muscle (myo) and fascial (fa) manipulation using muscle contraction
Fascia surrounds the whole muscle and connects each muscle cell within it

Myofascial Manipulation logo-30KB

Myofaction, or Myofascial manipulation, the book, provides health professionals with a unique system of manipulation for each muscle or muscle group in the body. The book explains massage scientifically and comprehensively. Four fundamental elements of massage technique:

  • breathing;
  • the primary force of compression and transverse pressure;
  • the secondary force of torsion;
  • and the longitudinal or stretch force

are combined with a fifth element,

  • the force of isometric muscle contraction

to produce a highly effective clinical intervention.

The book describes a unique technique of muscle (= myo) and fascial (= fa) manipulation. Fascia surrounds the whole muscle and connects each muscle cell within it. The technique works by using isometric muscle contraction (action) to generate internal tension within the muscle and stretch the myofascia, hence the title Myofaction.

The book is both an instruction manual and a reference book on myofascial technique. It is written for an advanced professional level of massage therapist: for doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors and masseurs.

The principles of wholism and self-healing which underpin the practice of 'Myofaction' are explained in the introduction. There are ten tables, and the keys for the arrows and applicators used throughout the book, are also explained in this section. Any system of treatment must be based on specific assessment criteria and these are explained in the introduction.

The reader is made aware of several theoretical considerations. To save time in evaluating the patient's problem, a questionnaire may be given to the patient to supplement the case history. A brief explanation of the physical examination is provided. A list of muscles and their ranges of movement is included. In addition to the standard methods of evaluation the 'somafeedback' system is included to assess and correct overuse patterns.

Although Myofaction - Myofascial manipulation briefly looks at evaluation in the introduction the emphasis is on treatment. The book covers the soft tissues of the human body in a superior to inferior direction. It starts at the head, then works through the cervical spine to the thoracic spine, ribs and lumbar spine. It then follows the upper limb from the shoulder muscles down to the elbow, forearm and hand. The lower limb is covered in a similar way starting with the muscles, which attach on the pelvis and spine and then working through the thigh, leg and feet. Finally the book looks at the lymphatics system, which is responsible for the drainage of the myofascia.

Techniques are described in chronological order.

  • First the anatomy of the region is explained.
  • The technique is defined i.e. 'Unilateral kneading for Trapezius'.
  • The position of the patient is described i.e. 'Seated in a chair or low table'.
  • Supporting statements are made i.e. 'Ask the patient to be relaxed but sit up straight'.
  • The position of the therapist is described i.e. 'Stand behind the patient'.
  • Supporting statements are made i.e. 'Place the palm of one hand on the crown of the patient's head and spread the fingers wide so as to be able to control head movement'.
  • The applicator is defined (this is the part of the therapist's body which is applied to the patient) i.e. 'The fingertips and side or pad of the thumb of one hand'.
  • The tissue tensions (lock up) are described i.e. 'The primary tissue tension is a transverse force done by flexing your thumb. Secondary tension is taken up by pulling back on the muscle with your fingertips. Longitudinal tension is taken up by starting the technique with the shoulder depressed. Further longitudinal tension is taken up by flexing and sidebending the patient's head away from the shoulder being treated'.
  • The type of technique is described. i.e. 'Apply posterior to anterior cross fibre kneading to trapezius with the side or pad of your thumbs or to the deeper levator scapulae and rhomboids with the tip of your thumb'.
  • The Myofaction technique (called the active component) is described. i.e. 'Ask the patient to take a deep breath and hold it in...etc'.
  • Computer manipulated images show the therapist performing the technique on the patient. An easy to use CD-ROM comes with the book which contains video clips.

Illustrations enable the reader to easily understand the written description of the technique. The arrows give an appreciation of the direction of the muscle fibres, the appropriate direction of the applicator and the direction of the isometric muscle contraction. A small mini-key for the arrows is placed below each illustration to remind the reader of the meaning of the different arrows. The white arrow is 'The muscle', the blue/ dotted arrow is 'The primary force', the green arrow is 'The secondary force', the red arrow is 'The longitudinal or stretch force' and the yellow arrow is 'The contraction force'.

