Getting the Kinks Out May Take a Round of Myofascial Release

Workshop in Springfield focuses on muscle tension skills that can be used at home.

Stress seems to be part of life for some in the Northern Virginia area, and it can manifest itself in many ways. Some find solace with meditation,

exercise or yoga. Another approach is myofascial release. The Mayo Clinic website describes myofascial release as “a manual therapy technique often used in massage. The technique focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues — the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles.”

Honest Soul Yoga will hold a “Self-Myofascial Release,” workshop, teaching a hands-on technique that can be done at home.

“Self-Myofascial Release is when a person is able to mechanically stimulate their connective tissue in order to facilitate hydration and break up adhesions, thereby improving range of motion and allowing muscles to glide past each other more efficiently,” said Evelyn Mizell, an expert of this technique that will lead the class at Honest Soul.

It is a hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.

The myofascial release is popular in parts of the sports world, and it has now made its way into the mainstream. It can be done at home, and this makes it easier to access and cost effective as well. Mizell has worked with athletes, particularly runners after a race.

“I’ve found many clients really love the self-myofascial release I’ve taught them for hands and feet,” she said. And it’s not just for athletes. “I have

one who knits and finds that releasing the connective tissue in her hands is a huge help,” she said.

Honest Soul Yoga sells self-myofascial release tools, reports that they are a top seller. “I think this is in part due to growing trend of people finding relief from these techniques, and also gives nod to how easy it is to learn these techniques and then apply them on your own to support your yoga practice and athletic endeavors,” said Julia Lopes at Honest Soul.

The term has hints of something exotic with a splash of science but it is something practiced world wide. At YogaWest, in London, England, Myofascial Release is taught by Alice Blunden to increase blood flow, reduce muscle soreness, maintain normal functional muscular length and encourage movement of the lymph.”Myofascial release offers so many benefits to everyone, not just athletes. It is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and tension and restore motion in the body,” Blunden wrote on her website.

Foam rollers are one way to use the self-myofascial release, and it was highlighted by ESPN in 2014 as a way for athletes to find relief. Foam rollers are one tool that can loosen the tissues, but this can also be done with a soft ball or even a tennis ball, as many yoga classes use.

Mizell has been trained in self-myofascial release by Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of Yoga Medicine, who’s been a contributor to several health publications. Cruikshank is part of “Glo,” an online yoga and Pilates platform.

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