What is Myofascial Release?


What is fascia?

Fascia is a web-like connective tissue found throughout the body. It covers and penetrates the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, spinal cord, and organs down to the cellular level. Fascia connects and supports all of these structures.  Healthy fascia stretches and moves without restriction. 

What happens when fascia becomes restricted?

Because of fascia's continuous nature, restrictions in one area of the body (caused by trauma, poor posture, surgery or inflammation) may result in pressure and symptoms in other areas of the body. These symptoms may include pain, loss of strength and range of motion, numbness and tingling, compromised blood flow, and loss of mobility and function. Fascial restrictions are often undiagnosed because they cannot be detected by traditional tests such as x-rays and MRI's.

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial  Release consists of manual ("hands-on") techniques which address fascial restrictions throughout the body.  Myofascial Release is a natural method to decrease pain and tension, increase mobility, and improve posture.  Because The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach®  is a whole body approach,  it can provide more lasting results and relieve symptoms that have not previously responded to direct treatment

What does a Myofascial Release treatment entail?

During a typical Myofascial Release treatment session, a variety of direct and indirect techniques will be used throughout the body, performed directly on the skin without lotions or oils, utilizing sustained pressure or traction. You may feel sensations such as stretching, warmth, or tingling in other areas of the body which may indicate restrictions in these areas which should also be addressed.

The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach® is unique and consists of structural Myofascial Release (to address specific areas of restriction) and Myofascial Unwinding and Rebounding. Unwinding is a gentle technique which involves the therapist guiding your body into positions which allow the release of fascial restrictions and promotes self-healing from past trauma. Myofascial Rebounding consists of gentle rocking motions and uses fluid/energy dynamics to release fascial restrictions. Some or all of these techniques may be incorporated into your session.

While hands on work is optimal, self care is an important part of maintaining healthy fascia. Instruction in home exercises and self -care techniques using Myofascial Release principles will be incorporated into your treatment session when appropriate.

Who can benefit from Myofascial Release?


Everyone can benefit from Myofascial Release!

Myofascial Release may be incorporated into a regular physical therapy treatment plan for specific issues including areas of acute or chronic pain, poor posture, limited range of motion, painful or restricted scars, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Myofascial Release may also be used as a preventative tool to address restrictions before symptoms occur. Restrictions in fascia can lead to small or large range of motion losses. Over time, even small losses that may go unnoticed result in your body's development of compensatory postures and movement patterns. These unnatural forces can add stress to muscles, tendons, and joints and eventually lead to injury. Fascial restrictions causing pressure on blood vessels and nerves may also lead to circulatory or neurological symptoms.