‘Myo’ means muscle and ‘fascia’ means band. Fascia, an embryological connective tissue, is a 3D continuous web of elastin and collagen fibres surrounded by a viscous fluid called the ground substance. These two fibre types allow it to be very strong yet have a high degree of flexibility whilst the ground substance is a fluid transportation medium and acts a slide and glide mechanism between structures.
Hardening of the fascia occurs in response to physical or emotional trauma. It is like a three-dimensional net, reaching right through the body, surrounding individual muscle fibres, tendons, ligaments, nerves, organs, lymph vessels, blood vessels and capillaries. Through the meninges and the dural tube fascia plays a crucial role in the central nervous system. Fascia has a tensile strength of around 2,000lbs per square inch.
In the normal, hydrated, healthy state, fascia has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. Fascia can be described like a 3D sweater, when the fascia network is traumatised it is pulled and twisted out of alignment rather like a pull in the sweater.
Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.