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Myofascial Release

What is Myofascial Release?

“Myo” is a prefix denoting a relationship to muscle.

Fascia is a soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body.  It interpenetrates and surrounds muscles, bones, organs, nerves, blood vessels and other structures.  Fascia is uninterrupted, three-dimensional web of tissue that extends from heads to toe, from front to back, and from interior to exterior.  It is responsible for maintaining structural integrity; for providing support and protection; and acts as a shock absorber.  There are two types of myofascial release; direct and indirect.  Your physical therapist will determine the most appropriate type to use with your condition. 

Direct Myofascial Release

When utilizing direct myofascial release your physical therapist with use their hands; sinking into the tissue in order to contact the restricted layer of tissue.  They will then engage the fascia by taking up the slack in the direction of the restriction.  The technique is held until there is a release in the tension/restriction. 

Indirect Myofascial Release

Indirect myofascial release involves a gentle stretch, with only a few grams of pressure, which allows the fascia to 'unwind' itself. Your physical therapist will engage the fascia and perform a tissue release towards the direction of ease.  The key to this technique is sustained pressure over time.

What does Myofascial Release do?

As the restricted fascia releases there will be an increase in heat and blood flow in the area. This allows the body's inherent ability for self correction to return, thus eliminating pain and restoring the optimum performance of the body. A release of myofascial restrictions in one area of the body can affect other areas of the body through a release of tension in the whole fascial system.   



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