What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is the process of mobilizing tissue to maximize movement and range of motion.
Myofascial release techniques are typically used in physical therapy, massage therapy, Airrosti, or other similar services. Self-myofascial release is the growing practice of applying myofascial release to yourself through specially designed tools.
Who Needs Myofascial Release?
Striving to meet a specific fitness goal?
Combatting aches and pains? Too much time sitting, standing, or stuck in the same position? Myofascial release could be the missing link. Being proactive in supporting your body with effective myofascial release techniques for movement preparation and recovery can improve your mobility, reduce the risk of injury, and help you stay focused on the tasks and training in front of you.
What is Fascia?
Fascia exists as a matrix of collagen and pressurized fluid
that supports every organ, muscle, and bone by creating a tension-based, whole structure from head to toe. (1) In the images below, you can see how the fascial system includes supportive, superficial, and deeper layers of fascia (A) and it separates and surrounds the muscles and muscle layers throughout the body (B). Collagen fibers in fascia are contained within a fluid-like material called ground substance (C). (2)
Things to Know About Fascia
- Fascia is 68% water in the form of fluid being contained and moved through myofascial and connective tissues. (3)
- The superficial fascia is designed to glide and slide over the deeper layers of fascia as the body moves.
- The fascia system contains over 6 times more sensory nerve endings than muscle, making it the largest sensory organ in the body. (4)
Benefits of Myofascial Release
By engaging in myofascial release techniques and therapies,
you can support muscle and connective tissue health that is essential for everyday movement. Myofascial release allows your body to adapt to mechanical stresses and functional demands. Using a variety of compressive, massaging techniques refreshes the fluids in and around your fascial layers, promotes healthy sliding of tissue, and reduces soft tissue restrictions that could impair tissue movement. This enables the fascial layers of the muscles to provide a structural basis for transmitting and producing force which the body depends upon for movement, daily tasks, fitness training, and sports performance.
The regular practice of supporting your healthy muscle and connective tissue through myofascial release provides a foundation for mobility, stability, and quality functional movement. Integrating these strategies into a recovery program also promotes healing, tissue recovery, and removal of by-products or waste that your body produces during physical activity.
Myofascial Release Tools
- Bordoni B, Mahabadi N, Varacallo M. (2020) Anatomy, Fascia. StatPearls Publishing.
- Parisi, B., & Allen, J. (2019). Fascia Training: A Whole System Approach. Parisi Media Productions.
- Schleip, R. (2017) Fascial Fitness. Lotus Publishing.
- Schleip, R. (2017) The Fascia as a Sensory Organ: Clinical Applications. Terra Rosa.
- Zügel M, Maganaris CN, Wilke J, et al. Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: from molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics: consensus statement. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018;52:1497.
Author | Diane Vives
Director of Education
When you interact with Diane, you hear her passion for improving the human experience. She really knows her stuff, but look out for her nerdy sense of humor.
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