Let’s Talk About Myofascial Release and Its Wonderful Benefits

A woman holding her neck, feeling myofascial tension

Does your body often feel sore or tight? Do the muscles in your legs, back, neck, and shoulders ache after working out or doing hard physical work? We have the perfect solution for you. It’s better than your regular massage—it’s myofascial release.

The best part? You can learn how to do this yourself anytime you need relief!

 

Myo What?!

Before we explain myofascial release or MFR therapy, let’s talk about what the “myofascial system” or “fascia” is. 

“Myo” means muscles, and “fascia” is a network of connective tissues that protects, connects, and supports our muscles, organs, blood vessels, nerves, skeletal frame, and skin. It provides hydration, lubrication, and a protective sheath that envelops every tissue, organ, and structure in our body. It also helps ensure our connective tissues, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and organs glide smoothly against each other when our body moves. 

the myosfascial system


Simply put, fascia is what holds everything in place and helps you perform every daily activity. 


Fascia: Our Smartest, Fastest Nervous System

The fascial system has its own nerve-signaling system. Like nerves, these signals are transmitted to and from the brain and all throughout the body. These impulse signals travel faster than our central nervous system and communicate with every cell, system, and function of our body.

nerve signals


What this means:

  • When we touch a hot stove or a sharp object, that “pain signal” travels from that area of our body to our brain via the fascia’s nerve signaling system. 
  • Fascia is our body’s most pain-sensitive tissue. When it’s tense or dysfunctional it can be over 1,000 times more pain-sensitive than normal tissue.

How Does Fascia Get Tense & Unhealthy?

Tense myofascial tissue is usually caused by chronic stress, inflammation, and trauma. When our soft tissues (muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, and nerves) are stressed or injured, the tissues can become tense, dehydrated and brittle. Medical science calls this “scar tissue” or “adhesions.”

It goes without saying that tissue in this dysfunctional state will be less mobile, hydrated, and flexible. Blood and lymphatic flow, as well as nerve signals are impeded, which consequently “dries out” the tissue and reduces its ability to perform at its best. This produces even more inflammation, which causes more pain and adhesions, and more dysfunction.

healthy vs unhealthy myofascial tissue



What Happens When Fascia Is Unhealthy?

Inflamed, brittle tissue causes tension, soreness, stiffness, restriction, and pain. It can even interfere with your sleep patterns, hormones, range of motion, muscle performance and recovery, nervous system, circulatory system, and immune system. If left untreated, dysfunctional tissue can lead to deterioration, autoimmune issues, and chronic diseases.

What Happens When Fascia Is Unhealthy?

You probably heard the term “muscle knot.” The truth is, your muscles don’t get “knotted.” Muscles are enwrapped by fascia, and when the fascia is tense and inflamed, it tightens and compresses the muscles. That’s what causes “muscle knots” or painful trigger points.

Trigger points may feel like small, hard lumps. You will usually notice them after an intense workout, hard physical work, or even after a stressful day. They can be painful to the touch, and also inhibit your mobility.

The great news is, you can release the tension and “stuck energy” and restore the myofascial tissues with myofascial therapy.

 

How Does Myofascial Release Therapy Work?

Myofascial release therapy involves techniques that relax and release tension, loosen and create space, and restore the tissue’s mobility and function. These techniques include applying gentle pressure on and around the sore area to decompress the rigid muscles and trigger points. The pressure must be steadily applied over a sustained period—and it must be done repeatedly until the tension is gradually released.

How Does Myofascial Release Therapy Work?

In most cases, the steady decompression and restoration techniques should also be applied above, below, and all around the areas where you feel pain and restriction. That’s because the myofascial system is a network that connects and runs through every area of your body. It’s all connected!

MFR therapy is a holistic approach to pain management, muscle performance and recovery, and overall wellness. Some doctors and practitioners even describe it as a three-dimensional approach, since the pressure runs through and all around the muscle and fascia to other organs and systems. 

 

What Are the Benefits of Myofascial Release?

MRF therapy offers a variety of incredible benefits to your physical and mental wellness, including:


However, a single myofascial therapy can’t offer long-term relief. If your body often feels sore and tight, regular MFR treatments are necessary to enjoy long-term results.

 

Can You Do Myofascial Release Therapy at Home?

If you’re able to regularly visit a manual therapist, that’s ideal! But, if that’s not practical for you – and/or when you need that release “right now” – here’s how to do myofascial release therapy and massage at home:

Best self-use myofascial release tools: KOA Massage Tools

Want a convenient way to massage tension out of your tender muscles and tight trigger points? Give the KOA Massage Tools a try! Unlike massage guns or rolling devices, the KOA Massage Tools are specifically designed to mimic the hands, fingers, knuckles, elbows, and techniques of a skilled manual therapist. This means you can treat yourself anytime, anywhere to relief when you need it.

The KOA Massage Tools are all-in-one myofascial restoration tools with our proprietary, patented HumanTouch 3.0™ technology. The ingenious design allows the KOA’s “fingers” to comb through adhesions in the tissue and release tension and deep myofascial adhesions or trigger points that cause tension and pain. Best of all, the KOA Massage Tools gently and effectively decompress tight muscles and fascia - at the pace, pressure, depth, and threshold you control.


KOA Elite is the standard, original model. It’s perfect for your legs, shoulders, neck, arms, hands, hips, and feet. 

A woman using the KOA Elite tool on her arm


Want to target larger areas of your body, like your back, glutes, and thighs? The KOA Full Body Massage tool gives you more coverage and leverage.

A man using the full body koa massage tool on his lower back


The Platinum Gua Sha & Myofascial Release Tool is a one-of-a-kind, all-in-1 tool you can use for myofascial release as well as Gua Sha - a traditional Chinese healing method.

A man using the Platinum Gua Sha & Myofascial Release Tool on a woman's neck

 

Feel free to explore our shop to learn more about the best myofascial massage tools for pain management, muscle performance and recovery, flexibility, and holistic health.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have more questions about myofascial therapy and our KOA massage tools.