"Find the pain, then look elsewhere for the cause."

- John F. Barnes, PT  

 

What is Myofascial Release (MFR)

 

Myofascial Release is a full body hands-on form of Manual Therapy. The focus is to find then release the restrictions from a key structure of our bodies, The Fascial System.This is a three dimensional tissue running throughout your whole body continuously from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. It entwines around muscles, nerves, organs, and arteries/veins. It is like a spider web, so when injury or illness occurs the whole web restricts causing pain in non-logical places. It may affect circulation, arterial, venous and lymph flow, digestion or musculoskeletal shifts that cause joint and muscular pain, headaches, fibromyalgia... just to name a few.

 

The John F. Barnes Form of Myofascial Release is unique to other forms of MFR due to the attention placed on the time that a therapist applies pressure into the fascial system. Sustained pressure into the restriction for a minimum of 2-5 minutes is required for the fascial system to start to release at the collagenous barrier. Other forms of therapy work with the elastic component without considering the collagenous barrier and only produce temporary results. This is a whole body approach that does not use traditional protocols for the treatment of individual symptoms. Because MFR is not a passive therapy, its effectiveness depends partly on participation by the person in treatment. Each person is assessed and treated with the understanding that the root cause of a symptom will not always be the same in everyone.

 

What to Expect

After a short period of gathering necessary information, we will look at your body standing from all directions to get a feel of how your body is getting pulled out of alignment, where your fascia/tissue is restricted and how your posture might be collapsing into those restrictions. This is our starting point!

Pain happens as a result of fascial tension on nervous structures and may not be caused where the pain lies. The goal is to look at the body as an uninterrupted three dimensional being and release the restrictions in order to bring the body back into neutral thus relieving the pain. Our bodies are self healing, but we have to learn how to stay present and learn how to “let go” on many levels in order to move through the process of releasing the pain. This is not a linear approach but is highly affective with long lasting results. Unless from a direct trauma, pain is usually caused by a lifetime build-up of repetition, emotional holding and posture. The treatment requires participation from the client to feel deeply and to help guide into those important areas. 

 

Every treatment is different depending on what you present with at each session, We will use our hands to facilitate the fascial release in the form of stretch, direct pressure or compression trying to find ways for your body to unwind the fascial restriction. Treatment is performed motly on the table, but at times sitting, standing or on the mat. Two therapist may be available on request which can enhance the session. 

 

It is highly recommended that a home myofascial stretching and functional strengthening progam is woven into your recovery in order for your body to hold onto the changes the treatment creates. Our goal is to make you completely independent and for you to learn how to proceed with your process.

 

What to Wear

Please do not put a slippery lotion or oil on your body prior to your treatment so we are able to connect with your tissue and not slide on the skin. Please wear shorts, underwear and bra or swimsuit for the treatment. The room will be warm :) 

 

What is Functional Movement Training?

​When we repeat dysfunctional patterns over and over again, our bodies get used to staying within the dysfunction rather than changing. Sitting at a desk glued to our computers causes us to have slouched shoulders and a forward head posture, Within time, your body memorizes these patterns, tightening muscles throughout the body, until that bad posture was set as a new neuro-muscular pattern. Poor neuro-muscular patterns increase the chance for injury anytime you move, because they constrict your natural movement. If you want to maintain or improve your movement/exercise regimen, you need to correct these patterns or injury or pain will develop.

 

Functional Movement Training implements exercise patterns progressively to coordinate every part of the body to function properly. Injury, chronic postural patterns and/or surgery create habitually tight muscles placing an excessive load on joints and deprive them of rest. Eventually, over the years, the joint cartilage breaks down, leading to pain and loss of mobility and circulation. To remedy or create new patterns we must erase the conditioning affecting our brain and muscular system and to reclaim control of our own bodies. The exercises are designed to prevent injury, speed recovery from injury or surgery, improve coordination, reverse certain effects of aging on movement, and enable you to get more out of your workouts. An individualized program is created with the correct patterned movement maneuvers focusing attention on the “feeling of the movement” to develop usable strength and coordination and then you learn how to control your strength by making the sensory-motor connection with your brain. This learning teaches you how to use the muscles you need and leave the rest to relax. This simple change improves your efficiency and enhances your workout or daily activities returning you to a pain-free lifestyle. 

 

Our goal is to prevent tension from accumulating.

What to Expect

The first session begins with an assessment of postural asymmetries. Any restrictions or limitations will be addressed using the correct muscle memory movement techniques. Until you are able to maintain correct posture through all movement planes, you will not advance to the corrective or strengthening exercise program. Once the restrictions have been released and alignment has been achieved, you will then re-train the muscles to function properly and efficiently.  The program is linear and each step will become more advanced resulting in correct muscle performance. A single session or multi-session program will be designed to increase your agility and mobility and injury prevention/recovery. 

