Massage Continuing Education Blog

Myofascial Release and Your Massage Therapy Practice


What is Myofascial Release?

To understand myofascial release, you first have to define myofascia (how can you release something you can’t identify, after all).

Myofascial Release CEU BundleMyofascia is human tissue made up of both muscle and fascia, which is connective tissue below the skin that is found throughout the whole body and which wraps around bones, blood vessels, and organs. Fascia provides a support network for the internal organs, and prevents friction when your muscles move against one another. Restrictions in this “shrink wrap” of the body can cause a number of issues, including: pain, tension in the muscles, inflammation, fasciitis, fibrosis, and bad posture, which can itself lead to injury and other issues in the body.

Your clients can have issues with their myofascia due to a number of reasons, including stress, poor posture, scar tissue growth from a surgery or injury, and even plain old inactivity. Since the myofascia moves through the whole body, restrictions in the system in one spot can have long-reaching effects on other areas of the body.

Myofascial release is a bodywork technique wherein you apply traction to the fascia and firm but gentle pressure to the affected areas in order to stretch, lengthen, and release the fascial tissues. In practice, it can look like a choreographed stretching session, with the therapist putting direct pressure on specific areas.

Why Should I Learn About Myofascial Release?

The number one reason you should learn about myofascial release is that the more techniques you have in your massage therapy toolbelt, the more effective you’ll be as a massage therapist. You can approach your client’s complaints from a number of angles if you have more knowledge than just that of regular Swedish-style massage.

Skills in myofascial release will help you add value to your client’s experience. You can treat specific chronic or acute pain issues, help correct long-term posture habits, improve the client’s circulation, gait, and blood pressure, and help treat headaches/migraines, scar tissue adhesions, movement restrictions caused by lifestyle, and a number of other issues.

You’ll also have the unique ability to help clients heal their emotional as well as physical scars, whether they are from injuries, surgery, abuse, or an accident. People can hold a lot of tension and emotional trauma in scar tissue adhesions- when they are released through myofascial bodywork, you can help them release those pent-up emotions at the same time. Of course, it can be a very sensitive process, so you’ll want to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the technique before you try.

Simply put: you’ll be better at your job. Who doesn’t want that?

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