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Myofascial Release

To understand what Myofascial Release is and why it works, you have to understand a little about Fascia.  Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body.  This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle.  All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit.  When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight.  This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain  in areas you often wouldn't expect.  Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.

In other words, Myofascial Release is stretching of the fascia.  The stretch is guided by feedback the therapist feels from the patient's body.  This feedback tells the therapist how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch.  Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes the therapist uses only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. 

Each Myofascial Release technique contains the same components.  The  therapist finds the area of tightness.  A light stretch is applied to the tight area.  The therapist waits for the tissue to relax and then increases the stretch.  The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed. Then, the next area is stretched.

 

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