a continuous sheet of connective tissue.  This tissue covers all of our organs, every muscle and every fiber within each muscle.  Think of it like a web that is interwoven connected to our bones and muscles.  Without it the body would fall apart.


Time, injury, overuse, poor posture, stress and other factors can cause this connective tissue to result in tightness, stiffness, limitations and imbalance within our bodies. Trauma or inflammation can create a bind in fascia, causing it to lose its flexibility.  When fascia tightens in one area, it can put tension on nearby structures, as well as on structures far away.


 Myofascia Release works to “release” and rebalance our muscle and connective soft tissue system.


When a person has been in pain for a long time it causes both physical and emotional stress on the body.  Pain patterns evolve and often the person feels like the pain is everywhere.  Myofascia Release not only works on the painful areas, but can also address otherl areas of disorder throughout the body. 


So how does MFR work?  It is a Hands-On therapy applied directly on the body and uses slow, sometimes deep pressure to restore the proper health of fascia.  The techniques of MFR help to re-organize and lengthen the tight tissue allowing for better movement and health to the tissue.  Our muscles are composed of approximately 80% fascia.  Muscles start and end at certain points in the body but the fascia continues.  Fascia stretches and moves with the body.  MFR allows the therapist to look at each person as a unique individual.  The goal is to restore the individual’s freedom of movement, so they may return to a pain-free, active lifestyle.


The type of Myofascial Release technique chosen by the therapist will depend upon where in the body the therapist finds the fascia restricted.  A key to the success of MFR treatments is to keep the pressure and stretch extremely mild.  Muscle tissue responds to a relatively firm stretch, but this is not the case with fascia.   Under a small amount of pressure applied by a therapist’s hands, fascia will soften and begin to release when the pressure is sustained over time.  This can be compared to pulling on a piece of taffy with only a small, sustained pressure.


Is Myofascial Release helpful?  It has effectively been used to treat Sports Injuries, Neck and Low Back pain as well as Headaches.  Are you tired of pain dictating the activities of your life?  Are you ready to break up old patterns that hold you back from doing the things you enjoy?  If you answered “yes”, you are possibly a good candidate for MFR.


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