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Fascia and Myofascial Release

We offer myofascial release at the studio. Below you will learn what fascia is, how myofascial release works, what to expect during a myofascial release session and who would benefit from myofascial release?

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a strong and continuous viscoelastic connective tissue which surrounds and penetrates all structures of the body extending from head to toe. (Imagine a spider web-like network of tissue that connects and supports the body) Fascia surrounds all of our bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and organs. Fascia is made up of collagen, elastin and a ground substance (which is mainly water). Collagen provides support, shape and stability, the elastin offers dynamic flexibility and the ground substance provides a location for communication between cells.

When our body is injured through trauma or microtrauma, fascia may become restricted or tight, with the development of adhesions. These adhesions may affect the mobility and function of the surrounding and distal tissues (connected through the fascial networks). Healthy movement in the body depends on the connective tissue maintaining its ability to remain pliable or flexible. After injury occurs, the fascia, which was pliable, now becomes fibrous or dense, and the ground substance (which was fluid) now becomes solidified and the elastin now loses its ability to stretch.

Fascial restrictions in the body over time can potentially lead to abnormal movement patterns that can possibly create a pull, or improper torque, on the bones, and or joints in the body. As a result of this increased amount of pressure on the joints, the body often responds with the appearance of pain and/or dysfunction. Nerves and arteries, which are also encapsulated in fascia, can also become entrapped in these restrictions, creating neurologic symptoms or ischaemic conditions. Tightening of the fascia surrounding a muscle can negatively affect the functional length of a muscle - reducing its strength and ability to contract fully.

Other interesting fascia facts:

-Fascia does not show up on MRI, XRAY or CT scans.

-Fascia has 6-10 times the amount of sensory nerves than muscle

-Trauma or injury can create fascial restrictions that can produce a tensile pressure of approxiamtely 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain receptors

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release is a hands on technique during which the therapist will apply a sustained pressure into the fascial restrictions until a release is felt. It’s important to note that fascia responds better in time, and sometimes the therapist will hold the same hand position for an extended period of time.

The goal of myofascial release is to return fascia to its normal pliable state, and by doing this, it can relieve pressure off of the structures such as nerves and blood vessels, thereby decreasing or eliminating pain and helping to restore normal mobility in the tissues and joints of the body.

What to expect during a myofascial release session?

At the beginning of each session the therapist will discuss your concerns. Fascial restrictions are assessed. Myofascial release works best when performed directly on the skin. Massage cream or oil is not typically used during treatment as it can interfere with the therapist's ability to connect with the underlying tissue.

It’s important to note that each client is unique in their needs and their needs may change from session to session. Pain can present in a certain part of the body (i.e. right shoulder), but because of the fascial connections the treatment might initially take place in a completely different part of the body (i.e. left thigh or hip).

A home program may be given at the conclusion of your session that might include: lifestyle modification, stretching or strengthening exercises and breathing exercises to facilitate the healing process.

Who would benefit from myofascial release?

The simple and honest answer is….everyone. We all suffer microtraumas everyday, hunched over our smartphones and computers, sitting in our cars and driving. Any repetitive movement can create trauma or injury to the tissue: i.e. running, cycling, swinging a golf club or activities like gardening and cleaning. The best advice is not to wait until you're sidelined with a painful injury. Regular myofascial release sessions can keep your body moving in a healthy way!

To book your MFR session today, call the studio (908) 263-7398 or email the studio at :

Check out this video on fascia to learn more: Fascia & The Mystery of Chronic Pain | Dana Sterling | LIFE TALK

1- Schleip, R, Jager H, Klinger, W, What is Fascia? A Review of Different Nomenclatures, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, October 2012, Pages 496-502

2- Barnes, M, The Basic Science of Myofascial Release, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, July 1997, 231-238

4- Zügel M, Maganaris CN, Wilke J, et al, Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: from molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics: consensus statement, British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018;52:1497.

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