Experience individualized evaluation and treatment sessions by a licensed therapist provided in a private treatment space
Utilizing a full spectrum of pressures to cater to your body’s specific needs, myofascial release gives opportunity to feel tightness soften and pain dissipate from the inside out
Zigzag along an incredible journey of gentle stretching and releasing to discover the root cause of symptoms
A form of hands-on treatment and bodywork effective for lengthening and releasing the fascia of the entire body. No machines or devices, this treatment method relies exclusively on therapists’ hands and gravity-assisted positional lengthening. Focused, attuned hands are required to assess, locate, and gently pressurize the web-like fascial system throughout the body to facilitate its’ release.
Continuous, 3-dimensional, full body system which gives shape and stability. It’s useful to envision a finely woven net that wraps around and infuses every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, and cell of our bodies. This fibrous, fluid filled net has the ability to contract, tighten, and solidify to protect and stabilize our bodies. Invisible on X-rays, MRIs, ultrasound, and scans, the system of fascia is often dismissed, yet the culprit for poor posture, chronic pain, headaches, fatigue and unexplained symptoms.
Stress and trauma can cause the fascia to tighten and pressurize nerves, bones, muscles, and blood vessels. For example, forces from tumbling down a few steps or whiplash from a minor car accident can ricochet through the body and tighten down the fascial system. The unique patterns in which fascia thickens and tightens down can lead to pain at the site of the injury as well as symptoms radiating out to other body areas. Likewise, the internal pressures that build when we need an outlet for stress or carry unresolved emotional traumas can restrict fascia.
When fascia is tight, it can exert incredible pressures on the bodily structures, similar to a horse standing on top of us or steel cables tugging and twisting inside of us. While ignoring the pain, taking medications, and receiving other therapies can get us through, there comes a point when symptoms become too intense and complex to push aside. Dealing with symptoms at the source becomes the pathway to returning to the activities we love and feeling good in our bodies again.
Fascia has both a fluid and elastic component. While many therapies and exercises focus on stretching the fascia, releasing it effectively requires a combination of gentle pressure and time. In addition to clinical experience, research demonstrates that complete release of tight, knotty, gristly restrictions require a minimum of 5 minutes of sustained pressure to begin to soften and return to its natural, fluid state. Some restrictions require even longer sustained pressure to capture the full cascade of releases in a particular area. It’s important to note that using strong, forceful pressures causes the body to tense and fascia to lock down into protection. Therapies that push through this natural barrier of protection lead to micro-trauma and persistent return of symptoms. Likewise, rubbing, massaging, exercising, and quick stretching the area may feel good, but these address only the elastic component of fascia and the tightness springs back. Working with a practitioner trained in eliciting releases utilizing a spectrum of sustained pressures coupled with ample time to achieve full releases leaves those bodily pain sources powerless to remain.
While the roots of manual therapy and myofascial release are ancient, we owe a heap of gratitude to modern day developer of myofascial release treatment, John F Barnes. A weight lifting injury left this elite athlete in pain and struggling to participate in the activities he loved. Unable to help himself as a trained physical therapist, he resorted to surgical back fusion which took the edge off the debilitating pain but suffering continued. Trialing every modality and treatment method available with no long-term results, John turned inwardly to rely on his intuition. Through treating himself and then his patients he discovered the mysterious system of fascia and how to best treat it to elicit change that lasts. Fast forward more than 50 years, he continues to maintain a full time schedule of treating patients at The Sanctuary in Malvern, PA and Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona, AZ as well as offering continuing education courses for doctors and therapists. Comprehensive treatment programs are available at both of John Barnes’ treatment centers and courses for medical practitioners are offered throughout the US and Canada. For more information, visit John’s website: www.myofascialrelease.com.