What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is a type of massage therapy that uses gentle sustained pressure to treat damage or restrictive tightness in a type of connective tissue known as ‘fascia.’ This technique provides pain relief and can restore motion by relaxing contracted muscles, which in turn stimulates the stretch reflex an improves both blood and lymphatic circulation. Myofascial massage will also help to realign the body and assist in restoring proper posture when used in combination with stretching and postural awareness
A myofascial massage can target either superficial (shallow) fascia or deep fascia that is interwoven through the muscles. Depending on the specific needs of the patient. Unlike deep tissue massage, superficial or deep fascial work isn’t solely dependant on the amount of pressure used, but rather the structures being targeted. The effects of a myofascial massage will vary greatly depending on the techniques used and the areas being treated.
What to expect from a Myofascial Massage?
Fascia is a form of connective tissue that creates a 3D network throughout the body, and therefore, will radiate discomfort outwards when being released. The most common sensation felt with fascial release is a burning sensation that spreads out like a web. Additionally, as fascial adhesions are released blood flow will increase locally which will increase temperature and turn the skin red.
Myofascial release massage therapy is helpful in addressing the following conditions:
- Loss of flexibility
- Chronic soft tissue pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Migraine headaches
- Back pain
When should I not have a myofascial treatment?
Myofascial treatments are generally safe and have very few contraindications. Some of the most common causes of not getting a fascial treatment include open wounds, recent burns, sensitive or fragile skin, and some anti-coagulant medications. The registered massage therapist will always assess using any potentially aggressive myofascial massage techniques. The potential contraindications of myofascial work are similar regardless of superficial or a deep fascial treatment.