Myofascial Release Therapy has been found helpful in treating the following conditions:
What do I wear?
We want you to be comfortable during your treatment. MFR is best done with as little clothing as possible. Athletic shorts works well and for females a sports bra, regular bra, cami, or tank top. A 2-piece bathing suit also works well.
How is MFR different than massage therapy?
Regular massage can be helpful for pain prevention, but it has its limitations. Those limitations become clear with increased understanding of the body’s connective tissue called fascia.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is literally the stuff that ties all the individual pieces of the body together into an integrated, functioning whole. It spreads continuously throughout the body, surrounding, penetrating and supporting every muscle, bone, organ, nerve, blood vessel and cell. It’s absolutely everywhere in the body. Take away everything from your body, leaving only the fascia behind, and your unique shape and physical features would still be clearly recognizable.
In order to make any lasting changes and improvements in persistent pain or movement problems, your therapy must address the fascia. Turns out that’s not so easy to do, due to fascia’s strong, resilient nature.
What’s the Best Technique?
The continuous, interwoven nature of fascia often allows symptoms to appear in areas well removed from their causes. It’s critical to evaluate patients as they stand or move vertically in gravity, looking for their unique structural compensations. Has your tone and structural alignment been evaluated in this way? This is the only way treatments can be customized to address your unique imbalances, which give rise to symptoms, instead of band-aiding your symptoms alone.
Get Rid of the Lubricants!
Using a lubricant drastically reduces a therapist’s effectiveness when the desired outcome is anything more than temporary gains. The very purpose of myofascial work can’t be adequately achieved under these circumstances, as the resilient, structural fibers of fascia can’t be effectively “hooked” to improve their organization and length. Lubricated techniques do little more than temporarily soften the hardened fluid aspects of the myofascia.
Traditional forms of myofascial release do not use a lubricant and are therefore quite good at hooking the fascial fibers. These approaches tend to be more effective than massage at reducing pain, but still of limited benefit for the deepest and most persistent conditions. The problem with these other methods is that they tend to be too fast and forceful. Structural problems just can’t be forced into compliance.
How many sessions will I need?
It is impossible to estimate how long a person will need treatment. Even with similar diagnoses, each patient is very individual in terms of complexity of the problem, and responsiveness to the treatment. Effects of treatment are cumulative, so I like to provide 3-5 treatments close together, maybe once or twice a week. Once we see how your body is responding, you may choose to alter the frequency. Each patient is unique in their needs, responsiveness, expectations and financial and time constraints, and we can work together to decide what is the best course of action. There is no protocol that must be followed and you are free to decide what works best for you.
How Do I find out more?
John Barnes’ website, www.myofascialrelease.com, is an invaluable source of information. In particular, click on resources, then articles for more information.