Myofascial release is a form of bodywork that works on releasing restrictions in fascia through stretching, with the therapist using a listening touch to determine the duration, direction and force in each stretch.
Fascia is a web of three-dimensional connective tissue that covers all structures of the body, including muscles and organs. When it becomes stuck, hardened or dehydrated it can cause pain, often in response to physical or emotional trauma as well as stress. It is common for pain in the myofascial system to be referred pain, which is pain that originates from what seems to be an unaffected area. In this case, a therapist will treat the problem in this area rather that where the pain appears to be emanating. Myofascial release can help in the recovery of many types of physical injuries and conditions such as back and neck pain, whiplash, stress-related muscular tension, sporting and repetitive strain injuries.
During the treatment session you may experience many different sensations. You may feel pain or tenderness in the areas of restriction, which will subside as the restricted tissues release. You may also feel sensations of heat or vibration, or you may have the urge to laugh or cry. These are normal responses, and an indication that the fascia is releasing.
After the treatment most people experience a profound sense of relaxation. You may also feel decreased pain, improved flexibility, and improved sense of well-being. Sometimes pain will increase or shift to new areas. This may last several hours to a day after treatment, followed by improvement.