Myofascial release is used to evaluate and treat restrictions in the body's contractile connective tissues (muscles) and non-contractile supportive connective tissues (fascia) by the application of gentle traction, pressures and positioning.
Fascia is a complex supportive web throughout the body affecting all components of the musculoskeletal, nervous and visceral (organ) systems. It surrounds groups of muscle fibers, and entire muscle groups and organs.
While it is not contractile, it can be passively elastically deformed. That is how it retains tensions from physical and emotional traumas. It is also involved when a person suffers chronic pain or physical dysfunction. Chronically tense muscles restrict blood flow and fatigue the body.
Both fascia and muscle tissues can become shortened if they are improperly used. As well, layers of fascia can stick together.
Myofascial release techniques are used to coax muscles in spasm to relax, and break adhesions in the fascia.
Bodies respond to these therapies by releasing tension that has been stored in the fascia, thus allowing more functional flexibility and mobility of the muscles, fascia and associated structures.
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