Myofaction contains 54 chapters and 147 techniques. The book covers all the soft tissues in body - over one hundred muscles or muscle groups, tendons and ligaments, and the lymphatic system. Over eighty anatomical diagrams, 175 computer images, 161 photographs and 161 video clips makes this the most comprehensive book of muscle manipulation technique currently available.

This book has been written primarily because of a confluence of three skills; clinical skills as an Osteopath, lecturing skills in anatomy and soft tissue manipulation and computer skills in word processing and graphic art. Clinical skills provide the experience, lecturing skill provide the ability to impart knowledge and the computer skills provide the tools to be able to package the knowledge effectively.

The Author

The author has worked in the field of massage and associated modalities for over twenty years. In 1978 he established a school of yoga in Chester in the U.K. He worked with yoga and massage for several years before training as an Osteopath and Naturopath at the N.S.W. College of Natural Therapies and the Pacific College of Osteopathic medicine, Sydney, Australia. He set up his first practice as an Osteopath in July 1985 in Sydney, Australia. In 1987 he worked for a year in Liverpool, U.K. as an Osteopath and completed postgraduate studies at The British School of Osteopathy, London. He started working as a lecturer in 1987 teaching ‘Alternative medicine’ for Liverpool City Council and ‘Natural living’ at Burton Manor College, Cheshire, U.K. In 1989 he was resident therapist at the Brunswick Health Retreat, Brunswick Junction, Western Australia. Between April 1989 and March 1993 he ran the Vidah Natural Health Centre, in Perth, WA and lectured in 'Alternative medicine' and 'Natural living' at W.A.C.A.E. (Edith Cowan University) and in ‘Soft tissue technique’ and ‘Surface anatomy’ at the local technical college (T.A.F.E.), Mt Lawley, Western Australia. In 1993 he returned to the UK and worked as a locum and assistant to Osteopaths until 1997. In 1997 he returned to Perth, WA again and settled down to practice Osteopathy at his clinic 'The Natural Health Centre'. He continued as a lecturer in 'Surface anatomy' and 'Transverse friction and deep tissue massage' at T.A.F.E. and in 'Contemporary Health Issues', 'Life Skills' and 'Advanced massage' and 'Hydrotherapy' at the Australian College of Natural Health Sciences, East Perth, Western Australia. The author has travelled extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, China, Russia, Africa, North America, Central and South America. He is currently an independent environmental activist and lobbyist and runs Information for Action and its website www.informaction.org

Purchasing Myofaction

The book may be purchased for A$132 (= A$120 plus A$12 GST/tax). Postage costs are not included in the price. Add $10 for Eastern Australia, $6 for Western Australia, A$25 for Europe, and A$22 for USA and Canada. For more information about purchasing the book, including discount prices for bulk purchases or workshops in Myofaction please contact the author by e-mail.


Melainie Cameron B.App.Sc. (Ost), M.H.Sc.
It is designed for use while actually doing the techniques described, and is, therefore, ideal for self-education.
A useful addition to the library of any practitioner wishing to learn, or re-learn, the art of soft tissue manipulation.
Technique notes are presented step by step in point form, making the text ideal for use by students during practical classes.
A sophisticated blend of ideas from cross fibre massage, muscle energy techniques, and soft tissue stretching.

George Stylian D.O.,Grad.Cert.(Osteo.Paed.) N.D,FS.O.,DBM
The material in this book is presented in a very methodical way. The diagrams and the attention to detail make it very precise and easy to use as a manual for those either studying or practicing soft tissue manipulation. As a manual and text it would also be very useful for practitioners working with sports people. It picks up where a lot of sports massage books finish. The author has obviously done a lot of experimentation with finding the optimum position for the patient. This also reflects his knowledge of muscle anatomy and function.
Inhibitory, cross fiber kneading and muscle energy techniques are mostly used in this manual. This is an excellent manual for anyone who is looking for clear, precise instructions on these three techniques and how to apply them to the muscles of the body.

A 3rd year Osteopathic student.
It's great that this book has been written by an Osteopath. It is really valuable with its no nonsense approach and its vivid descriptions and directions. All (Osteopathic) students could do with some soft tissue knowledge. It is the type of book I would keep on my shelf to freshen up my technique and conserve energy.