Myofascia Near-Myths of Pain Relief & Posture Correction

And What Does Muscle Have To Do With Myofascia?

musculo-fascia unit with muscle cells & fascia sheaths labeled

Musculo-Fascia Unit w/ Muscle Cells & Fascial Sheaths

dr. ida p. rolf, myofascia release, structural integration, myofascia definition, Rolfing

Dr. Ida P. Rolf & Founder of Structural Integration (Rolfing®)

Dr. Ida P. Rolf was the Founder of the therapy system called Rolfing,® also known as Structural Integration. Dr. Rolf almost single handedly made the words “myofascia” and “fascia” famous when she said (approximately):

“Everyone is talking about muscles,
but no one is talking about fascia.”

Yet today, we hear ALL about myofascia or just fascia ALL the time now. And almost NO ONE is talking about muscles!

In fact, they very often make it clear they think muscles are NOT your problem with pain or posture issues. For Example, we have this from The Douglas Method [link does not work as of 2/01/2023] website about myofascia:

What’s wrong with stretching?

There’s nothing wrong with it. But stretching only affects the muscle. And for a lot of people that’s just not doing the job of relieving pain. Here’s why:

It’s not your muscles that are causing the tightness – therefore stretching your muscles is not going to solve the tightness. We need to look for another culprit – and it’s one that few people have heard of…

The author is clearly stating stretching does NOT affect the fascia, only the muscle. Then, the author says: “It’s not your muscles that are causing the tightness … we need to look for another culprit …”

The author also says “Stretching is often prescribed for back pain, but did you know that you might be wasting your time?”

John Barnes, Founder, Myofascial Release, says myofascia not muscle biggest cause of pain / poor posture

John Barnes, Founder of Myofascial Release

Then there’s John Barnes, Founder of Myofascial Release. He is famous, or infamous, for saying and writing “there is no such thing as muscle, there is only fascia.”

He too promotes the idea that pain and postural distortion are mostly in the fascia and not so much, if at all, in the muscle.

(You can read a more detailed response I wrote in an article titled Whatever Happened to the MYO in Myofascia Release? on this website.)

OTHER people say stretching the muscles is not what works, but stretching the myofascia DOES work. Yet I’ve seen a bunch of pictures of yoga stretches, of regular old stretches, and of myofascia stretches. Yet they pretty much all look like the same stretches to ME.

We’ll get to that in a minute or two … Yet I will tell you I think there are BIG problems with all that.

BUT RIGHT NOW, My Big Question Is … Is Turnabout Fair Play when it comes to science-based concepts? Is it fair to say we can focus mostly on fascia and NOT pay so much attention to the muscles?

Well, Let Us See …