Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release originated in the osteopathic community. Recently it has become more popular as a number of therapists have evolved and perfected the techniques allowing practitioners to develop their practices around this form of therapy.

Everest Therapeutics Therapists who practice Myofascial Release:

Bart Prinsen, BSc, RMT Osteopathy (current study)


Heidi Joy Brown, RMT

Myofascial Release – Vancouver


MZ1- 970 Burrard St. Vancouver
(mezzanine – Electra Building)
7 days a week 8 am to 8 pm
535 Hornby St. #400 Vancouver
(4th floor YWCA Building)
Weekdays 6 am to 10 pm

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release is somewhat different from traditional massage therapy. It is a mild and gentle form of stretching that has profound effects on the body’s fascial tissues. Because it is perceived of as very gentle, you may wonder how it could possibly work to release and soften deep hard adhesions. To help you understand lets talk about fascia.

What is Fascia?

fascia1Essentially fascia aka connective tissue is a single sheet of continuous webbing that extends without interruption from the top of the head to the tip of the toes. It surrounds and invests in every other tissue and organ of the body, including nerves, blood vessels, muscles and bones.


fascia2Because fascia is interconnected and permeates all the regions of the body, a restriction or scaring and hardening in one area following an injury, inflammation, disease, surgery, etc. can continue to “spread” and put a significant amount of tension (up to 2000 pounds per square inch!) on adjacent pain-sensitive structures, as well as on structures in areas of the body that seem far removed from the original affected site.

Many clients experience bizarre pain symptoms that appear to be completely unrelated to the original or primary complaint. This is why myofascial release looks at the whole body to facilitate release and healing. A good example of this is the below:

Lower Back Pain:

Clients suffering from chronic lower back pain may also have significant discomfort in the neck. This is due to the gradual tightening of the muscles, especially of the fascia. The tightness has crept its way up the back, eventually creating neck and head restrictions. Therefore, optimal resolution of lower back pain often requires the release of the fascia of both the head and neck.

If the neck tightness is not released, most often it will continue to apply a “drag” in the reverse direction, back to the lower back, until fascial restriction and pain have again returned to the site of the original area of concern.

How are Restrictions in Fascia Treated?

Our registered massage therapists have a thorough understanding of the fascial system. They will facilitate a “release” of the fascia in areas that have a strong “drag” on the region of concern. These sites may be far removed from the site of the condition or injury.

An important aspect of using fascial release techniques is holding the technique long enough. The therapeutic effect will begin to take place after holding a gentle stretch for a minimum of 90 seconds and following the tissue to the next barrier as it releases.

Myofascial release may be gentle, but it has a profound effect upon the body’s tissues. You may leave after the first treatment feeling like nothing happened, but don’t let the gentleness deceive you. Later that day, and even a day or two after, you may begin to feel the effects of the treatment in the form of deep release of chronic and/or acute issues.

How Many Treatments are Necessary?

In general, acute cases will resolve within a few treatments. However, the longer the problem has been present, the longer it will take to resolve.

Many chronic conditions that have developed over a period of years may require three to four months of treatment with up to three sessions per week to achieve optimal results.

Don’t forget, recovery can be greatly accelerated with a commitment to daily home exercises!

What to expect from a treatment:

1. For up to a day or two after a treatment, you may experience an increase in pain in the area of complaint, or most often in areas different to the site of original symptoms however, this increase is often followed by a remarkably noticeable improvement.

2. Although rare, sometimes feelings of light-headedness or nausea can ensue. If this happens, take a moment to recline, sip water and don’t rush yourself into activity.

3. You may experience emotional feelings. This is perfectly normal and indicates a significant release that is considered a good event of change and should be explored further.

4. The release of tight restrictions in tissues may be accompanied by the release of long time trapped metabolic waste products into the surrounding tissue and blood stream. These are incredibly irritating to pain sensitive structures of the body as they make their way out of the system. This is why it’s very important that you take good care of yourself during the course of your treatments. Be sure to drink a lot of fluids not all at once, you don’t want to flood your kidneys. Instead sip one to two liters of water throughout the day to help your body gently flush and metabolize the waste.

All of these are normal reactions that the body has to the profound healing changes that have occurred. Proper hydration and participating in mild cardiovascular activities may minimize the rare adverse reactions like nausea and pain.

Myofascial Release is available at Everest Therapeutics in downtown Vancouver. Click here for access to our online booking system.

The below is a fascinating account of the relief three Kitimat residents experienced from their chronic pain following myofascial release treatments. Their experience has them singing the praises of Linda Sangwine, a registered massage therapist (from Mission BC) who performed the treatments.

Michele Murdoch received treatments from Linda Sangwine, and they gave her great relief from injuries she sustained following a severe truck accident years ago. Because of her positive healing experience, Michelle shared the flight costs with Linda in order to get her into town for a three-day workshop. Michelle was sure that the benefits to the people who Linda could help far outweighed the price of the round-trip ticket.

After the workshop, Michelle said, “If I can sum it up, there wasn’t one person that was unhappy. Everybody left here ecstatic.”

John Bartram, Sherrie Gutfreund and Nancy McNab all underwent treatments and experienced welcomed relief from chronic hip and shoulder pain, as well as relief from headaches and improved circulation from myofascial release.

Myofascial release combines stretching and massage techniques as a therapist works to release tension from fascia, which are fibrous bands of connective tissue.

Release comes from creating open pathways in the fascia, which relieves connective tissue problems.

Bartram said that before going to Sangwine, his entire body ached, he had poor circulation in his feet and hands and a sore hip.

“After my first session with Linda, the circulation returned to both my feet and hands,” said Bartram. “My feet aren’t cold anymore and the stiffness has gone out of my hands.” Bartram even experienced additional relief from his treatments.

“I haven’t had a headache for a week now,” he said, and added “normally I get one every couple of days, and my right hip feels much better.”

Gutfreund had relief from her hip and shoulder pains from the massage and although she admitted the pain has returned due to working, she remains optimistic about the benefits of myofascial release.

“I would like to see (Michele) bring Linda up again,” said Gutfreund. “I found the session to be very relaxing and appeared to help my pain.”

McNab however does not want to wait for Sangwine to return to Kitimat before getting another treatment.

“I am going to Vancouver… and hoping to get another appointment before I come home,” she said.

“I feel so great after that last treatment it is unbelievable,” said McNab. “For the first time I think my hips are lined up as I feel so straight. It is amazing.”

Although Murdoch wants to bring Sangwine up here a second time, she confessed that unless the burden of the cost of flying Sangwine to Kitimat can be shared among those seeking treatment or subsidized in some way, the prospect is in limbo.

Source: The Northern Sentinel. Kitimat, B.C.: Jun 1, 2005. pg. 10

Vancouver Massage Therapy

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Myofascial Release – Vancouver

MZ1- 970 Burrard St. Vancouver
(mezzanine – Electra Building)
7 days a week 8 am to 8 pm
535 Hornby St. #400 Vancouver
(4th floor YWCA Building)
Weekdays 6 am to 10 pm