Myo means muscle and fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, nerves, blood vessels etc.
So now we have understanding of the meaning of “myofascial release”–release of connective tissue that surrounds muscle tissue.
You might ask–why does it need to be released?
Bad posture and repetitive movements can create dysfunction within the connective tissue in the human body. The human body sees this as an injury.
As you know, when one injures themselves the body automatically begins the healing process. The healing process the body goes through as a consequence of bad posture and repetitive movements look like this:
1. Tissue trauma (bad posture – repetitive movements)
2. Inflammation of soft tissue
3. Muscle spasm
4. Inflexible adhesions within the myofascial system.
The above cycle repeats itself over and over again. As a consequence the normal length of the muscle tissue as well as the normal tension is changed.
Myofascial release is often used to to release the myofascial adhesions. When this technique is used this can help improve the muscle tissue’s ability to lengthen when one stretches.
Myofascial release can be performed directly by a licensed trained professional or it can be done by using instruments such as a foam foller, a ball or a hand held roller.
If you would like a straightforward explanation of this technique you can purchase NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training through Wolter Kluwer Health – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.