Aside from muscle and bones, the body is held by fascia. Fascia is like skin on a sausage, and it can get twisted like two sausage links. The tension which a muscle is held under is due to the connective tissue which binds each muscle and group of muscles together. They hold the body together in a network of compression, like elastic bands. Sometimes these bands are too tight, sometimes too loose as in a hypermobile joint, which is as dysfunctional.
As with joint capsule work, a client’s pain may be referred pain i.e. the origin or source of the problem may be in an area away from original pain e.g. knee pain due to tightness in the hip. Good assessment is imperative so that the therapist can source the origin of tension, and thereby work the area most beneficial to the client.
Myofascia continuum covers the body in a structurally integrated network providing the body with areas of tension which hold the whole structure together. By unsticking the fascia and ungluing the muscle fibres from each other, the muscle belly may be restored to its normal length and then strengthened if it was tight and weak, or just stretched if it was tight. The goal is to achieve muscle balance.
For the client myofascial release involves a lot of kneading, lifting and skin rolling techniques which are not comfortable, but which are effective in releasing the muscle fibres, kind of like peeling cheese strings apart. Tenderness lasts 4/5 days after a treatment. An area which was very tight may feel tender and/or swollen as the skin-fascia-muscle-bone relationship is restored to optimum tensegrity. Ice is not recommended for this type of swelling.