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Myofascial Release PDF

Myofascial Release PDF

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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.

    Table of Contents

    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

    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