What is Myofascial Release?


Most of us know a bit about our muscles, but fascia was ignored for years (literally cut away and binned in anatomy training). The fascia is all the connective tissue that holds us together, comprising of different tissue types and forming a 3D web throughout the body. More recently, we’re recognising the important roles it plays in the body, including around how we experience pain. A myofascial approach focuses on working with the muscles and the fascia.


Myofascial Release can mean different things to different people – like with any hands-on therapy, what a therapist offers is a mix of their education, interpretation and experience, we are all unique, just like you as the client, so I’ll introduce my approach.

Specific Myofascial (MF) techniques are often really slow pressure or static holds, usually without oil or minimal oil. The pressure is gentle but the effect can feel deep.

I use both Direct and Indirect Fascial Techniques.

During Indirect Techniques, you just relax and focus on what you can feel, maybe adding in some breathwork. The therapist will apply a gentle stretch or hold and then wait to give time for the tissue to respond.

During Direct Techniques, you will carry out a simple movement to engage and release the tissue, like pointing and flexing the ankle whilst the therapist applies a pressure or slow movement through tissue.

In both types, there’s definitely an element of teamwork between therapist and client, with us both focusing on what’s happening in the tissue and communicating about it.


Myofascial Techniques can be helpful for any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing, particularly long-term, recurring or persistent pain which might be the result of long-term stress, postural imbalances, emotional or physical trauma (injury). They can also feel great and blend in really nicely with massage for an enjoyable treatment experience, so I might suggest we include something to target a specific issue or for a relaxation boost.

I also offer a series of 3 Structural Bodywork Sessions which systematically treats the whole body over the 3 weekly/fortnightly appointments.  You don’t need to have any specific pain or issues to receive this treatment, although treating the whole body might help specific issues and we will discuss and monitor how and what you feel during and between sessions. Do get in touch if you want to find out more about this.


Myofascial Release is something that was introduced to me during my Sports & Remedial diploma as an idea & useful technique. Then about 5 years ago, I did some training with Myofascial Release UK, which developed my understanding of fascia and anatomy. It shifted the way I approached the body, clients and any pain or limitation they were experiencing. It also gave me a ‘starter toolkit’ to work with clients and I’ve used some alongside massage techniques, where it felt appropriate for clients. It seemed to yield really positive results for some clients, particularly those with longer-term or persistent pain issues, so I wanted to learn more.

I completed my Certificate in Advanced Myofascial Release in the summer of 2023 with Jing – 10 days down in Brighton, with excellent tutors and 27 other therapists, fully-immersed in learning and exploring fascial bodywork (and with daily immersion in the sea too, it was a brilliant experience).

Why I trained in Pilates

I’ve been going to Pilates classes for a couple of years and I notice definite benefits. My balance is better, I feel more aware of how I move enabling me to get more out of other activities and generally I have fewer aches & pains. Also, I find the focus on mind, body & breath beneficial mentally, giving me a bit of calm in a busy week.

They are subtle, gradual changes but they make a difference to how I feel every day, so for me it feels like a big change.

During this time, I was seeing commonalities in the ‘core principles’ of massage therapy and Pilates. For example, clients who were more relaxed and connected with their bodies during treatment had a greater improvement in their pain or mobility levels. Also, combined with my anatomy knowledge, Pilates-type movements were useful as homework to help clients feel more comfortable in-between appointments.

After a year of recommending my massage clients, friends and family to try a Pilates class and see what it could do for them, I decided to do the teacher-training myself. I have trained in ‘Realistic Pilates’ which is designed for real people with real bodies and based on the principles of Joseph Pilates. It’s suitable for all ages and abilities, including those recovering from injury or in pain as well as those who feel fit & well.

I am pleased to be able to offer this alongside massage to help you feel and function better.

Do your legs make you feel like dancing?

FILMS Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Starring John Travolta as Tony Manero and Karen Lynn Gorney and Stephanie

How do your legs feel today?

After 2 days’ training on leg, knee & foot massage with Jing, my legs feel fantastic!

Massage Therapists learn a lot by practising on each other and experiencing the benefit of treatment. My legs felt ok at the start, I didn’t have any pain or reduced movement, I was pretty happy with how they were working, but now I know they can feel better than ok. So, let me pass that benefit onto you – if you have any leg pain or just want your legs to feel and function a bit better, why not book a leg treatment?

