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Myofascial Release

Manipulative and body-based methods - edit
NCCAM classifications
  1. Alternative Medical Systems
  2. Biologically Based Therapy
  3. Manipulative Methods
  4. Energy Therapy
See also

Myofascial Release is a form of bodywork (alternative medicine) which includes, but is not limited to structural assesments (where a formal diagnosis is not necessarily given) and manual massage techniques for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, muscles, and bones are mainly applied; with the goal of eliminating pain, increasing range of motion and balancing the body. The fascia is manipulated, directly or indirectly, allowing the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion. In addition Myofascial release (note the lower case r), can simply be considered a general manual massage technique any 'lay person' can use to eliminate general fascial restrictions on a living mammalian body.

Fascia is located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone, it is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, organs, and skeletal structures in our body. Muscle and fascia are united forming the myofascia system.

Injuries, stress, inflammation, trauma, and poor posture can cause restriction to fascia. Since fascia is an interconnected web, the restriction or tightness to fascia at a place, with time can spread to other places in the body like a pull in a sweater. The goal of myofascial release is to release fascia restriction and restore its tissue health.

In medical literature, the term myofascial was used by Janet G. Travell M.D. in the 1940s referring to musculoskeletal pain syndromes and trigger points. In 1976 Dr. Travell began using the term "Myofascial Trigger Point" and in 1983 published the famous reference "Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual". Some practitioners use the term "Myofascial Therapy" or "Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy" referring to the treatment of trigger points, this is usually in medical-clinical sense.

Here the term Myofascial Release refers to soft tissue manipulation techniques. It has been loosely used for different manual therapy, soft tissue manipulation work (connective tissue massage, soft tissue mobilization, Rolfing, strain-counterstrain etc). There are two main schools of myofascial release: the direct and indirect method.


  • John F. Barnes. 1990. Myofascial Release: The Search for Excellence, 10th Edition. Myofascial Release Treatment Center.
  • John F. Barnes. 2000. Healing Ancient Wounds: The Renegade's Wisdom. Myofascial Release Treatment Center.
  • Robert I Cantu, Alan J. Grodin. 2001. Myofascial Manipulation, Theory and Clinical Application, 2nd ed. Aspen Publishers Inc.
  • Carol Manheim. 2001. The Myofascial Release Manual. 3rd Edition. Slack Inc.
  • Tom Myers. 2004. Structural Integration - developments in Ida Rolf's 'Recipe'- 1. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 8, 131-142.
  • Michael Stanborough. 2004. Direct Release Myofascial Technique. Elsevier.
  • Ward, RC, 2003, Integrated Neuromusculoskeletal Release and Myofascial Release, in Ward RC, 2003, Foundations for Osteopathic Medicine, 2nd edition, Chapter 60, pp 932-968, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia

See also

Bowen Technique

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Myofascial_Release". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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