What is Myofascial Release or MFR?
Myofascial release is a gentle, hands-on, bodywork technique that works deeply into the body to ease chronic pain and restore alignment and mobility to muscles and joints.
Myofascial release benefits both the most sensitive clients with chronic pain conditions and those with deep tissue restrictions from injury and overuse.
Myo = muscle
Fascia = the main connective tissue in the body
Release = to let go, ease pressure
Fascia is the main connective tissue in the body. Fascia surrounds every cell, muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, and organ in the body, creating a three-dimensional web from head to toe. Like other body tissues, fascia can be damaged by injury, overuse, and other trauma and stress. This damage leads to myofascial restrictions.
What is the history of MFR
John Barnes & Amanda Oswald
Myofascial release has been developed by medical doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and massage therapists since the 1940s. One of the most well-known is physio John Barnes, who teaches myofascial release as an holistic mind–body therapy ‘producing consistent results in relieving pain and restoring functional mobility’.
Myofascial release has been described as ‘the medicine of the 21st century’ with the potential to treat physical injuries and chronic pain conditions alongside, or as an alternative to, drugs and surgery.
How does Myofascial Release work?
Myofascial release works with fascia, the main connective tissue in the body. Compared with muscle, fascia contains higher percentages of both collagen and water, and this causes it to respond differently to therapeutic touch.
Working slowly and gently with the natural qualities of fascia, myofascial release creates movement and change, until the tissues ‘melt’ and release. These myofascial releases take the pressure off pain-sensitive structures such as nerves and blood vessels, and restore alignment and mobility to muscles and joints.
Because fascia forms a three-dimensional web running throughout the body, the effect of myofascial release on any area is amplified to surrounding areas and deep into layers of tissue, so the effects of a myofascial treatment tend to be more profound and longer-lasting than working with just muscle or bone.
Who can benefit from a Myofascial Release treatment?
Myofascial release can benefit both: