John Barnes Myofascial Release

Have you ever unwrapped a piece of gum on a cold winter day? Do you remember the gum breaking into pieces?

Fascia is a three dimensional web of connective tissue made up of elastic, muscular and collagenous components, surrounding and linking cells within our bodies. Its primary function is shock absorption. It separates muscles, nerves, blood vessels and bone, thereby creating space for fluid movement between structures.

A myofascial restriction develops when cross-links, or connections, within the fascia have solidified, resulting in tissue dehydration. Solidification may occur due to various types of trauma:

  • Physical: poor posture, falls, motor vehicle accidents, surgery scars
  • Emotional: emotional holding
  • Physiological: difficulties in utero, inflammation, chronic infections
  • Psychological: abuse, stress

Myofascial restrictions may contribute to conditions such as chronic pain, postural changes, breathing difficulties, and nausea; exerting up to 2000 pounds of pressure per square inch. These restrictions will not show up on standard tests such as x-rays, MRI’s, or CT-scans. Oftentimes, the cause of pain or tightness is in a location other than where we feel pain. We may appear healthy on all medical tests, when in fact our discomfort may be caused by tightened fascia, creating imbalances in our bodies.

Similarly, optimally hydrated tissues would present a scenario similar to a piece of gum in the summertime. When unwrapped, it may appear to melt in your hands.

Our body is at least 60% fluid. When fascia is well hydrated and not restricted, it allows structures to easily glide over each other. However, hydrating is only effective to a point; when our cells are restricted at the collagenous level, in John Barnes’ words, “it would be like pouring water onto a rock.” Nothing will be absorbed (including medications, vitamins or other supplements).

Traditional soft tissue techniques, and what most practitioners may advertise as “myofascial release,” only address the muscular and elastic components of the cell, while JFB-MFR technique also treats the collagenous portion.

JFB-MFR is a safe and gentle hands-on approach that treats the whole person, not just the body part. It involves direct contact with the patient’s dry skin (free of oils or cream) during which the therapist maintains sustained pressure from 90 seconds to 5 minutes, creating a “piezoelectric effect,” thus allowing restrictions in the fascia to be released.

MFR is not limited to those already suffering from chronic pain. It can be used as a preventive measure in healthy patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, as well as during pregnancy.