Do you have happy feet?

With 26 bones and 32 joints there’s a lot going on in your feet and we ask a lot of them. Every time we take a step, each foot is supporting your whole weight. Add into that walking, running and wearing high-heeled or non-supportive shoes and your feet could probably do with some TLC.

Issues that start in the feet can cause pain in your ankles, knees, hips and even shoulders, so looking after your feet is a good preventative measure.

This is why I trained in Thai Foot Massage.

The treatment covers toe to knee and involves a mix of hands-on massage and stimulation of reflex points using a rosewood stick. It’s a great way to look after your hard-working feet and, as it’s both invigorating and relaxing, is a wonderful, interesting treatment to receive.  According to Thai medicine, it also promotes healing on a deep level, so is great as a general health boost or to help re-balance the body after illness.

Indulge your feet to a full hour, or you can include it as part of an hour appointment.

Fascia-nating Conference!

The Scottish Massage Therapists’ Organisation holds an annual conference keeping us in touch with pioneers in their fields and the latest research.

2018 was all about Fascia, led by the inspiring Ruth Duncan (founder of Myofascial Release UK) and Linda Currie.

You might have seen recent media articles about ‘The Interstitium’ being classed as a new organ – it’s basically fascia by a different name – how interstiti-eresting!

Fascia runs throughout the body covering all muscles and organs and has often been dismissed in favour of muscles & bones, with the assumption it’s a fairly inert, boring thing.  However, research is demonstrating it’s actually highly sensitive and responsive tissue which plays an active role throughout the body including involvement in muscle contraction and pain perception.

Ruth describes superficial fascia as ‘a big yellow onsie’ as it covers our entire body. As hands-on therapists, we have access to this superficial tissue, which in turn gives us access to deeper tissue – it’s all connected like a 3D web.

For me, it was an exciting and thought-provoking weekend and I want to know more (hence the 2 books and a lot of new internet bookmarks). Although I’ve only just started learning about this, I could probably ramble on, but I think I just heard someone snore so maybe I should move onto:

What this means for you as a client ...

I have some new ‘fascial’ techniques which we could include in treatments

Fascial techniques can be particularly useful in helping chronically tight muscles and persistent pain

Fascia responds to a much more gentle approach and it’s got to be ssslllloooooooooooow – so a hold or pull can last for 5 minutes or more.  It might not feel like much is happening, however, having spent a weekend practising with other therapists, I’d say it’s definitely worth investing 5-10mins of your appointment time to give it a go.


If you want to know more …

Intro to Interstitium [Independent]

Ruth Duncan @ British Fascia Symposium 2014







You need your hips to hop!

I’ve been getting lovely feedback from clients recently – one client described the treatment for his lower back pain as ‘ridiculously good’. I had included new techniques, learnt last month when I spent two amazing days with Jing Advanced Massage Training focusing on the hip & pelvis.

Imbalances in this area can cause issues throughout the body including sciatica, back, shoulder & knee pain so it is important to include in treatment.

During the training, we explored techniques to target specific areas and also covered some general relaxation techniques based on Japanese Anma which apply pressure with the rhythm of the client’s breath.

Do you have hip or pelvic pain? Or lower back? sciatic pain? sore knees? Then get in touch and expect to be offered & experience some of these at your next appointment.

Feedback is a really important part of the treatment process to help us get the best result together – if there are things you like, or don’t like, or want to know more, let me know, it’s your massage!


Hands-Free Training

In any profession, it’s important to keep learning and developing skills.  Massage is no different – with training, therapists learn and improve skills and the clients reap the benefits. Win, win!

I had an amazing 1-to-1 day at KnotStressed practising hands-free massage techniques under the excellent guidance of Onie Tibbet. Learning to sensitively use hands and alternative tools (like forearm and elbow) allows more subtle variations in pressure and improved flow so the client receives a more effective & relaxing treatment. There were some great techniques borrowed from other disciplines, such as Slavic massage, and the posture and movements influenced by Tai Chi make the massage more ergonomic for me, so I’m less likely to injure myself. Bonus!

I’m starting to incorporate these new techniques into massages and have had some good feedback from clients so far.

I hope you feel the benefits too!