Self-Myofascial Release Therapy
- the gentle way -

Self Myofascial Release Therapy (SMFR) - The Gentle Way

Learn to self-treat like a pro

Did you know that fascia is your largest sensory organ? This connective tissue also gives you your shape, stabilises your bones, strengthens your muscles, and enables communication between cells. Fascia allows for tissue glide, movement, and load distribution. It plays a significant role in perceiving posture, movement, balance, interoception (sense of self), and coordination. In essence, fascia creates an environment for all body systems to work together, highlighting the importance of keeping it healthy.

What is Self-Myofascial Release Therapy?

SMFR is a self-care approach that can help improve your fascial health. You'll learn to identify and self-treat areas of hard, sticky and dehydrated fascia, often indicating restricted, painful, and dysfunctional regions in the body. Regularly working with the fascia can help to manage symptoms like pain, stiffness, brain fog, mood swings, IBS, fatigue, anxiety, and headaches better. 

What will I learn during the sessions?

The sessions provide a valuable and highly experiential learning experience.
It's an in-depth practice of techniques and (super slow) movements. You will also learn some hands-on work for your body, in the same way a therapist would treat you. 

You'll actively participate throughout the workshop and can expect to be positively challenged.

Regularly working with your fascia can help you to:

The more you practice, the more benefit you will get from this comprehensive, gentle approach to self-care. SMFR is also a fantastic way to connect with like-minded individuals on a journey to better health. 

SMFR explained further:
SMFR is a self-care form of Myofascial Release Therapy that involves using various tools, techniques, and movements to apply sustained pressure on the superficial and deeper fasciae and other soft tissues. SMFR helps to increase interceptive (sense of self/how you feel) and proprioceptive (sense of self within space/your environment). Its calming effect on the nervous system helps to turn down the body's fight and flight response, which has many benefits. It can reduce soft tissue tension, including that of the fascia, decrease inflammation, reduce anxiety, change pain perception, and relax the body as well as the mind.

Self-myofascial release is not painful and should always remain within your tolerance levels.

For the SMFR sessions, we use the following three SMFR tools (or replacements).

Can I purchase the tools?

Who are these sessions for?
This is for everyone who can do with a little or a lot of TLC. It's for all ages, abilities, genders, shapes, and sizes. Previous knowledge or experience is not required.
SFMF will support you from any starting point.

SMFR is an excellent stand-alone self-care option but can also be combined with your 1-2-1 iMFT treatment sessions to maintain and accelerate your progress.

The group sessions are also a fantastic way to connect with like-minded individuals who share your journey to better health.

About Alexandra Shave
Alex is a certified Integrated Myofascial Release (iMFT) and Self-Myofascial Release therapist and holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Health Sciences, Remedial Massage, and Neuromuscular Therapy. Alex is fully insured through Balens and a Gold member of the SMA.

The Fascia Clinic ( is Alex's private practice for one-to-one integrated Myofascial Release Therapy treatments at Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre. She is introducing Self-MFR at The Isbourne Wellbeing Centre in Cheltenham to support more people on their journey to better health.

What is the booking, cancellation and privacy policy?
All classes, sessions, and workshops require booking and full payment in advance to secure your place. The sessions are subject to the terms and conditions and privacy policy available on the website.

I am a health practitioner or therapist; is this workshop for me?
You are more than welcome to join. The Self-Myofascial Release Therapy sessions are intended for your self-care purposes only. Attending the classes doesn't qualify you to teach other people. You need training and insurance to teach SMFR. This safeguards you against third-party claims and the financial consequences that may follow. You will personally benefit from SMFR therapy, which may also help improve the quality of care you provide to your clients/patients.

What to bring to your SMFR session?

* SMFR tools: a foam roll, therapy ball, peanut tool
* A (yoga) mat
* A pillow (optional and recommended) to make yourself more comfortable.
* A towel (optional) to adapt and soften the techniques.
* A blanket (optional) to keep yourself warm.
* A bottle of water
* You can wear stretchy, comfortable, warm clothing, such as joggers, leggings, T-shirts, and zip-up   

Please book your sessions in advance at or through this website 

Alex offers the following SMFR options:
* Monthly Saturday 2-hour group workshops (in-person at the Isbourne Centre)
* Weekly Tuesday 9.30-10.30 am group sessions (in-person at the Isbourne Centre)
* Weekly Sunday 9.30-10.30 am group sessions (online Zoom)
* Weekly Sunday 10.45-11.45 am online one-to-one (online Zoom). Other dates and timings upon request.
* Online (Zoom) one-to-one in-person (at the Isbourne or CHHC) upon request.

Please note: The Isbourne operates a minimum number policy. If our minimum number is not met 24 hours before the session is scheduled, we reserve the right to cancel the session. You will get a full refund if you have paid a set fee for the cancelled session. Donations are non-refundable. So, we suggest customers secure their place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The Isbourne's minimum number policy is under the instructor's guidance running the session. We appreciate your understanding.


SMFR is a gentle self-care therapy with a full-body holistic approach. You will learn easy-to-grasp techniques that can be practised anywhere and anytime. Each session focuses on a few techniques and a diverse mix of slow movements. The in-person workshops provide more in-depth practice and instructions. During the workshop, you will also learn to do some hands-on work on yourself (like a therapist would).

The tools we use (peanut-shaped, therapy ball, and foam roll) help to give us different kinds of sensory input (not to cause pain or bruises like sometimes in other SMFR classes). In that way, this SMFR class differs a lot from what most call SMFR. Even though the tools may be similar (a therapy ball, a foam roll and a peanut-shaped tool) - this self-care therapy focuses on the sensation the tools and techniques create.

