What is Myofascial Release (MFR)?

Upper Back Myofascial ReleaseMyofascial Release (MFR) is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential ˝time element˝ has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.

Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.) This enormous pressure acts like a “straightjacket” on muscles, nerves, blood vessels and ones producing the symptoms of pain, headaches and restriction of motion.

Misaligned Skeleton ManThe medical approach is to drug patients so they temporarily are free from pain, but does nothing about the ˝straight-jacket˝ of pressure that is causing the pain. Traditional physical, occupational and massage therapy treats the symptoms caused by the pressure of the ˝straightjacket˝ of the Myofascial system, but does nothing about the ˝straightjacket˝ of pressure that causes and perpetuates the symptoms. This is why so many patients only have temporary results never seeming to get better with traditional therapy. Only Myofascial Release treats the entire myofascial complex eliminating the pressure caused by the restricted myofascial system (straightjacket) that creates the symptoms. The John F. Barnes′ Myofascial Release Approach has logical principles that produce effective long term, consistent results all of which is now being verified by research.

It has recently been discovered that the environment of the over 50 trillion cells of our body is the ground substance of the Fascial system, which ideally should be a viscous gel. Trauma, thwarted inflammatory processes and surgery dehydrates the ground substance. This solidification impedes the transport of oxygen, nutrition, supplements and/or medication, the biochemistry, hormones, the information and energy that the cells need to thrive. Research has confirmed the importance of treating the cross-links that develop into the fibrous web and the ground substance, the fluid component of the Fascial system, which has been overlooked by healthcare.

Health professionals have ignored the importance of an entire physiological system, the Fascial system that profoundly influences all other structures of the body. This glaring omission has severely restricted your ability to relieve your symptoms and to heal.

Hands-on Treatment

The Myofascial Release approach looks at each client as a unique individual. The one-on-one therapy sessions are hands-on treatments during which the therapist uses a multitude of Myofascial Release techniques and movement therapy. Myofascial Release therapy promotes independence through education in proper body mechanics and movement, self treatment instruction, enhancement of strength, improved flexibility, and postural and movement awareness.

Each Myofascial Release Treatment session 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.

Time Component

Arm Myofascial ReleaseThe time component is a vital factor in Myofascial Release Therapy. The MFR therapist applies sustained gentle pressure into the tissue of minimum of 90 seconds, up to 5 minutes, allowing the fascia to elongate naturally and return to its fluidity and functionality.

The gentle traction and compression coupled with the time element elicits fascia to change its viscosity allowing to release cross restrictions, increase range of motion and decrease pain levels.  Given the importance of the time component, most Myofascial Release Treatments at Reclaim Your Health are at least 75 minutes.

* Used with permission from John F. Barnes