Myofascial Release (MFR), as taught by John F. Barnes, is a highly effective, full body, hands-on approach. It involves stretches and compressions, applied with gentle pressure, that are held until the restriction releases. The pressure used during treatment is gentle, and never done beyond a client’s tolerance. This manual therapy can provide amazing results for decreasing pain and increasing range of motion. It views each individual as a whole person and creates an environment to allow one’s self to inherently heal.
To simply describe a complex system, fascia is a web-like system in our body that runs head to toe without interruption. It is a tough connective tissue that supports our entire being from the largest structures in our body down to the cellular level. Until recently, the fascial system has been largely ignored by most professionals in the health care industry.
Physical trauma, inflammation or postural misalignment can cause fascial restrictions leading to pressure on pain sensitive structures. This excessive pressure acts as a “straight jacket” in our body, producing symptoms such as pain, headaches or limited range of motion. The modality of MFR uses sustained pressure and gentle stretching or compression into the fascial system, allowing it to regain fluidity and relieve the tension of this connective tissue.
Although MFR addresses the symptoms at hand, it is designed to discover and rectify the restrictions that are often the root of the problem! The therapist sustains pressure and follows any motion that occurs three-dimensionally as the surrounding myofascial environment releases and eliminates or reduces the bracing or holding patterns in the subconscious tissue memory. Treatments are generally slow paced and gentle to allow facilitation of these releases naturally.