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John F. Barnes Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release (MFR) – The John F. Barnes Method – Hailed as ‘The Missing Link in Traditional Therapies’, this powerful form of Myofascial Release is also incredibly gentle. Stubborn, tight restrictions are released by taking the body’s muscles and connective tissues to their barrier and holding for a sustained time (usually 2-5 minutes or longer). The 2 primary ways to release these tissues are with compression and/or elongation of the tissue via exercises or with direct hands-on work from a highly trained therapist.

What is fascia?   Fascia is our connective tissue that literally surrounds and connects not only muscles, bones and nerves, but also every single cell of the body.  It is woven throughout the body like a 3D webbing (like a spider’s cobwebbing). Restrictions in the fascia cannot be seen on standard imaging (x-ray, MRI, CT scans), only the effects of this compression or torque is visible (i.e. twisted spine, loss of disc height in the spine, loss of joint space in a knee, etc.) 

Why is this important?  Traumas to our connective tissue, whether from small traumas (ie: poor posture, using a dominant side with repetitive movements) or large traumas (ie: auto accident, surgeries or old sports injuries) cause the tissue to tighten down and solidify. When left untreated, these tight areas can place tension in surrounding areas causing further compensated movements and positioning, thus placing the body into further dysfunction. The forces of these restrictions have been measured to reach up to 2,000 lbs. per square inch of pressure, compression and/or torque on the body – no wonder many of our patients describe feeling like they have a ‘vice grip’ or ‘straight jacket’ on their body!

What happens in the body?  Every step, push, pull, lift or movement we perform in a day creates a load that needs to be absorbed within the body. Any underlying imbalances/restrictions can be magnified with these movements, producing painful symptoms. Gently releasing these myofascial restrictions, restoring strength and learning how to perform movements with healthier body positioning during the day help to re-balance your body and allow for pain-free movement once more. 


Doctors Jereme and Sarah Trunk

Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy

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