Myofascial Therapy vs Myofascial Release: What is the Difference?


Direct, soft tissue, myofascial therapy

Controlled deep pressure is applied directly to restrictions in soft tissue using thumbs and fingers, elbows and forearms gently sinking into the tissue as it softens in order to take up the slack and then pinning or locking in (as in the case of the subscapularis and the prone piriformis techniques) or dragging (eg seated lateral neck and shoulder technique). Each drag normally takes around 60-90 seconds, longer if tissue is very tight, and should be repeated 3 or 4 times.

Indirect, sustained pressure, myofascial release

Very gentle pressure and stretch to tissue tension is applied using relaxed hands slowly following the soft tissue as it releases, going through and keeping within each barrier for at least 5 minutes whilst feeling for softening/melting and heat and observing colouration and other unwind responses. It can be used for local dyfunction or as an effective way to treat the fascial system globally as in leg or arm pulls through longitudinal planes, or compressions. It is usually painless and the aim is to encourage the body's ability for self correction/fascial change in order to restore balance and reduce pain.

Indirect, sustained pressure over time myofascial release has been shown to result in greater fascial change than direct, soft tissue myofascial therapy(1)

1. “Effectiveness of direct vs indirect technique myofascial release in the management of tension-type headache”, Ajimsha MS, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 15, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 431-435

Red Kite Masseuse : Deep Tissue - Aromatherapy

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