What is Myofascial Release?
John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release (JFB MFR) approach is a safe and effective, hands-on whole body approach to treatment, which targets the source of an individual’s symptoms. Myofascial Release is best explained by an understanding of the fascial system. Fascia is a tough connective tissue which is spread throughout the body in a three dimensional web from head to foot without interruption. In the normal healthy state, fascia is relaxed and flexible in a multidirectional configuration bathed in a gelatinous matrix. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. It acts as a shock absorber in the body and surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and organ of the body, all the way down to the cellular level.
Trauma, accidents, surgical procedures, poor posture, repetitive stress injuries, scarring and/or inflammation can create a binding or restriction of the fascia, resulting in abnormal pressure on nerves, muscles, bones or organs. Restrictions in the fascia can be imagined like a snag in a sweater that pulls not only where the snag is, but throughout the sweater. Because the fascia spreads without interruption, a restriction in one part of the body can create pain or dysfunction in another, even seemingly unrelated, part of the body. Chronic pain, headaches and whole body system problems such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain Syndrome are often caused by these soft tissue restrictions.
Fascial restrictions can create a tensile strength of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch and do not show up on diagnostic tests including MRI, CAT scans, EMG and X-Rays. No wonder people are often frustrated when their complaints of pain are not validated. In addition, medical, dental, and traditional therapeutic interventions generally target the symptoms (rather than the cause) and often result in poor or temporary results. Myofascial Release treats the source of the problem, not just the symptoms.
A Myofascial Release therapist uses manual techniques of gentle stretch and pressure applied into the fascial system, which enables the body to release the binding structures. Myofascial Release Treatment is performed directly on skin without oils, creams or machinery. This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia. The release of the restrictions allows the fascial system to rehydrate down to the cellular level so it can once again function as a fluid and flexible support structure without pain or dysfunction.
Treatment using Myofascial Release creates the environment for your body to make permanent structural changes, which will help you return to a pain-free, active lifestyle. Treatment sessions also promote your independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, self-treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.