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Myofascial Release

Key concept: Historically, these manual techniques were directed towards the tough fascial
membranes that wrap, connect, and support the skeletal muscles throughout the body.
Myofascial release continues to evolve with the growing knowledge of interstitial tissues and the

behaviors of fascia.

Myofascial release (MFR) is related to the historical paths of Rolfing as developed by Ida Rolf.
Robert Ward is credited for coining the phrase of the cellular interplay between fascia and
muscle structures. Ward and John Barnes are considered two primary founders of this therapeutic
approach, and Barnes created a series of evaluations and techniques to address chronic pain and
movement dysfunction. Like CST, MFR has been embraced by a wide variety of professions
using manual therapies. 

The focused manual pressure and stretching used in myofascial release therapy frees restricted
movement, indirectly reducing pain. There is no proof that straight, sustained stretch does not
move fascia. Still, evidence exists that MFR contributes to pain relief and allows muscles to
relax and 'lengthen.' Like CST, MFR's clinical acceptance has been through anecdotal outcomes. In any fusion of bodywork methods, there are common instances where MFR is the 'just right' modality to treat a restricted site, like a psoas or sternocleidomastoid muscle.

Effectiveness of myofascial release: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials

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