Myofascial release is a hands on, specific therapy geared to effect change in the muscle and fascial unit. Fascia is the tissue that surrounds each muscle and organ in the body. Fascia is a type of connective tissue that helps support the body and its structures. When a muscle becomes tight or spasms, the fascia surrounding the muscle is also affected. Myofascial release is a gentle stretching of these units of muscle and fascia. Tightness in these units can cause pain, limit motion, and prevent normal functioning of the body. Myofascial techniques are geared specifically to each individual in a hands on approach. Sore spots are found by the therapist and tissues are stretched and released. The technique is also used to decrease trigger points that can cause pain and sensitivity in other areas of the body.
Myofascial release was begun by osteopaths, specifically by Dr. William Naidner, who called it Fascial Twist. Many others have furthered the technique, including Dr. Ida Rolf, who developed the technique of Rolfing. Many physical therapists and practioners today use this technique in many different forms. Among those are John Barnes, who teaches extensively in the United States and has refined the technique. Other physical therapists have also refined the technique. For more information go to this link.