Myofascial release is a massage technique that incorporates stretching and massaging of the soft connective tissues, also known as fascia. In the late 1990s, patients began to realize the potential for pain management and increased flexibility using myofascial release, which is when this form of Massage Therapy began to gain in popularity among Massage Therapists.
The practice of myofascial release begins with a gentle massage, designed to warm and loosen the muscles. During this portion of the massage, the Massage Therapist will identify areas of tension that need further attention and will then return to those areas to stretch the muscles and work the fascia.
Muscles can hold a great deal of stress and tension, which can cause muscles to seize or lock, making the myofascial release treatment rather intense – but it should never be painful. However, patients may experience soreness and stiffness following their treatment, which will diminish over the next few days, leaving the muscles able to move more freely and effectively.
Many doctors prescribe myofascial release treatments in conjunction with other forms of physical therapy – it is often prescribed for fibromyalgia patients or for those with muscle-associated health issues or conditions. When patients incorporate myofascial release into their pain management plan, many begin to feel the positive effects within just a couple of sessions, including easing of muscle soreness and improved posture and flexibility.