By focusing on what you are doing and how it feels, you notice the subtle things happening in your body (and mind). To bring about positive change, it's helpful to be able to pinpoint the areas that require improvement. This can look like tension, restriction, heaviness, disconnection and more. Becoming more aware of what is going on in your body can reveal these areas needing improvement. Now, you have a choice and the opportunity to change things.

SMFR helps to enhance sensory modulation and improve body awareness (interception and proprioception). An increased sense of self (interoceptive awareness) also down-regulates the nervous system's fight-and-flight response and reduces soft tissue tension, which includes, of course, the fascia.

Regularly working with your fascia can help you feel, move, and sleep better, and it can promote overall health.

One of the main principles of Myofascial Release Therapy is that working on one part of the body affects other parts and the body as a whole. Fascia is everywhere; it supports, surrounds, protects, and separates every human body cell, organ, muscle, bone, nerve, and blood vessel. Even the fluid-filled spaces are part of our fascial system.

What others say about SMFR

Today me and Alison attended a Self-Myofascial Release Class led by the wonderful Alex. A class that I never knew I needed! Mindfulness, pressure, challenge, stretch & relax are all words. 

As someone who is too impatient to foam roll correctly and someone who struggles to live life in the slow lane but someone who challenges their body/muscles weekly, this class is now in my routine.

One class, and I’m sold. I literally walked out of the room with a better posture than I went in and far less pressure throughout my body. If you’re someone who needs to incorporate stretching into your week (all of you because you don’t do it), you should check out this class!

Not an # ad but my word let’s make it one. Honestly, I can’t express how much I enjoyed it.

M. Seward, Isle Health
The SMFR session was a great way to learn the basics as a newcomer to the technique. I felt benefit in terms of range of movement and physical comfort immediately after the session, so will definitely continue to use the technique and learn more from Alexandra in the future.
L. Cox

I found the SMFR session so helpful, both in the short term to relax my muscles and in the long term to be able to have some skills to help myself.  Thank you so much Alex :)

E. Green

Informative, interesting and relaxed session.  Perfect, just what I wanted.  Very beneficial. 
Alex is knowledgeable and shares the information in an easy-to-understand and useful way.  

A. Cottrell

Coming up...

Joining the workshop, you will learn how to treat and look after yourself.

Regular practice of the self-treatment techniques will help you manage your pain, stiffness, fatigue, anxiety, brain fog, headaches, mood swings, IBS and many more benefits. You can book the workshop here.

SPECIALISED Self-Myofascial Release Therapy 2-hr Workshop

Do you want to learn how to
reduce your pain, stiffness, and stress levels?
Boost your mood, sleep, and overall well-being..
Find out how to keep your fascia healthy..

SMFR is for people of all ages, shapes, physical abilities, and genders. YOU can benefit from SMFR techniques.

There is a fast-growing interest in this practice and therapy, and for good reason.

SMFR can help relieve niggles, pain, and discomfort. It helps to improve mobility, body awareness, and relaxation. 

The participant feedback from previous sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.

 Join our first workshop at the:


Saturday, 15 June 2024, from 10 am-noon
Details will be sent by email once signed up.



in-person classes 

online classes





⭐ SMFR therapy online ZOOM sessions 

There is an online ZOOM class every week. 

You can pay as you go (PAYG) for £10 per session or pay in advance for four consecutive weeks for £35. 


⭐ SMFR therapy weekly in-person session

Join Alex's Self Myofascial Release (SMFR) group sessions. These group sessions offer a supportive and educational environment. We have a lovely, spacious room on the ground floor to learn and practise together. Please book and pay for your session in advance to secure your place.

For more information and bookings, click here


⭐ SMFR therapy monthly in-person workshop

You can now enjoy Alex's Self Myofascial Release (SMFR) monthly workshops. The SMFR workshops will give you a more in-depth experience and understanding of the techniques and help you look after your overall health. We practise together, and the workshop is very experiential. Regularly working with your fascia can help you feel, move, and sleep better and promote your health altogether. Read more about them here.

For more information and bookings, click here


⭐ One-to-one SMFR online or in-person sessions 

One-to-one sessions have numerous benefits. Besides being tailored to your specific needs, they can help you develop skills and techniques quicker, reduce recovery time, receive more emotional support and motivation boost, and provide greater confidentiality, to name a few.

Longer sessions are available. 

For more information and bookings, click here

Book your place for the workshop here

When it comes to Self-Myofascial Release Therapy (SMFR), a few fundamental principles can make all the difference in your journey to improved well-being:

1. Little and Often: Healing is a journey; the same applies to fascial health. Slowly move into it – Aim for 10-30 minute sessions daily, focusing on different areas and using various techniques to enhance sensory input and improve body awareness. The techniques help to down-regulate the nervous system and reduce the fight-or-flight response, thereby reducing tension in the soft tissues, including the fascia. 

2. Stay Within Your Comfort Zone: Forget the 'no pain, no gain' mantra when working with fascia. Intense pain causes your fascia to tense up, which is counterproductive to releasing it. Stick to a pain scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being pain-free and 10 excruciating. Keep your pain levels comfortably below 5. STOP when it hurts!

3. Maintain the Pressure: Fascia responds best to slow sustained pressure. Spend 3 minutes or more in a stretch or on a tender point to allow the tissue time to soften. Unlike muscle exercises, you don't need to repeat each stretch or technique within a session.

Self-help Myofascial Release Therapy is a gradual yet profound path to relieving the experience of pain and restoring balance in the body. We call it the 'slow fix' because it takes time for your body to unwind. Regularly working with your fascia can bring long-term benefits, including improved balance, posture, reduced pain, and increased mobility. 

If you would like the


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