Every once in a while a new new ‘buzz word’ enters the sphere of massage techniques. At the moment it seems this is very much the case with myofascial release. ‘What is it?’ my customers ask me. ‘Is it like deep tissue?’
Well, the answer is that myofascial release technique is very much an extension of deep tissue massage techniques. Myo, meaning muscle and fascia, the sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles. The focus is thus on the structures surrounding muscles, as well as the muscle itself. To give you an example, if we were treating sciatica in the lower back and glute area with deep tissue massage, we would work on the gluteus medius, the piriformis and other hip flexors as well as the hamstring attachment points into the illium. See below of an illustration of the muscles in the area.
In myofascial release, the treatment would focus on the same muscles, deeply working into the tissue with slow and direct pressure, as well as stretching the leg and hamstrings. See this massage tutorial to get an idea of what myofascial release looks like. We can see that there is a distinct similarity to deep tissue massage and other remedial massage techniques, where the focus of the treatment is very detailed and specific to a particular area.
It is definitively great to see new massage styles and techniques being developed. For most conditions we treat with Deep tissue massage, myofascial release could also be explored, especially for long stubborn conditions, which have been lingering for some time. It might just be the missing piece to solve the puzzle.
And as always, if you have any questions at all – please do feel free to ask.
Happy massaging as always,
Your team at Auckland Therapeutic Massage