Myofascial Release

Essential Therapies offers The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach® (JFB MFR) form of treatment. Pain and dysfunction resulting from myofascial restrictions can cause crushing pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on vital structures throughout the body. These restrictions do not show up in most standard tests such as x-ray, MRI, CT scans. The traditional medical approach focuses on treating the symptom which does nothing to relieve the “straight-jacket” of pressure that is causing the pain from restricted fascia throughout the body. Relief of symptoms is often temporary because the true cause of the symptom is not addressed. JFB MFR treats the entire myofascial mind/body complex by eliminating the pressure causing the symptoms. JFB MFR will safely and gently release the “straight-jacket” resulting in lasting results and authentic healing.

What is fascia?

Our bodies are held together with an extensive connective tissue network. It is what shapes, forms and protects our bodies, and holds our skeleton together, keeping organs, vessels and muscles in their place. Fascia is the toughest portion of this connective tissue network. Resembling an intricate spider web, it spreads throughout the body touching every single cell from head to toe without interruption.

Trauma, inflammation, infection, injury and posture can create a binding down of tissues or tension within the fascia; often resulting in excessive pressure on multiple structures throughout the body including nerves, vessels, bones, and organs. This fascial straightjacket of pressure can cause pain, numbness, tingling, stiffness and a general feeling of disorder in the body.

Although a restricted fascial system can cause a multitude of discomforts and disease, it is seldom diagnosed as the problem because it cannot be discerned by standard testing (such as x-rays, MRI, CT scan, EMG, etc).

John F. Barnes Myofascial Method

John F. Barnes is a Physical Therapist (PT), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and has his National Certification for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCTMB).

Barnes is an internationally recognized physical therapist, an author, offers lectures for his methods, and the leading authority on Myofascial Release.

Through over 50 years of experience and creative thinking, Barnes has developed the most innovative and highly acclaimed and effective whole body approach to evaluate and treat the pain and dysfunction in the body.

Myofascial Release treatment has grown in the therapy scene with an undisputed impact and often referred to as the most effective form of healthcare therapy.

“I am ever grateful to be a part of the JFBMFR Approach and the privilege of sharing with others while helping to decrease pain and improve function along the way.”

What is the John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach (JFBMFR)?

The JFBMFR approach uses gentle sustained pressure to areas of fascial restriction (throughout the body) for a period of time long enough to create a complete and lasting release of the tissues. The “release” requires gentle but firm pressure for a minimum of 5 minutes. This essential “time element” is what separates JFBMFR from the old forms of myofascial release (MFR) and other types of bodywork. This approach promotes a bioelectrical flow in the body, produces our own natural anti-inflammatory agent, and rehydrates at the cellular level. The result is relief from the crushing pressure of a restricted fascial system.

JFBMFR fosters “resonance” between the therapist and the patient. Vibratory rates are usually quite different between humans on the molecular level. With sustained pressure during treatment, vibratory rates of therapist and patient become identical, thereby creating an environment for tissue softening and release. These releases are felt by the therapists, and eventually by the patient as body awareness improves. This resonance between patient and therapist takes time to achieve, and is a crucial factor in creating a body free of restriction and pain.

Links to understanding JFBMFR and fascia.

A series of videos made by Cindy Hodgson where she explains Fascia, Myofascial Release, and the benefits of the John F. Barnes Myofascial Method.

This video shows what the fascial systems looks like in a cadaver. Although this is much different than what it looks like in the living body, patients find it to be an enlightening video to understanding fascia. The “fuzz” is the fascia and although it does not actually “melt away” it does become stuck and dehydrated causing decreased motion.

The Fuzz Speech

This video explains how the body is connected from head to toe using a tensegrity structure. It is helpful to understand why we “find the symptom and look elsewhere for the cause.” It is helpful in understanding why we need to release the connective tissue system before forcing the skeletal system into alignment.

These videos beautifully show the living fascia and how it is an ever changing and flowing structure within our body.

Interviews with John F. Barnes

In the practice of Myofascial Release, we focus on finding fascial restrictions in the individual, generating the proper amounts of pressure, and waiting a sufficient amount of time—five minutes or longer—for a number of important physiologic processes to occur. These include piezoelectricity, mechanotransduction, phase transition and ultimately, resonance, which is another word for the release we hope to help our clients achieve.