Myofascial Release is an effective, hands on technique that involves applying gentle, sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain, discomfort and get the body back to full function.
It is best performed directly onto the skin, without the use of oils or creams. This enables the therapist to spend time focusing on what they feel and sink into the layers of skin and fascia.
There are indirect techniques that are very gentle and slow which are applied in the direction the fascia wants to go, and direct techniques that require more pressure and encourage the fascia to go in the direction of discomfort to get a release of tension from the fascia.
The picture shows the fascia that lies between the skin and underlying tendons as described by Dr J. C. Guimberteau in the book Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists.