Alexandra Shave

Self-Myofascial Release Therapy (SMFR)
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 classes?
The classes are one-hour sessions where you learn and practice various techniques using tools and (superslow) movements. They provide a valuable and highly experiential learning experience. You will learn by doing and actively participate in this self-care practice. Expect to be positively challenged.

You will learn specific SMFR techniques that can help you to:
* Identify and let go of any holding patterns (mental and physical)
* Experience on a more subtle level what's going on in your body and mind.
* Be more in touch and centred within yourself
* Find new perspectives -which can help you overcome mental blocks and beliefs and generate new ways and insights.
* Improve your sense of self (interoceptive) and spatial (proprioceptive) awareness, often a first step to making incremental changes.

Regularly working with your fascia can help you to:

  • Reduce tension and stiffness
  • Change the experience of pain
  • Improve flexibility
  • Enhance lymph and blood flow
  • Regulate stress
  • Heal traumatic events
  • Experience more energy
  • Feel and move better
  • Sleep better
  • Boost your body's innate healing ability
  • Promote your overall health

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).

  • A therapy ball 10cm (any PVC/plastic softball of about 10 cm)
  • A peanut-shaped tool (or two tennis balls in a sock or pouch)
  • A foam roll 90cm long and 12cm in diameter (any brand of 90 cm - 12/15cm roll will do, as long as it's smooth, without nops or spikes)

Can I purchase the tools?

  • You can buy the bundle for £50, but feel free to bring your own.
  • The peanut, therapy ball and bag are £15, and the foam roll and strap are £35.
  • Please let me know what you plan on buying so I can bring the tools to the workshop.

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 therapistare these classes 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: 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 jumpers/hoodies.

Please book your sessions in advance at (below) or 

Upon booking your email address will be forwarded to Alexandra, who will send you a link to complete a registration form for this course.

Alex offers the following SMFR options:

  • Monthly Saturday 3-hour workshops (in-person at the Isbourne Centre)
  • Weekly Tuesday 9.30-10.30 am (in-person at the Isbourne Centre)
  • Online (Zoom) group session Sundays 9.30-10.30 am
  • Online (Zoom) one-to-one Sundays 10.45-11.45 am or other dates and timings upon request.
  • Online (Zoom) one-to-one in-person (at the Isbourne or CHHC) upon request.

Visit for more information and bookings.

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.

As a wellbeing and educational charity, The Isbourne aims to make its courses and workshops accessible to all regardless of income. We have researched how other organisations fund their courses and come up with a three tier pricing system:

Supported rate: this fee is less than the Standard and allows anyone with financial challenges to still participate. You do not have to show proof, this is offered on trust.

Standard rate: this is how much we would like all participants to pay as it covers The Isbourne costs and supports the tutor.
Sponsor rate: this is a little more than the Standard fee and allows you to subsidise and support others who might not be able to pay the Standard fee.

You choose what tier of payment best suits you - no questions asked!