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What is Self Myofascial Release?

A common question I get is “What is this foam rolling thing all about?”  The best answer I can give to that questions is that “it is a form of self myofascial release therapy“.  Without a doubt, the next Self Myofascial Release Therapyquestion I get will be, “what is self myofascial release therapy?”  According to the Mayo Clinic’s website “Myofascial therapy is a form of massage therapy that uses sustained pressure to loosen or release tightness in connective tissues (fascia).”    To better understand what self myofascial release therapy is we need to understand what Fascia is.  Fascia is a connective tissue that covers most of the structures of our body, including our muscles.  One of its main benefits is to provide protection to our muscles.  Even though it provides protection, through overuse, trauma, or inactivity it can be the source of a lot of negative side affects.  The fascia and muscles begin to almost get glued together, resulting in stiffness.   If you are an active person, you know that stiffness is not a good thing and can often cause a lot of pain.  This is where self myofascial release therapy comes into the picture.  By providing constant pressure to a direct area of the muscle self myofascial release therapy can occur.  As I will address later this can be done by a massage therapist or by yourself in the comfort of your own home.

Why is Myofascial Release Therapy Needed?

As mentioned above, without self myofascial release therapy tightness within the fascia and muscles can develop, which can lead to a number of things including:

  • Restriction of muscles
  • Loss of motion
  • Pain
  • Loss of blood flow
This can be critical for anybody, whether they are a competitive athlete, weekend warrior, or someone trying to stay healthy.  It is important for everyone to be involved in some sort of myofascial relesae therapy.  By doing some sort of myofascial release therapy we can increase the efficiency of our muscles producing better results in the gym, on the court or field, and in day-to-day life.

What are the benefits of self myofascial release?

Self myofascial release can have a lot of benefits. You will have increased blood flow throughout the body, better movement and increased range of motion. Myofascial release can also decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after workouts. Decreased recovery time means you are able to train more often and can see results faster. Increased circulation is big for recovery.

Self Myofascial Release TherapyHow can Self Myofascial Release be Accomplished?

Well you could go to a massage therapist and ask them to give you a deep tissue massage to receive some myofascial release and it would cost you a good bit of money.  The other more affordable option of massaging out those myofascial trigger points would be to purchase a foam roller and use it as often as you want from the comfort of your home.  Foam rolling has become one of the newest trends in the fitness world and it is a great form of self-myofascial therapy.  So if you are ready to help your muscles become more efficient, get your self a foam roller,

and let the myofascial therapy begin!

Tony Horton of P90X fame has added self myofascial release therapy into his latest program P90X2, with the use of a foam roller.

Leave your testimony of self myofascial release therapy below!

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