To understand what Myofascial Release is, we first need to understand what fascia actually is. The Fascial system is a liquid crystal matrix that covers everything inside our bodies. Every muscle, organ, tissue, bone, artery and vein, is embedded within the fascia, thus it is all connected. As you can see in the pictures below, the fascia resembles and complex interwoven spider web connecting all parts of our body.
When the body experiences trauma (physical or emotional), there can be restrictions formed in the fascia. These restrictions, are thought by many medical professionals, to be the cause of chronic pain, movement dysfunction, and even illness. On the structural level, since all fascia is connected, a restriction in one area can lead to pain or movement issues in other areas of the body. On the homeopathic level, many practitioners believe that these restrictions block the proper energy flow of the body, contributing to chronic pain, fatigue, and illnesses (even cancer).
Myofascial Release is the process of manually releasing restrictions found in the fascial level. This is generally done with skin to skin touch, and with long holds allow to restrictions the slowly break up or release under pressure. Finding where the adhesions are, is not always clear to see, and often takes experienced practitioners that have advanced knowledge of body systems and movement patterns. For example, a patient may come in with left sided low back pain, and after an extensive evaluation, the cause could be due to fascial restrictions in the right foot/ankle from an injury that occurred years ago, causing poor movement patterns.
Now that you are aware of the fact that fascia covers all of our muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones, when you have a sprain, strain, fracture, or even surgery, it would only make sense to address healing the fascia as well as the other structures in the area. This means that people of all ages and body types will benefit from receiving some form of myofascial release, whether it is part of their physical therapy sessions, or if they go for regular visits to maintain a healthy body.