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Myofascial Techniques

The word myofascial comes from the Latin words 'myo' meaning muscle and 'fascia' meaning band.

Fascia is a connective tissue, also sometimes known as fibrous bands, which surrounds all muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and organs within the body. The fascia consists of a network of hollow tubules made up of collagen and elastin.

Fascia itself is very strong, flexible and dynamic and so responds well to stretching. The fascia looses its elasticity through physical and emotional trauma and poor posture. This results in the fascia hardening and the general flexibility of both the fascia and the muscle it surrounds, decreases.

Myofascial release is a technique used by many sport massage therapists to stretch the fascia. Usually the therapist will apply forces in opposite directions with the hands (or sometimes just the fingers when treating small areas), starting gently and increasing the force as they feel the tissues relax. Larger areas may be treated using the forearms. Once the therapist feels that the area is fully relaxed, they move on to the next area to be treated.

This form of treatment is very gentle and does not hurt. Many patients find it extremely relaxing. No oil or cream is used during myofascial release, as this allows a firm grip of the skin.

Myofascial release can be used to effectively treat many different conditions, including:

Susan Findlay of the North London School of Sports Massage talks exclusively to sportsinjuryclinic about the use of myofascial techniques within sports massage.

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