To understand Myofascial Release and why it works, we have to understand what fascia is. Fascia is a thin connective tissue that surrounds, infuses and protects every other tissue, tendon, muscle, bone, ligament and organ of the body. It's like Saran Wrap. In healthy conditions the fascial system is relaxed and wavy in configuration, almost viscous in consistency. This provides a cushioning and supportive mechanism allowing us to move safely without restriction or pain. Collagen and elastin, fascia's two main components, allow it to be very strong yet have a high degree of flexibility. Fascia is also dynamic in nature, it responds to internal and external forces applied to it, meeting the resistance in order to protect.
Most clients are amazed by how gentle Myofascial Release is and soon realize the discomfort associated with deep tissue massage is not necessary to effect therapeutic release of the muscles. For some conditions, deep tissue massage is contraindicated, as in Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Myofascial Release gives therapists another method to effectively release the tension in the fascial unit (muscle fibers with the overlaying fascia), without causing discomfort or contributing to further damage.