The Muscle Release Technique™ is a style of bodywork developed by Michael Young, a massage therapist who focuses on injuries, especially those caused by repetitive strain. This technique is designed to supplement a physical therapy program and can be used for people with a wide range of problems, including sports injuries, chronic pain, and repetitive stress injuries. Therapists who offer this form of bodywork are typically certified in specialized workshops, and clients are strongly encouraged to ask for proof of certification before booking an appointment, because when improperly performed, it can be harmful rather than beneficial.
Several different principles are used in Muscle Release Technique™. The primary idea is that the muscles contribute directly to general health, as the supportive network of the body, and that any physical therapy program needs to address the body as a whole, with a focus on muscular health. Injuries to the muscle can cause loss of flexibility, chronic pain, aches, stiffness, and other problems, and if those issues can be addressed, clients can experience considerable relief.
In a treatment session, the therapist identifies specific areas that need work, usually in a conversation with the client, who may bring up specific issues he or she is experiencing. Clients may walk so that the therapist can study their movement, looking for areas of the body that appear to hold tension. The therapist considers the client's activity level and profession, and asks the client to step up onto a padded massage table. Typically, the treatment can be performed on people in loose, comfortable clothing.
The therapist works to stretch the muscles gently, working the problem areas to break up scar tissue and release tension. While stretching the muscle and rebuilding muscle memory, the therapist also uses compression, extension, and gentle movement to flex the muscle, with the goal of elongating it to eliminate pain and tension. The client's breathing is also a very important part of Muscle Release Technique™, allowing the therapist to work more deeply and effectively on problem areas.
In the long term, pain relief, stronger muscles, and increased flexibility are two benefits of this therapy. Immediate pain relief is not uncommon, depending on the type of injuries involved. Several sessions may be required to fully resolve an issue, and regular sessions for upkeep are often recommended. If a client opts for regular sessions, the massage therapist can head problems off at the pass, as it were, preventing the recurrence of pain and injury.