Myofascial release is popular in the beauty and wellness industry. Massage professionals with training in myofascial release can use this training to enrich the lives of their clients. Of course, anyone interested in a career in massage therapy might be wondering where myofascial release therapy training fits into the mix. While there is some overlap between traditional massage therapy and myofascial release, a massage therapist should take a vocational school program to learn this special massage technique.
What Is Myofascial Release Training?
Myofascial release training instructs students on how to activate and enhance the body’s natural healing mechanisms using specialized stretching of the fascia. Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every single organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in the body. What is interesting about fascia is that its nerve connections make it nearly as sensitive as our skin. Healthy fascia is smooth and flexible. What makes fascia-focused treatments so essential is that fascia tightens up when we experience stress.
Basics of Fascia
Fascia is made of multiple layers that are buffered by liquid. This design allows fascia to stretch with every move you make. However, fascia that becomes thick and sticky can tighten around the muscle in a way that can create pain, stiffness, and knotting. Fascia can tighten due to repetitive motion, poor posture, injury and trauma, or a sedentary lifestyle. Many people confuse fascia pain for muscle pain because the way that fascia tightens around muscle can make it feel like muscles are knotted and restricted.
A compromised fascia doesn’t just cause pain, people living with this issue will often experience inflammation, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Plus, tight fascia can also put a person at risk for additional injuries because the tightness created in the body makes it easy to strain surrounding soft tissues and muscles.
How Is Myofascial Release Performed?
Myofascial release is a gentle, all-natural technique for pain relief designed to release the tightness in the fascia that causes chronic pain and inflammation. A massage therapist uses light pressure while stretching and massaging a body’s trigger points. Typically, the massage therapist will hold the trigger point for a few minutes to achieve a full release. It may take the release of several trigger points in succession to get results.
Trigger points are tight “knots” that develop around muscles. Massage therapists train to detect them using both their hands and eyes. It may be necessary to massage a muscle area before detecting the source of the trigger point. A trigger point will create a feeling of tension when it is pressed upon. It’s also common for muscles to visibly twitch when a trigger point is activated.
Is Myofascial Release the Same Thing as Massage?
Myofascial release therapy and massage therapy are not interchangeable. The big difference is the focus of these two practices. Classic massage therapy works on the overall muscle system within the body to release stress, tension, and tightness. Myofascial release focuses specifically on releasing tightness and tension in the fascia to help clients undo muscle restrictions that are causing pain, inflammation, lost flexibility, and reduced range of motion. The techniques used are also quite different. Massage therapy involves steady, continuous movements, while myofascial release uses targeted stretching and sustained pressure to “stretch out” the fascia.
What Conditions Can Myofascial Release Treat?
It’s important for future massage therapists to know what myofascial release treatments can improve so they are able to “market” their services effectively to their clients. In fact, myofascial release can help massage therapists offer a more targeted approach to treating some forms of pain that are already commonly treated with massage therapy. The ability to offer an “upgrade” when injuries and pain aren’t responding to traditional massage therapy can be valuable for a massage therapist committed to helping clients reduce their pain and strain.
However, myofascial release isn’t just limited to specific parts of the body. This treatment can be used in most parts of the body. The areas where it is commonly applied include the neck, arms, shoulders, jaw, head, lower back, hips, calves, feet, and quads. The common conditions that cause people to seek out myofascial release include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain and restriction
- Hip pain and restriction
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis/heel pain
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
While not all massage therapists are trained in myofascial release techniques, the reality is that more massage professionals are seeking out this training to offer an in-demand specialized service that many people are looking. Patients who are suffering from pain, inflammation, and muscle tightness often seek out myofascial release techniques to get the best results possible. And the good news is that you learn myofascial release during the massage therapy program at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology.
What Are the Benefits of Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release offers many benefits for people who prefer holistic pain relief. Myofascial release helps improve range of motion, reduce soreness, assist with tissue recovery, induce relaxation, improve circulation, release tension and knots, reduce stress levels, reduce inflammation, and speed up the body’s natural recovery process.
Myofascial release can also offer pain relief without the use of pain medications. Many people are apprehensive about taking prescription pain medications due to risks for addiction. They may feel like medications don’t actually solve the core problem that is causing pain. A treatment like myofascial release can supplement medication because it treats the source of tension that is causing pain and restriction.
In addition to the benefits of myofascial release helping to clear up a painful knot, once the knot is released, the body is no longer in a state of distress. It’s common for people to feel better both physically and mentally following myofascial release treatments simply because the restricted blood flow was released, restoring full balance to the body.
How Do You Learn Myofascial Release Techniques?
It’s important to enter a training program to learn the techniques of both myofascial release and other massage techniques, to offer these services professionally. A vocational school with a massage therapy program provides the training and certification needed to work as a professional massage therapist offering myofascial release. This program will help you become knowledgeable in anatomy and physiology to identify specific muscle groups and fascia networks within the body.
What are the Benefits of Learning Myofascial Release Techniques?
Today’s massage therapists find the ability to offer myofascial release treatments helps them connect with more clients. The rise in popularity of myofascial release comes at the same time as the demand for massage therapy services is also projected to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for massage therapists is projected to grow 32% through 2030.
Another benefit to knowing myofascial release techniques is that it is also used by chiropractors and physical therapists. Consequently, having myofascial release training can significantly elevate your professional profile. Myofascial release training is a career-enhancing process that ultimately empowers you to help more clients live with reduced pain and discomfort.
Now that you know what myofascial release training is, it is time to learn more about the massage therapy program offered at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. In addition to myofascial release, we offer coursework and hands-on experience in Swedish, deep tissue, and chair massage. Take the time to learn more about the knowledge and skills we can offer to help you find a position as a massage therapist.
Massage Therapy Program
If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 13 months. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their patients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.