Myofascial Release is a manual therapy (a ‘hands on’ therapy) that stretches the fine layer of connective tissue (fascia) beneath the skin. Very little to no lotion is used. The effectiveness of Myofascial Release is that it increases the sensitivity and mobility of the fascia. As a result, people feel better, move with more easy after treatment, and recover from exercise more rapidly.
One of the underlining principles of Myofascial Release is the concept of tensegrity. Simply applied, biotensegrity is the view that the bones (hard structures) are held in place by the muscles and connective tissues (soft structures). There is a constant tension in our bodies that give us form and allows us to move safely. The tension within the soft structures affect the movement and stability of the hard structures. When tension increases in the myofascial matrix of muscle and fascia (connective tissue), movement is often affected. Most likely this is due to the great sensitivity of the fascia, which is highly innervated.
Current research is confirming that Myofascial Release helps with pain. (Benefits of Massage-Myofascial Release Therapy on Pain, Anxiety, Quality of Sleep, Depression, and Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia) There is also evidence that it supports performance issues as well. (Effects of Myofascial Release After High-Intensity Exercise: A Randomized Clinical Trial)(An acute bout of self-myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in muscle activation or force.)