What is Fascia?
Fascia is an elastocollagenous tissue that runs uninterrupted from head to toe in a densely woven three-dimensional web surrounding, supporting and protecting every organ, muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and cell of the body. Each part of the body is connected to, and can influence every other part of the body through the fascia. Fascia is the immediate environment of every cell in the body.
Under healthy circumstances, fascia is relaxed and able to stretch in response to physical demands and the forces of nature. Fascia becomes solidified with repeated inflammation, overuse, poor posture, disease, physical or emotional trauma and surgery causing chronic pain and limitations of motion throughout the body. These myofascial restrictions can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on underlying pain sensitive structures, producing unbearable pain often described as an internal straight jacket. Standard tests such as X-rays, CAT scans, MRI’s and myelograms do not detect myofascial restrictions. Consequently, many people with fascial restrictions are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Understanding Fascia and How Myofascial Release Works?
If you have ever tried to pull a loose thread back into a woven sweater, you know that brute force (otherwise known as contemporary physical therapy) will more than likely ruin your sweater rather than fix it. You have to be gentle and coax the thread back into place, often working with parts of the sweater that are not immediately related to the section that is broken.
MFR aims to realign, open and untangle restrictions in your fascial web through gentle sustained compression or elongation for restoration of motion and elimination of pain. It also allows the therapist to approach each patient differently, intuitively treating the person, not the condition, with a hands-on customized treatment.
Since John Barnes created this Myofascial Release Approach in the 1970s, he has trained over 100,000 therapist and physicians, including Dr. Sepi Aeen MPT, DPT and all specialists working at From the Heart Physical Therapy. In that time, no one has ever been injured while using the technique, and many have undergone complete recoveries from seemingly untreatable conditions and avoided surgeries.
LEARN MORE about MFR with these informative links and videos
- Therapeutic Insight: The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Perspective—Enhance Your Effectiveness
- Therapeutic Insight: The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Perspective—Traumatic Flashback
- Therapeutic Insight: The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Perspective—How Mechanotransduction May Affect Cells
- Addressing Fascia with Myofascial Release, by Karrie Osborn