What is Myofascial Release?

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Exploring Myofascial Release: The Key to a Pain-Free Lifestyle

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a form of therapy that addresses chronic pain and limited mobility in your myofascial tissues.  These tissues are the tough coverings that wrap, connect and support muscles (myo = muscle and fascial = connective tissue).

One of the primary benefits of MFR is effective pain management for various conditions including chronic pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, sciatica, whiplash, and sports injuries. Skilled advanced therapists use gentle sustained pressure to release fascial restrictions due to postural holding patterns, repetitive use, injury, or scar tissue. By releasing restrictions, they help relax tight muscles, reduce inflammation, and promote natural pain relief.  In this article, we will explore fascia, restrictions, and some of the key benefits associated with myofascial release.

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a slightly mobile connective tissue which spreads throughout your entire body.  It surrounds, infuses, and creates separation between vessels, organs, bones, and muscles.  Therefore, it helps to support and protect structures.

It creates a space through which nerves, blood vessels, and fluids must pass.  There are multiple layers of fascia that work together as a complex of collagen fibers that provide support, stretch, and movement.  In between these layers is also a liquid with a gelatinous-like consistency that transports metabolic material through the body.

When this liquid becomes thick, sticky, or dries up, due to myofascial restrictions it can affect the surrounding body parts.

What is a Restriction?

A myofascial restriction occurs when fascia becomes solidified and shortened through trauma, surgery, inflammatory processes, repetitive use, and poor posture.  In the beginning, you may notice pain or stiffness in one area of your body.

As a restriction goes unaddressed, it will organize along the lines of tension imposed upon it and produce unusual and seemingly unrelated pain and tension in adjacent areas of the body (tensegrity).  At this point, you may notice pain or stiffness in multiple areas.  This can lead to compensation.

Over time, the drag on the fascial system makes you more likely to move differently to accommodate chronic pain and decreased range of motion.  To regain fascial mobility, restrictions may need to be addressed through MFR.

Myofascial Release at Carole Lilly Massage

What is MFR?

MFR is a safe and very effective hands-on technique.  Its primary function is to relieve chronic pain and increase range of motion.  By releasing restrictions within the fascia, MFR enhances flexibility and promotes better movement patterns. This leads to improved range-of-motion in joints, facilitating ease in everyday activities.

MFR assists in correcting imbalances that contribute to poor posture. By releasing tension in specific areas, therapists can restore balance within the musculoskeletal system, leading to improved postural alignment.

During a session, your therapist applies gentle sustained pressure into the areas that are stiff and tight to release restrictions.  This may be the area of current pain and stiffness or another area of the body.  Releasing the pattern of myofascial connective tissue restriction helps to eliminate pain and restore motion.

MFR is performed directly on skin without oils or creams. This allows the therapist to detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate the release of the fascia.

Myofascial Release of Foot at Carole Lilly Massage

Benefits of MFR

Some of the key benefits associated with myofascial release include:

  • Pain Relief
  • Improving Range of Motion
  • Postural Realignment
  • Stress Reduction and Relaxation
  • Enhanced Body Awareness

Myofascial Release at CLM

It is important to note that myofascial release should be performed by licensed professionals who have undergone proper training. At Carole Lilly Massage, our Advanced Massage Therapy offers an integrative, whole-body approach to pain relief. CLM Therapeutic Massage Therapists have advanced training in multiple modalities and years of experience in working with acute and chronic pain patterns.

Carole is a Nationally Board-Certified Massage Therapist, a NC Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist, and owner of Carole Lilly Massage. She is an Advanced Myofascial Release practitioner with John F. Barnes Myofascial Release and has been taking intensive coursework with John Barnes (considered one of the pioneers and influential figures in Myofascial Release therapy) since 2008.

Carole Lilly Myofascial Release at Carole Lilly Massage

“I love that I get to wake up each day and share MFR with you. It’s such a gift to slow down and take good care of ourselves.”  – Carole

Steve is a NC Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist and Board Approved Provider for Teaching Continuing Education.  He brings over 30 years of Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) knowledge and experience to you at Carole Lilly Massage.  His approach to MFR is unique to each client.

Steve McLaughlin at Carole Lilly Massage

“Your health and wellness are without doubt the most important investment you will ever make. Whether massage is a means of stress management or pain management, I believe massage and bodywork can make a difference.”  – Steve

At CLM, we recommend a MFR session if you want to let go of stiffness and relieve chronic pain.  A First Visit Myofascial Release session is reserved for new clients. It includes a 15-minute consultation with your advanced massage therapist and a one-hour MFR session.

All therapeutic services are at the same rate.
First Visit $160 l Full Session $130 l Extended Session $185

If you have any questions about Myofascial Release sessions, please contact us.


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