Art and Science of Myofascial Release

The application of Myofascial Release requires the practitioner to remain patient and controlled in their approach, while maintaining a connection along the appropriate fascial layer. Working at variable depths in an attempt to provide greater release may take the practitioner away from a uniform release. It may be tempting to move deeper when a “soft” spot is found, however this may be counter productive as Myofascial Release is the treatment of fascial restriction along a continuous fascial layer. When working at various depths, in an attempt to ‘maximise’ release, the practitioner may be moving away from releasing the necessary fascial restriction – possibly sinking down to another restriction before the current one is completely released.

The art of this work comes down to the ability of the practitioner to ‘meet’ the client at the point of restriction.


Slow, deep pressure is applied directly on skin, sinking slowly, until the practitioner reaches the restricted fascial layer. When the point of restriction is reached, allow the underlying tissue to melt away from your touch. This loosly applied term provides the practitioner an analogy to better understand the intention of the intervention, and as an extention the need to allow change to occur, rather than enforce an agenda of release. The art of this work comes down to the ability of the practitioner to ‘meet’ the client at the point of restriction.

The application of the techniques may be facilitated with or without accompanying movement by the client. The slow, deliberate release requires sensitivity by the practitioner that encourages constant feedback between practitioner and client. Issues regarding level of depth and amount of pressure applied are constantly arising in practice. There is a fine line between appropriate force and contact which promotes direct pain and insult to the local tissue.

Appropriate force/pressure is relative to the needs of the individual.

The Myofascial Release as promoted by myself occasionally creates temporary and slight local discomfort, but by working on appropriate fascial planes with a discerning amount of force, it is possible to minimise or even neutralise these levels of discomfort. From my clinical experience of applying this technique to infants all the way up to the elderly, it has become clear that appropriate force/pressure is relative to the needs of the individual.

Dialogue between practitioner and client is imperative for reaching an understanding as to what constitutes appropriate force necessary to facilitate change. The interaction between practitioner and client does not always have to be verbal, but can represent the ability of the maturing practitioner to understand the response from the tissue while working along the appropriate fascial layer. Working too fast has the potential of not allowing the client to fully release along the fascial layer. While, working too deep can cause the client to contract and withdraw from your contact, requiring the practitioner to recommence the therapeutic intervention.