The Center For Therapeutic Bodywork - What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release Therapy

Mary Ryan
Mary M. Ryan LMT
Advanced Myofascial
Release Therapist

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and do I have it?


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What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release is a manual therapy practice acknowledged and accepted by the:

• NIH (National Institute of Health)
• NCCAM (National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine)
• CAM (Complementary & Alternative Medicine)

According to NCCAM, MFR is considered within the realms of CAM. Americans are most likely to use CAM for back, neck, head, or joint aches or other painful conditions; colds; anxiety or depression; gastrointestinal disorders; or sleeping problems. It appears that CAM is most often used to treat and/or prevent musculoskeletal conditions or other conditions involving chronic or recurring pain.

Developed by Physical Therapist, John F. Barnes, over 40 years ago, The John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach is considered to be the highest level of therapeutic artistry. It is incredibly effective for releasing pain and restoring motion, and assisting an individual to be able to empower their own personal growth with awareness. A whole body "hands on" approach to the evaluation and treatment of the whole human being.

The goal of the therapist trained in the John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach develops a treatment plan that is individualized and customized to your needs. A therapeutic plan to treat the pain (symptom) and find the "cause of the problem" Treating the problem can make permanent structural changes allowing the body’s natural healing capacity to function properly.

In John Barnes’s own words:

"The myofascial perspective is that symptoms are only the tip of the iceberg. The traditional medical approach narrowly focuses on symptoms. Physicians give the symptoms a label and medicate their patients so they are temporarily free from pain, but this approach does nothing about the straightjacket of pressure that is causing the pain. Likewise, traditional physical, occupational and massage therapy, acupuncture and energy techniques only treat the symptoms caused by the straightjacket of pressure, but ignore the myofascial restrictions that cause and perpetuate the symptoms. This is why so many clients have only temporary results and never seem to get better with traditional therapeutic techniques.”
        ---Massage Magazine, Dec., 2006,The John F. Barnes, Myofascial Release Approach, Part I

At first the John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach appears to be a simple technique that provides sustained gentle pressure into myofascial restrictions to
eliminate pain and restore motion.

Trauma, accidents, poor posture, repetitive stress injuries, scarring and/or inflammation can create a binding of the fascia, resulting in abnormal pressure on nerves, muscles, bones or organs. Snags or bindings in the fascia can be imagined like a snag in a sweater that pulls not only where the snag is, but throughout the sweater. Constrictions of the fascial tissue can create pain or problems throughout the body, sometimes with unexplained side effects and seemingly unrelated symptoms in unpredictable locations. These fascial restrictions do not show
up on standard tests including MRI, CAT scans, EMG and X-Rays. Chronic pain, headaches and whole body system
problems such as Fibromyalgia are often caused by these
soft tissue restrictions.

Myofascial restrictions can exert pressure, approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch, on pain sensitive structures causing chronic inflammatory responses (pain), as well as range of motion restrictions.


• Trauma, surgery and inflammation cause myofascial     restrictions.
• Myofascial restrictions can cause enormous pressure,     approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch, on pain
    sensitive structures producing your symptoms.
• Myofascial Restrictions do not show up on any standard tests.
• Myofascial Release eases the crushing pressure to allow for
    the relief of pain and headaches while restoring motion.
• Myofascial Release is safe and highly effective.
        ---The Search For Excellence,b John F. Barnes, P.T.

Thank you for considering Myofascial Release Therapy as a choice on your journey to feeling better, feeling alive, feeling pain free, getting your life back.

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"Mary has very intuitive hands. Anyone having the privilege of her touch discovers just how special she is."
Brian D., Texas (Owner at The Art Of Health)

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