Myofascial Release

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Discover the therapeutic benefits of Myofascial Release and how to best use this modality to increase range of motion and free fascial restrictions. Learn how to read structural imbalances in the body. Specific myofascial release techniques are introduced so the therapist can easily incorporate them in their practice.

Myofascial Release Course Outline (8 CEUs):
  • Chapter One: What is the Myofascia?

Myofascia is made up of two parts: the muscle and the fascia. Fascia itself is defined as “a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels of the body.”i It can also be defined as “a mesh-like connective tissue that permeates the body. It can be imagined as layers of connective tissue acting like shrink wrap for the body. Like cartilage between joints, fascia reduces friction between muscles that would otherwise work against muscular force.”ii

  • Chapter Two: What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release is a body work technique used to treat adhesions or restrictions in the myofascial system. It “uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in the softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia, as well as the breaking down of scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.”iii

  • Chapter Three: Overview of Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a dynamic practice, and one that you can adapt to your specific strengths. We will discuss a few general guidelines and foundational concept that you can take and adjust as necessary in your practice.

  • Chapter Four: The Myofascial Release Technique

There are a variety of ways to perform myofascial release, some involving tools like rollers. Here we are going to cover the most basic of techniques- using your hands. The strokes used in myofascial release are similar to, but not the same as, strokes used in regular massage.

  • Chapter Five: Reading The Body

When a new client comes to see you, you will need to get a case history and do a body read to assess any structural imbalances. The initial body read will give you a road map of what postural issues the client has, so when they are on the table you can pay more specific attention to the areas of concern in your assessment.

  • Chapter Six: Myofascial Release of the Feet and Calves

Before we can understand how to work the lower legs and feet, we’ll need a refresher on the anatomy of the area. Following an in-depth examination of the anatomy of the lower legs and feet, the myofascial techniques used in everyday practice are explained. All the muscles of the hamstrings are two-joint muscles; that is, they attach to the back of the pelvis as well as the knee. They help to “extend the hip and flex the knee.” It is important to maintain good health in both of these areas.

  • Chapter Seven: Myofascial Release of the Knees and Upper Leg

The knee joint is where the femur and the tibia and fibula meet. The two bumpy ends of the femur rest on the flat top of the tibia, which gives the knee flexibility but instability (so it is prone to injury). The ligaments of the knee help stabilize the joint.

  • Chapter Eight: Myofascial Release of the Hips

The hips consist of two ball and socket joints. Imbalances here can have far-reaching ramifications both above the hips and below, into the legs. Thus, it is important to first introduce the anatomy of the hips, and possible imbalances that can occur. The content then introduces how to body read the hips. The myofascial release of the hips, including details on how to clear trochanters and ilium among other topics, is then discussed.

  • Chapter Nine: The Abdomen and Rib Cage

Much of the fascia of the abdomen is an extension of the fascia of the upper legs, so the division is truly just artificial. The muscles of the abdomen provide stability for the area between the ribs and the pelvic bones, and for spiraling the torso. The lower muscles also adjust some when you walk, and more so when making larger movements. In this chapter, you will learn how to release the diaphragm, rectus abdominis, thorax and the obliques.

  • Chapter Ten: Myofascial Release of The Back

The dorsal cavity of the body houses the spinal column. The spinal column itself is divided into an anterior section (which houses the spinal cord and the discs) and a posterior section (which contains the body processes of the vertebrae).iv There are over 30 vertebrae that make up the spinal column. Each vertebra has a hole in its posterior side that, when stacked one on top of the other, create a space for the spinal cord. This large part of the body has many different available myofascial release techniques which are covered in this chapter.

  • Chapter Eleven: Myofascial Release of the Head and Neck

Restrictions in the head and neck can lead to jaw pain and headaches (which can be severe), stiffness, trouble rotating the head, dizziness, and ear pain. Restrictions in the neck can also lead to secondary restrictions in the jaw and muscles of the face, increasing the intensity of aches and pains. Myofascial release can help in alleviating some of this pain.

  • Chapter Twelve: Shoulders and Arms

The shoulder is a very mobile joint, making it prone to easy injury. In reading the shoulders and arms, one may learn that the shoulder girdle has several ranges of motion, which means assessing restrictions here can be tricky. This chapter covers how to care for injury through myofascial release, as well as showing how to assess restrictions in the shoulder and arms.

  • Chapter Thirteen: Scars

Scars should be considered deep-level work because of the emotional and physical discomfort they can cause the client. They can have both superficial and very deep adhesions and restrictions. If the scar is stuck permanently and the release will not come, “you have hit the anatomic limit of what you can do to facilitate your patient’s most efficient movement pattern.”

 

References                                                      

 

 

i Elizabeth Quinn, About.com Sports Medicine, “What is the Fascia?” September 15, 2009, http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/glossary/g/Fascia_def.htm

 

ii “Fascia, Fascial Restriction, and Myofascial Release,” https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:M0xJtYAkfrEJ:www.paxmassage.com/assets/docs/Fascia-MJL.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShAZmpE0Y0HI5NH7noxQkPVS-gzm-kg3kd8SCMuj0xiC9PLQ-70-i83_lYzDYO03jcaEw9ZvvTMuuTNX82fZ00ntOej2QalBEq_kFyqu5EQk-9iEgzCeRyG47s2CJl1S1yAtBQ7&sig=AHIEtbTA7e36xTUFj9wIfjN73l7aS4T5qw

 

iii Quinn

 

iv James Earls and Thomas Myers, Fascial Release for Structural Balance, Lotus Publishing, 2010

 

 

Continuing education units (CEUs) are provided via electronic download in PDF format. Review the course work at your own pace and then take the included test online. You can print your certificate immediately after passing each test! All coursework is NCBTMB approved (NCBTMB # 451897-12). NOTE: Each state has different requirements. Please be sure to check our state requirements page and contact your state to verify your requirements.