What is Myofascial Release?Heather Maxwell Treating a New Client

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a very safe and effective type of manual therapy developed by physical therapist John F. Barnes. This hands-on, whole body therapy can provide amazing results for decreasing pain and helping clients return to active lives full of vitality and happiness. MFR treatments are relaxing like a massage however often have much longer lasting results due to the way MFR addresses the underlying causes of dysfunction.

Fascia is a web-like system of connective tissue that runs head to toe without interruption, through and between every single cell of our bodies. Trauma, inflammation, and postural misalignment can cause fascial restrictions which produce symptoms such as pain, headaches, disease, and dysfunction. Yet until recently, the fascial system has been largely ignored by most health care professionals and cannot be seen in standard tests such as X-rays and MRIs.

MFR uses sustained pressure and gentle stretching to address the root causes of many common ailments rather than just treating the symptoms, leading to long-lasting results.

skeletonsThis illustration is by fellow MFR therapist Rob Crampton. This shows how the root cause of back pain can be anywhere in the body, yet rarely is a whole body approach taken in Western medici

What is Fascia?

Fascia is the Largest Sensory Organ in Our Body …fasia

Fascia is more than myofascia alone – it is the immediate environment of our  35-70 trillion cells. It is the transport highway for the flow of nutrients, light, subtle energy and communication to all cells. Every one of our nerves is embedded within fascia, making it the largest sensory organ in our bodies.

Fascia plays a major role in chronic immune deficiency syndromes.

Fascia is the organizing framework for all connective tissues (fibers, cells, interstitial spaces, fluid, ligaments, tendons, blood (jaap van der wal).


Fascia is able to be manipulated by our hands, with heat and pressure and shear or traction. Fascia has the strength of 2000 lbs per square inch, the strength of a radial tire.

When fascia is compressed, dried, or loaded with debris and toxins, or torn from repetitive motion, fascia will become dehydrated, shortened, and develop ropes and plates.

The cells embedded in this tissue become compressed, sensory nerves are irritated, ropes pull on bones and vertebrae generating facet and disc inflammation, vessels become blocked, all flows in and out become blocked or disrupted.  Pain and cellular breakdown occurs.

Fascia should be a primary consideration in pain syndromes, particularly with inflammation and swelling-sprains, strains, carpal tunnel, fasciitis, and pain with systemic disease such as Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Lupus, Lyme, and Rheumatoid arthritis.

When a fascial problem develops, there can be a build up of metabolites which are not able to be discharged, inflammation, swelling and pain, and a breakdown of cellular health. At this point a swamp has been created. It is not wise to then add pharmaceuticals to this swamp.

Fascia can easily be released by an experienced John Barnes Myofascial Release therapist. They will spend time using gentle sustained pressure to release the fascia. When a release happens, the fascia is then able to reorganize, re-hydrate, and begin to communicate correctly with the cells of the body. The swamp can drain, and toxins can be releases. Areas of tension can return to proper function, pressure will be released from nerve cells.

Contact Heather today.

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