This is me working on our ex baseball short stop, Roberto Ramos. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox this past summer. I'm doing ART (active release technique) on his cervical muscles.
Fascia is the framework that connects all soft tissue and organs continuously throughout the human body. Muscle, tendon, and fascia are anatomically inseparable. A good book on the subject is Schultz's "The Endless Web". In the past, we have looked at it as a passive structure, but recent studies have proved it has contractile properties of it's own. In 2006 a group of German researchers presented research documenting this phenomenon at the World Congress of Biomechanics.
Thomas Myer's book "Anatomy Trains" describes the functional links between the upper and lower extremities by way of fascia. Take a look at it, and you will understand how a myofascial dysfunction in the neck can cause a plantar fasciitis.
There are many types of myofasical release. My favorite happens to be ART because it is fast, and there are no gadgets to loose. I didn't do MF release for a long time because some of the other techniques required you to hold static positions for up to 10 minutes! It killed my wrists and hands, & the time requirement was totally inappropriate for my setting. In addition, ART involves active movement by the athlete. I believe rehab modalities that involve the athlete fixing his own dysfunction are the best. By the way, the new neural flossing protocols are really cool!
However, learning ART is very expensive, and requires a yearly re-credentialing process. That being said, I am seeing more & more collegiate ATC's when I re-cert. Many chiropractors & some P.T.'s are certified, and the ART website has a provider locator's service. It's not a bad idea to develop a relationship with a practitioner.
Lenny Paraccino, a soft tissue therapist out in California, is working on some real exciting stuff. He is using MF release in a more global, integrated way. I think he is really on to something. Check out his website at http://www.kineticconditioning.net/