The first question you’re probably asking is: what is it? A myofascial release massage focuses on the release of tightness around myofascial tissue – this tightness is a chronic illness known as myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial tissue is one of the many tissues in your body that give support to your bones and muscles.
Myofascial release massages usually focus on whole areas of the body, rather than specific pain points as it works to release tension in the whole network of muscles, rather than where you’re feeling your pain.
There are two types of myofascial massage: direct release – this is a more robust form of myofascial massage, where your massage therapist applies stiff, direct pressure to areas of myofascial pain.
You may have guessed, but the other method is known as “indirect release”, where the massage therapist will gently massage the areas of myofascial discomfort, allowing your muscles to do the work and simply offering gentle encouragement.
One of the great things that a myofascial massage does is that it loosens up tightness in the muscle tissues that are in fascia, or experiencing tightness. A well-done myofascial massage will leave your muscles feeling loose and leave you free of muscle knots, at least for the time being.
Enhanced Blood Circulation
This is particularly good for people who suffer from neuromuscular disorders like cerebral palsy, for example, who may experience colder extremities due to the restriction of blood flow to the feet and hands. Myofascial massage actually helps to enhance your blood flow by releasing knots that the blood would otherwise have to travel around. This enhanced blood circulation will have a whole-of-body effect, and you’ll feel rejuvenated for a few days at least, alas, chronic illnesses…
If you struggle with myofascial pain syndrome, you likely have a hard time moving around a whole lot, as the pain of the movements become too great an obstacle. Regular myofascial massage therapy will help you with your movements. As mentioned above, a myofascial massage releases tension in the muscle tissue, which in turn means less pain for you when you try to move your muscles in a certain way. You will likely experience a much greater range of motion immediately after a myofascial massage.
It should be noted that myofascial massage therapy is not just for those with chronic conditions like myofascial pain syndrome — athletes frequently get myofascial massages. Myofascial massages can differ from practitioner to practitioner, and so it’s recommended that if you find a therapist that does a good job, you stick with that therapist, rather than ‘window shopping’ with your muscles and joints.
Overall, myofascial massage therapy is very beneficial for anyone suffering from chronic muscle tightness and/or muscle pain. It’s alleviation, albeit temporary, of these symptoms allow people to live fuller, more productive lives. Frequent visits to a massage therapist for myofascial massage, either alone or alongside other forms of muscular massages can help you to lead a better life.