We’ve all felt those annoying muscle knots or cramps that just won’t quit, am I right? Well, you’ll be relieved to know there’s actually a c designed specifically to loosen those tight areas and relieve tension. This hands-on approach is called myofascial release.
It uses light pressure and stretching to help reset your muscles and connective tissue (called fascia) back to its natural place. Keep reading to learn more about the science behind this intriguing soft tissue work approach and how it benefits the body.
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What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release basically targets that layer of tissue called fascia that wraps around your muscles and ties everything together internally. Over time our fascia can get stiff and cranky from daily stress, overuse, bad posture habits, past injuries, and other factors.
Myofascial release gently stretches and realigns your fascia to restore free movement. In the process, it aims to improve flow, range of motion, alignment, and just feel better overall. Over the long haul, regular sessions may help undo those nagging muscle/fascia restrictions that cause discomfort.
The Fascial System
To really understand myofascial release, it pays to learn more about your fascial infrastructure. Fascia is made up of pliable connective layers forming a protective sac around muscles and organs. Like elastic bands, it allows muscles to slide against each other easily during the activities of life.
However repetitive strain or trauma can harden things up, gluing muscles in awkward positions. This leads to muscle “knots” and restrictions that interfere with normal motion.
Myofascial release gently persuades the hardened fascia to loosen up using finger pressure and elongating movements. By reorganizing your fascial network, it helps restore natural movement patterns.
Releasing Tissue Tension with Myofascial Techniques
Massage therapists can use different techniques like skin rolling, compressions and gentle stretching to relieve tightness. Skin rolling is like a massage for your outer layer.
Compressions involve applying deep finger pressure into trigger points to disrupt knots. Stripping techniques use broad fingertips to slowly strip along the fibers of the myofascial planes in the direction of circulation. Stretches help elongate shortened fascial structures.
Together they revive circulation to nourish muscles with oxygen and flush out the trash. Myofascial release creates fresh movement within stiff fascia to reset it to its optimal balanced state.
The Benefits of Myofascial Release
Myofascial release offers tons of notable advantages for relaxation and pain relief. Regular sessions restore smooth gliding throughout your fascial framework, upping performance and lowering injury risk.
It also assists in dissolving chronic spasms, restoring full flexibility, improving posture, and hastening healing from past strains. Evidence shows it helps long-term with common muscular complaints like back pain and headaches.
Massage therapists have further observed that resolving fascial restrictions correlates with reduced stress levels and more relaxed patients. Research indicates this occurs due to stimulation of oxytocin release through gentle touch.
All in all, it’s a gentle yet effective therapeutic method supporting your body’s natural ability to heal itself and helps you feel your best.