Fascia is the main connective tissue in the body. It surrounds every cell, muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel in the body, creating a three-dimensional web which spreads all through the body.
In its normal state fascia is fluid and pliable, allowing full, pain-free movement.
However, fascia is vulnerable to trauma from accident, immobility, injury, surgery or repetitive movement. Such trauma causes fascia to tighten, solidify and develop restrictions. Over time these myofascial restrictions can lead to poor posture, altered structural alignment, compromised blood supply and pain.
These restrictions do not show up on standard tests such as x-rays or MRI scans, which means they are rarely diagnosed as the cause of chronic pain conditions.
Myofascial release is a non-invasive, gentle hands-on soft tissue technique that works on the fascia to release restrictions. The technique involves applying a gentle stretch to the restricted fascia until resistance is felt.
As these releases occur the therapist can follow the trail of further restrictions until the tissue becomes softer and more pliable. These releases take the pressure off pain sensitive structures such as nerves and blood vessels, and restore alignment and mobility to muscles and joints.
Scientifically, myofascial release has been shown to work at cellular level. Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of myofascial release in alleviating many conditions from plantar pain to increasing a range of shoulder movements.
Myofascial release has been described as ‘the medicine of the 21st century’ although more research is desperately needed to maximise what we believe is its potential.
Fascia...the main connective tissue in the body
Release....to let go, ease pressure