What is Skin Rolling aka Myofascial Release

The art of Skin Rolling is also called Myofascial Release. It’s an amazing technique used to release adhered knots and to detach connective tissue from the muscles lying underneath the skin. The Superficial Fascia is our body stocking. It is a thin layer of tissue which wraps around each muscle and organ throughout our bodies. When the fascia gets stuck or wrinkles, the muscles are prevented from doing their work in conjunction with other muscles that help. When muscles, tendons and ligaments are tight or trapped because of knots, the area that is stressed or injured will hold in a pattern bringing the surrounding body limited movement with aches and pains. By Skin Rolling the fascia you are metaphorically ironing out theses wrinkles and allowing our fabric to fall freely. This allows the team of soft tissues to achieve movement without pain.

The video below demonstrates Skin Rolling for shin splints.


This technique may be uncomfortable at first and this is normal. When dealing any area of pain and restriction your pain receptors are on high alert. It takes time for them to calm and realize that they can let go- this is when real change and healing begins. We realize that the thought of pinching or lifting your skin might sound painful and depending on the state of the muscle it will be at times. However, the end result will lessen the contractures and relieve the underlying pain, while freeing up the muscle and allowing discomfort-free movement. What I love about Skin Rolling is that anyone can do it on themselves and when done often it will not only bring blood circulation to the area but will help free yourself of hurtful muscle restrictions.

Another great reason to utilize Skin Rolling is to can reduce the visibility of scars. Of course you must be careful that your scars are completely healed and you must treat the area with caution as to not cause undue pain. The technique is quite easy. As you see in the photo above lift your fascia with your fingers and literally roll the fascia along under your fingers, moving any desired direction. Do not over pinch the skin. Try a lighter lift with a slight pinch and roll the fascia under your fingertips. You will get better with practice and notice that depending on where you work on your body you will use different amounts of force. If you cannot Skin Roll a very tight area, begin massaging or compressing the area to loosen the fascia first. Do not pinch the skin as you will only achieve painful bruising.

You can Skin Roll your forearms for hand and wrist pain, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow or just plain old tendonitis. We both practice this art on our upper arms (deltoids), elbows, palms and spine to reduce tension from our busy massage schedules. It really works well on shin splints, too. If you find this procedure makes you sore, make sure to apply a few minutes of ice massage afterwards. The picture to the left demonstrates Skin Rolling on your Quadriceps (Thigh muscles). This is an effective way not only to relieve leg and hip pain and can also be applied to the low back, and any other area you can reach.

If you would like a more in depth tutorial Beginning Myofascial Release DVD is a great resource to learn Myofascial Release and Skin Rolling techniques.  This DVD demonstrates skin rolling on another person, but the same techniques can just as easily be done on yourself.  If you are finding areas difficult to reach on your own have a family member or friend learn how to use this technique on you.




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