Myofascial Release is a slow release technique, often used in conjunction with massage, and also with Craniosacral Therapy, to maximise results. It works on the fascia of the body; the web-like connective tissue which envelopes and connects every structure of the body, from the bones right down to the microscopic layers of the muscle, around the organs and nerves and under the skin. Fascia becomes dysfunctional when it is overused, tight, and dehydrated, and as it provides a sheath around all other structures of the body it can affect movement and general function too.
Myofascial Release identifies the structures that need releasing, engages them with a gentle pressure and then slowly stretches them away from each other. Best results are achieved when at least 2-4 minutes are allowed for each release, to allow the many layers of fascia to relax completely. It is generally painless and deeply relaxing. It may also result in Myofascial Unwiding (see below).
What is Myofascial Unwinding? This term describes both the techniques that the therapist perform and what can happen to the body as a result. During treatment the client can enter a very deep space of relaxation. The craniosacral wave may slow or stop, reaching a ‘still point’ which allows it to reset in a better rhythm. The myofascial tissues soften and lengthen, which often provokes releases in other tissues that are not directly targeted. Sometimes there may be spontaneous body movements as these releases occur. These can be small or large, from a subtle twitching of a nostril to a large arm movement or a turning of the neck and head to one side. Sometimes the client may feel the need to completely change position on the table. As the ‘emotional memory’ of the body engages, memories and emotions may surface into consciousness and can be addressed and processed. Most clients report an experience of deep rest, release and even insight. To allow for a satisfying treatment experience it is important to simply let any movements, thoughts or emotions that arise simply happen, without attempting to control or censor.