Myofascial Release is a basic manual therapy technique commonly used in massage therapy. The technique aims to release pain felt in myofascial (MIF-ee-fash) tissue, also known as trigger points. Myofascial trigger points or pain cells are hypersensitive fibers that respond to continuous stimulation. Trigger points, when damaged, can cause inflammation resulting from electrical and chemical stimulation to the area. Massage therapists use myofascial release to relieve pain in the area as the treatment releases the hyper-sensitivity of the trigger point cells.
The treatment applies a manual compression to the area, which allows the tissues to return to their normal condition. During myofascial release massage, the massage therapist locates myofascial regions that feel fixed and stiff rather than flexible and movable. This action applies a compression or elongation to the particular point. As a result, the area is put into a state of hyper-sensitivity, where it is more responsive to tissue damage. The effect of this mechanical compression is known as mechanical compression or tensile elongation.
Massage therapy uses myofascial therapy for pain relief by applying controlled pressure to specific areas of the back, neck, or shoulders. It also utilizes specific areas of the hands and feet. Massage therapy techniques and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) both refer to specific areas of the body as myofascial zones. These zones are typically targeted in TCM for pain relief. Thus, when myofascial therapy is used on pain relief, it is usually focused on the specific areas identified in TCM such as the following: Kidney Stone Zone, Spinal Zone, Posterior Thigh Zone, and Root Zone. Massage therapists, on the other hand, focus specifically on the specific areas identified in massage therapy.
In myofascial release massage, a massage therapist stimulates the different myofascial zones through techniques such as shiatsu, Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, and so on. While these techniques may be helpful in stimulating particular parts of the body, myofascial release therapies provide a whole body approach that helps to rebuild the entire system of the body. Thus, it repairs and builds the entire body. In myofascial release massage, the therapist's touch encourages the proper release of adhesions (in the form of scar tissue and other structural connective tissue), along with the formation of new collagen and tissue matrix. This is beneficial because the tissues formed will be more flexible and pliable. This improvement in the quality of life can last for years!
Another benefit of myofascial release massage is that the deep tissue techniques used create much less friction between the muscles and soft tissue. The reduction in physical therapist contact with the patient's body allows for less fatigue from maintaining tightness that increase the pain sensation and decrease the range of motion of certain muscles. When a skilled therapist is used on the client, there is less pain and the healing process begins faster.
As you can see, there are many benefits of receiving a massage that includes deep tissue massage and myofascial release techniques. These types of massages improve the quality of life by addressing the various underlying issues within the muscles and soft tissues, relieving chronic pain and increasing flexibility and mobility. If you or someone you know needs an immediate and effective pain relief and/or repair of any type, consider a Temecula massage therapy session. If you have been experiencing muscular pain for weeks, months, or years, schedule a massage today to start feeling better today!