What is Pelvic-Core Training?

 

The abdominals, hips, back, butt and pelvic floor are fascially connected so they must be trained to work as a unit. Pelvic-core training is a three dimensional functional exercise program aimed at enhancing the biomechanical function of these muscles to prevent injury, improve quality of life and perform activities of daily living.  The program will help strengthen the PELVIC floor muscles, improve CORE stability & promote PELVIC girdle mobility.

 

Pelvic-core training is beneficial for :

 

Women's Health Issues: It has been estimated that between 12-25 million Americans and one in three women will suffer with some form of pelvic floor dysfunction.  Weak or imbalanced Pelvic Core muscles can lead to incontinence, back pain, pelvic floor muscle laxity (which can exacerbate the symptoms associated with Pelvic Organ Prolapse) and decreased sexual appreciation. 

 

Men's Health Issues: Weak or imbalanced Pelvic Core muscles can lead to the following problems in men-urinary stress incontinence, overactive bladder, erectile dysfunction, and back/hip pain.

 

 

Athletes/Fitness Enthusiasts: Weak or imbalanced Core Muscles can lead to an overall decreased Functional Potential of the Body. You may experience low/upper back pain, knee pain, and/or hip  pain any of which may result in decreased strength, balance, flexibility, sports performance making you vulnerable to injury.

 

 

Expectant Mothers: Pregnancy is most commonly the start of Pelvic Floor Muscle Weakness. Weak or imbalanced Core muscles during pregnancy may result in Rectus Diastisis (split abdominal muscles), incontinence, low back pain, sacroiliac joint instability, pubic symphysis pain, groin pain, pelvic organ prolapse, upper back/neck pain, and pelvic floor muscle laxity/pressure. The exercises will prepare the Pelvic Core musculature to adapt to the compression and stretching associated with labor and delivery. 

What is Myofascial Stretching?
 

Myofascial Stretching is the safest and most effective way to create space and balance in the body.  This technique of stretching is extremely advanced because of its specificity to correct the body's tensegrity through the fascial chains and it's solicitation of the nervous system.

 

All muscles are wrapped in an aponeurotic sleeve and connected with each other through numerous fascia. Everyone knows about muscle stretching; however, it is difficult to stretch a muscle if it is wrapped in a leathery sleeve which does not give. It is better to consider each muscle as links in chains extending throughout the length of the entire body.  The goal of every Myofascial stretch is to put into tension the fascia that encases the muscles in order to normalize the length and function of the fascial chains. When you do Myofascial stretches, you correct structural imbalances and release tension across the joints which reduces inflammation and pain.

 

The flexibility gains from Myofascial stretches will improve your mobility, and overall health.  As you become more flexible, you'll find that you have better posture, greater range of motin, that you are able to perform tasks with greater ease and you'll suffer fewer injuries.

 

Myofascial Stretching differs from conventional stretching in three primary ways:

 

1. Myofascial stretches are held continuously for at least 90-120 seconds.  This is how long it takes for the fascia to begin to let go.  Shorter stretches do not affect the collangenous aspect of the fascia (connective tissue) and therefore lead to only temporary, partial results.

 

2. Myofascial stretches include active elongation.  This would mean actively extending your arm away fromt eh body and telescoping or reaching your arm as if you are trying to make it longer, feeling how this lengthens the tissue in three-dimensional way through your arm.

 

3. Myofascial stretches result in stretching and strengthening simultaneously. During active elongation of the body, muscle groups opposing the tight fascia contract in a sustained manner. This prolonged isometric contraction of the muscle against the resistance of the fascial barrier strengthens them, helping to maintain the elongated state of the tissue you have just released.

Educational Videos

 

John F. Barnes Discussing Myofascial Release - Part 1

This is a brief excerpt from the Fireside Chat with John F. Barnes, PT the developer of the John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach TM, a revolutionary treatment technique and approach. Included is a short introduction by Richard Harty, PT.

Myofascial Release Part 2

This is the second part of a brief excerpt from the Fireside Chat with John F. Barnes, PT the developer of the John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach TM, a revolutionary treatment technique and approach. In this segment he describes Rebounding and covers some reasons why some people don't heal.

Myofascial Unwinding

John Barnes PT demonstrating self myofascial unwinding. Myofascial unwinding is the movement-facilitation aspect of my myofascial-release approach. The mind-bodys ability to self-correct.

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