What is Myofascial Release (MFR)?

"Myo" means muscle. "Fascia" means connective tissue (like saran wrap).  Fascia surrounds and infuses every part of the body including the bones, muscles, spinal cord, brain, and internal organs--all the way down to the individual cells. 

 John F Barnes' Myofascial Release is a gentle, full-body, holistic form of hands-on bodywork that focuses on releasing the restrictions and imbalances of the connective tissue or fascia by applying gentle sustained pressure to eliminate pain and restore motion. 

Please visit John Barnes' website for more information about MFR, including helpful articles:  www.myofascialrelease.com

Here is a video explaining Myofascial Release from Richard Harty: What is Myofascial Release?


What is Fascia?

Fascia is a three dimensional web of tough connective tissue that stretches from head to toe without interruption surrounding every muscle, bone, vessel, and organ down to the cellular level.  In this way, you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia.  Most people think that the bones are what holds our body upright, but, in reality, it is the fascial system that provides structure and support to all parts of our body. 

When fascia is healthy, it is a fluid system that cushions and creates space through which nerves, blood vessels and fluids pass.  Through inflammation, injury, trauma, repetitive motions, scar tissue, and stress, the fascial system can become dehydrated and solidified thus shortening and restricting the muscles and connective tissue which effect many other systems throughout the body.  This is called a Fascial Restriction or the "straight-jacket" of pressure you may be feeling.  These fascial restrictions can produce pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on areas of the body causing tremendous pain that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, MRI's, CAT scans, etc.).  A high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial restrictions that have gone undiagnosed.

How Does Myofascial Release Differ from Massage and other Therapies?

This answer is what makes JFB-MFR so ground breaking!  There are 3 layers of fascia (The Elastin layer, Collagen layer, and the Ground Substance/Matrix--this is what cushions your body).  Traditional therapy and massage therapy treats the symptoms caused by the pressure of the “straight-jacket” or fascial restrictions that clients feel but ignores the “straigh-tjacket” of pressure that is actually causing the symptoms.  This is because traditional and massage therapy doesn't address the tough collagen layer of fascia leaving clients with only temporary results.  Only Myofascial Release treats the entire Myofascial mind/body complex eliminating the pressure of the restricted fascial system (the straight-jacket) that causes the symptoms.

Some Conditions MFR Can Help

(this is only a partial list)

  • Back/Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Sports Injuries
  • Chronic Pain
  • Jaw Pain (TMJ)
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
  • Disc Problems
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Sciatica
  • Infants/Children
  • Neurological Dysfunction
  • Adhesions/Scars

What to Expect On Your First Visit

* Please schedule a 90 minute session for your first appointment and arrive 10 minutes early to fill out paperwork.

*Bring a pair of athletic shorts and a sports bra (if needed) or underwear (if you are comfortable with that).  I will need to evaluate your posture.  That will tell me where you are experiencing fascial restrictions.

* Please do not wear any lotions or perfumes.  Lotions inhibit the ability to reach the collagan layer of fascia and perfumes can trigger allergic reactions in other clients.

*I don't use any massage cream. I apply light pressure on the body into the depth barrier of the fascia and wait about 90 to 120 seconds for it to warm up. The fascia will then release and unwind. I follow it. I do not move my hands. The unwinding of the fascia moves my hands. The body's wisdom knows where it needs to unwind in order to heal, and I follow that unwinding. I will show you how to unwind on your own. The connective tissue will usually continue to release for a few days after each session.

*Come with an open mind.