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Myofascial Release eBook

Myofascial Release eBook


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    Myofascial Release provides comprehensive training for hands-on therapists of all disciplines and at all levels to expand their practice. From technique descriptions and their applications to client interactions and the preservation of practitioner strength and functionality, this guide teaches therapists every crucial aspect of employing myofascial release to its fullest benefit.

    This scientifically grounded whole-body approach presents an overview of the entire fascial matrix, the three-dimensional web of tissue that supports, encompasses, and protects every other structure in the body. The explanation of the anatomy and function of the connective tissue system gives practitioners the solid background needed for working most effectively with soft tissue to treat muscle injury, immobility, and pain. The book also outlines how myofascial release relates to other massage modalities in the Hands on Guides for Therapists series, ensuring therapists incorporate all of their skills to the greatest effect for their clients.

    Descriptions of over 60 myofascial techniques contain details on the timing, direction, and hold of each stretch as well as numerous photographs that illustrate the body and hand positions of each technique. Nuanced explanations of the unique feel of soft tissue, including the component of position of ease felt in the fascial drag, enhance the therapist’s palpation skills. The therapist learns how to apply the best approach—cross-hand releases, longitudinal plane releases, compression releases, and transverse plane releases—on specific injuries or issues and how to combine techniques to maximize their effectiveness. The text also contains home programs that clients can use themselves between treatment sessions.

    Myofascial Release provides an entire therapeutic approach as opposed to just the hands-on application that most books offer. Special features make this resource more effective and efficient for readers:

    • Full-color photos present a strong visual guide to employing each technique safely.
    • The photo index reference tool quickly points readers to the desired technique.
    • Therapist Tips provide practical comments on applying the techniques.
    • Client Talk boxes share the author’s experiences and insights on common situations.
    • Quick Questions at the end of each chapter test readers’ knowledge of material.

    Finally, the text offers insight on interacting with clients and ensuring their entire therapeutic experience is fulfilling. It covers the client consultation process, checking for contraindications and performing the visual assessment, how the client may respond to the treatment, and what the practitioner and client might feel and see during the process. Readers will come away from Myofascial Release with a holistic understanding of the approach and how to apply the principles to their practice.

    Myofascial Release is part of the Hands-On Guides for Therapists series, which features specific tools for assessment and treatment that fall well within the realm of massage therapists but may be useful for other body workers, such as osteopaths and fitness instructors. The guides include full-color instructional photographs, Tips sections that aid in adjusting massage techniques, Client Talk boxes that present ideas for creatively applying techniques for various types of clients, and questions for testing knowledge and skill.


    A professional development guide for new hands-on therapists as well as a reference for experienced hands-on therapists. Also a reference for personal trainers working with older adults, athletic trainers, physiotherapists, sport massage therapists, and practitioners of complementary therapies.

    Table of Contents

    Series Preface
    Foreword by John F. Barnes

    Part I. Getting Started With Myofascial Release

    Chapter 1. Introduction to Myofascial Release
    Elements of Fascia
    Conditions That Affect Fascia
    Myofascial Release Concepts
    MFR Versus Other Massage Modalities
    Benefits of MFR
    MFR Treatment Sessions
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 2. Initial Assessment
    Client Consultation
    Medical History
    Physical Assessment
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 3. Preparation and Communication
    Equipment and Room Preparation
    Correct Body Mechanics
    Mental Preparation
    Therapist and Client Communication
    Effects of and Responses to MFR
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Part II. MFR Applications

    Chapter 4. Palpatory and Physical Assessments
    Palpatory Assessment
    Tissue Mobility, Motility and Glide
    Traction and Compression
    Skin Rolling
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 5. MFR Technique Approaches
    How to Apply Every MFR Technique
    Cross-Hand Releases
    Longitudinal Plane Releases
    Compression Releases
    Transverse Plane Releases
    Myofascial Unwinding and Myofascial Rebounding
    Combining Techniques
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Part III. Applying MFR Techniques

    Chapter 6. Cross-Hand Releases
    Leg Techniques
    Arm Techniques
    Torso Techniques
    Head and Neck Techniques
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 7. Longitudinal Plane Releases
    Supine Pulls
    Prone Pulls
    Bilateral Pulls
    Oppositional and Side-Lying Pulls
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 8. Compression Releases
    Soft Tissue Compression Techniques
    Joint Compression Techniques
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 9. Transverse Plane Releases
    Pelvic Floor Technique
    Respiratory Diaphragm Technique
    Thoracic Inlet Techniques
    Transverse Plane Technique at Joints
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 10. Myofascial Unwinding
    Fascial Responses to Injury
    The Unwinding Process
    What Does Myofascial Unwinding Feel Like to the Client?
    What Does Myofascial Unwinding Feel Like to the Therapist?
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 11. Myofascial Rebounding
    The Rebounding Process
    Rebounding as a Tool to Enhance Techniques
    What Does Myofascial Rebounding Feel Like to the Client?
    What Does Myofascial Rebounding Feel Like to the Therapist?
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Part IV. MFR Programmes and Management

    Chapter 12. Combined Techniques and Taking MFR Further
    Myofascial Position of Ease Techniques
    Combining Techniques
    Direct Scar Tissue Release Techniques
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Chapter 13. MFR Treatment Approaches
    Individual Treatment Approaches
    Intensive Treatment Approaches
    Multi-Therapist Treatment Approaches
    Home Programmes
    Closing Remarks
    Quick Questions

    Answers to Quick Questions
    Photo Index
    About the Author

    About the Author

    Ruth Duncan, SST, ISRM, SMTO, is an advanced myofascial release therapist, proprietor, instructor, guest lecturer, speaker, national committee member and writer with extensive training in a variety of approaches. She completed her advanced postgraduate training in 2004 with John F. Barnes (the world’s leading authority on myofascial release) and has assisted with his seminars in the United States.

    Duncan also has explored other direct and nondirect fascial approaches, including Thomas Myers’ anatomy trains and myofascial meridians, Erik Dalton’s myoskeletal alignment techniques and Jean-Pierre Barral’s visceral manipulation. She has studied with experts on myriad topics to learn more about human anatomy, function and dysfunction and the emotional aspects of chronic pain and healing.

    Duncan graduated with honours as a clinical massage therapist from the Humanities Centre School of Massage (now the Cortiva Institute in Florida, USA) and has a diploma in sports therapy from the Society of Sports Therapists (Sports Rehab and Education) and a diploma in sports and remedial massage from the Institute of Sport and Remedial Massage. She runs her own clinic, The Natural Therapy Centre, north of Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in the MFR approach in single sessions and intensive treatments.


    “…highly recommend this for any manual therapist interested in adding myofascial release to their current treatments.”

    --Doody’s Book Review