Myofascial release is a specific massage technique that targets fascial tissue. If your fascial tissue is tight myofascial release will make you feel fantastic, loose and light.
Myofascial release is gradually becoming a bit of a buzz word in the soft tissue industry at the moment. Here is some information so that you understand a bit more about what the technique is.
Throughout your whole body, surrounding and in between each muscle, is a collagen layer (like a sausage skin). This sausage skin is continuous to a degree throughout your entire body. As we decrease the amount of movement we do on a day to day basis, or if we rest our bodies in order to recover from injuries, this tissue dehydrates and adheres (or 'sticks') to other soft tissue. When this happens it begins to restrict the movement of our muscles and joints.
Myofascial release is a technique which is aimed at restoring the function of this sausage skin layer (fascial layer).
The origins of this technique are from the form of manual therapy called Rolfing. From there it has evolved through different therapies such as Trager, Connective Tissue Massage, direct and indirect Myofascial Release, Structural Integration, as well as others.
There are different scientific theories which explain how this works. One theory is that this technique helps to rehydrate the fascia. Another theory is that it provides different types of stimulation to the nerve endings.
What does it feel like?
There can be a variety of sensations caused by this treatment, but let's just talk about two contrasting forms.
- Firstly, the direct form of this treatment can feel mildly to moderately uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. It may feel like the tissue is being stretched, or it can feel like a slight burning sensation.
- Secondly, the indirect technique can feel like almost nothing, just a gentle touch. Or it can feel like a gentle stretching just around where the therapists hands are placed.
One thing is for sure. Myofascial release techniques provide different physiological benefits than other styles of massage or even Dry needling. Quite often these different treatments complement each other quite well and can provide even better and faster outcomes for the patient.
If you have fascial stiffness present, you will feel great after this type of treatment.