Myofascial Release is a highly specialized stretching technique used by physical therapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight to protect the individual from further trauma (either real or imagined). This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body. Flexibility and spontaneity of movement are lost, setting the body up for more trauma, pain, and limitation of movement in areas you often wouldn't expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.

In other words, Myofascial Release is stretching of the fascia. The stretch is guided by feedback the therapist feels from the patient's body. This feedback tells the therapist how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch. Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes the therapist uses only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. The feedback the therapist feels determines which muscles are stretched and in what order.

Each Myofascial Release technique contains the same components. The therapist finds the area of tightness. A light stretch is applied to the tight area. The therapist waits for the tissue to relax and then increases the stretch. The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed. Then, the next area is stretched.

Myofascial Release is not massage. Myofascial Release is used to equalize muscle tension throughout the body. Unequal muscle tension can compress nerves and muscles causing pain. The goal is to remove fascial restriction and restore the body's equilibrium. When these aims have been accomplished the body's inherent ability to self-correct returns, restoring optimum function and performance.

Dr. Constandinos Shizas D.C. - Chiropractor, "the Source of Health", 1279 Route 46 East, Parsippany NJ, 07054 973-794-3762, 973.794.3763 (fax)