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Myofascial Release Massage for a Complete Body Treatment

Myofascial Release Massage
Myofascial release massage is a therapy that involves a combination of light stretching and massage of the fascia. Here is some information about the therapy and benefits of this massage.
HolisticZine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Myofascial release massage is a type of soft tissue or gentle massage therapy, that has derived its name from two Latin words myo and fascia, meaning muscle and elastic band, respectively. The massage therapy gained popularity in the late 1990s, for its ability to relieve pain and increase the flexibility of the stretched muscle.
The therapy aims at releasing tension from the fibrous bands of the muscles, bones, nerves, and joints. This is carried out by the application of pressure on specific pressure points, which unblocks any scar tissue or adhesion, caused due to an injury in the muscles and surrounding connective tissues. Hence, this massage is considered as a complete body treatment that functions by recognizing the stiffness and discomfort, resulting due to stress and improper body movement patterns. This massage therapy rejuvenates tightened muscles and connective tissues or fascia, relaxes the body muscles, as well as reduces any kind of pain or discomfort.
Benefits of the Massage
massaging the face
The massage benefits by reinstating the normal smooth functioning of the fascia, related to injured or strained muscles and extending the fascia or muscle connective tissues back to their normal length. Hence, this massage therapy has been widely incorporated in many pain management plans and many physiotherapists also recommend its application in conjunction with other types of massage therapy to help the affected people get relief from various health problems.
Therapy for Numerous Conditions
massaging leg
Regular massage therapy can enhance body posture, relieve areas of muscle soreness, even out the stiffness of injured fascia, and improve overall flexibility. Hence, the therapy is used to treat a plethora of pain related problems such as migraine headaches, menstrual cramps, menopause-related pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, whiplash, dizziness, vertigo, post-polio symptoms, thoracic outlet syndrome, TMJ dysfunction, trigger points, tender points, and muscle spasms.
Massage Techniques
pressure point masage
This massage therapy involves kneading strokes on the pressure points to stretch, soften, loosen, and straighten the muscle tissues. The session begins with a gentle massage to loosen the stiff muscles and the identification of the stressed areas. Since the tightened fascia feels different to touch than the normal functioning tissues, the therapist will start stretching the fascia by applying minimum pressure, usually by using only two fingers and then wait for the tissues to relax.
Massage Procedure
pressure point masage
The therapist often uses mild to moderate traction and twisting strokes to exert the appropriate pressure on the soft tissue, and attain a full reflex range of the muscle. The stretch is performed once or twice until the tissues are completely relaxed and a release is felt. Sometimes, the session can be quite intense, especially if the muscles are very stiff and holding a great deal of tension, or stress. The session usually lasts for an hour or so, after which the affected people experience slight stiffness or soreness. This usually disappears over a couple of days, after which they experience a feeling of well-being and feel relaxed.
During the initial phase of treatment, the affected people may feel a bit of uneasiness. However, as the session progresses, they are quite relieved due to the reduced muscle tension and pain. Therefore, it can be concluded that being an intense form of muscle and tissue massage therapy, myofascial release massage can help relax the stiff or tightened muscles and fascia, and prove beneficial in treating a variety of pain-associated ailments. However, like any other type of massage therapy, it is recommended to consult your doctor before opting for this massage. This is to rule out the possibility of complications that could occur due to this therapy, in case of people affected by certain medical conditions.

Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.