John Barnes Myofascial Release - What is it?
John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach© is the ultimate mind/body therapy that is safe, gentle and consistently effective. Myofascial Release Therapy has been taught by John F. Barnes, PT, for over 40 years and is considered to be the "Ferrari" of Physical Therapy: it's fast, it is based on sound scientific insights and quantum physics, and it puts the patient in the driver's seat.
MFR is a physical therapy modality. After intake and evaluation, the first step in an MFR session is the gentle application of sustained pressure into the body's fascial restrictions. There is an essential "time element" in that the pressure of the therapist's hands must be held long enough and with just the right amount of pressure to engage the collagenous barrier. This allows a piezoelectric phenomenon to occur, which in turn creates an elongation of the viscoelastic medium (the fascia). In simpler terms: the "stuck" fascia is released creating space for lymphatic fluids to flow, which nurtures and detoxifies cells and tissues and healing occurs.
In essence, MFR therapy unravels the straight jacket inside your body. One fascial restriction can create 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure on delicate nerves and blood vessels causing pain and suffering.
Another important aspect of MFR is that it encourages the patient to access their intuition and to expand into "feeling" what their body needs. We are all born with this inner wisdom, but are rarely encouraged to use it. With an expert MFR therapist as your guide, you are able to get in touch with the fear, anger, embarrassment, sadness, etc. that is trapped in your tissue "memory". Going back in time and remembering the moment of injury, whether physical and/or emotional, creates an opportunity to "unwind" those traumas. This step is deeply therapeutic and produces lasting relief, even for those who have suffered pain and disability for years!
By now you're probably asking, "What is fascia?" Modern medicine has long ignored this tough connective tissue which covers the body in a three-dimensional web from head to toe. It is the container and transport medium for the body's fluids. Fascia is in every cell of your body, from bones, to organs, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and it even covers your brain and spinal cord. This web of fascia is the home of the lymphatic system which includes white blood cells, (very important players in your immune system), collagen and elastin fibers, ground substance and water. Trauma, injury, poor posture or inflammation can create a binding down of fascia, resulting in excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, bones and organs.
Unfortunately, there are no standard tests, such as X-ray, CAT scans or MRIs, that show fascial restrictions. But you sure can feel them!
While various other therapies primarily treat the symptoms of pain and discomfort in the body, Barnes MFR sessions focus on treating the CAUSE of the issue or imbalance and NOT JUST THE SYMPTOMS.