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Say release again

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

For some folks, this visual joke probably needs some splainin’. If you don’t know Pulp Fiction, there’s a legendary scene in which Samuel L. Jackson scares the hell out of a punk who keeps answering his questions with a stunned “what?” Jackson dares him (and then double-dares him) to say it again, and then shoots him. The phrase “say ____ again” has become a catchphrase: fill in the blank with anything you’re sick of hearing about. It implies that you’re so fed up you might just shoot the next person who says it.

The other part of the joke: “release” is an exasperatingly meaningless and misleading term in massage and manual therapy. In particular, the term has reached annoying buzzword status when paired with therapy aimed at fascia (connective tissue), another faddish notion polluted with a great deal of nonsense. There is some serious backlash against it; many professionals are pretty fed up hearing about fascia in general, and release in particular, so hence the joke. I don’t know who first created this image, but I love them.

I dissect the idea of release thoroughly in my article, Does Fascia Matter? A detailed critical analysis of the clinical relevance of fascia science and fascia properties.