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 What is John F. Barnes Myofascial Release?

John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR) approach is a highly effective hands on body therapy that applies gentle sustained pressure and stretch to areas of tightness, pain, and scars. MFR uses multiple kinds of techniques to release and soften the fascial restrictions, rehydrating the fascia and helping to release the body’s natural anti inflammatory. Upon release, pressure is taken off of pain sensitive structures allowing freedom of movement and improved posture. Your MFR treatment will be unique to your body and creates an environment for yourself to heal naturally.

What is fascia? Fascia is a tough connective tissue which spreads throughout the body in a three dimensional web from head to toe. Trauma, repetitive motion or positioning, and inflammation can create restrictions in the fascial system. Creating a straight jacket or binding down resulting in excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, osseous structures, and/ or organs. Ideally, the ground substance is fluid but with trauma tends to solidify and turns into a sort of tourniquet producing symptoms throughout the body. Fascia is not only just under the skin like previously thought.  It is amazing to say fascia is everywhere in our bodies, but it is everything in our bodies! Fascia is the incredible communicative sensory and proprioceptive tissue that gives us our sense of strength and grace moving in space.

What ailments does MFR help with?

Some examples, but not limited to. Back pain, Sciatica, Neck pain, Whiplash, Shoulder and Hip pain, Scoliosis, Fibromyalgia, Myofascial pain syndrome, TMJ (jaw pain), Headaches, Migraines, Chronic pain, Scars, Carpal tunnel, Disc problems

What to expect during a treatment

During your first appointment expect to fill out paperwork and talk to your therapist about your medical history. Also, your therapist will observe your standing posture and evaluate any imbalances. So that your therapist can make an accurate analysis of your posture, we ask women to please wear either their bra and underwear, a bikini, or a sports bra and gym shorts. We ask that men wear gym shorts .

During your treatment session, your therapist will be applying her hands directly on your skin. For your therapist to engage the fascial system, there needs to be a dry surface to prevent sliding. So it is important not to apply any lotion, oil, or perfume on the day of your appointment.

MFR allows for the body’s own let go response to naturally happen so there is never any forcing or the use of extreme pressure. This doesn’t mean there will not be moments of discomfort. With communication, your therapist will assist in making sure the discomfort is within your therapeutic range.

Your symptoms will be addressed although the whole body is treated. You may feel sensations in different areas of your body away from where your therapist is treating. This is normal and gives clues where your restrictions are and where to treat next. Communication is essential and greatly enhances your treatment. Notice your feelings and sensations and share them with your therapist as you feel comfortable.
You may feel emotions during your treatment. Emotions are a normal part of our human experience and often times get imprinted into our fascial system. Allowing yourself to feel will greatly enhance your treatment.

After a session

After a treatment you may feel a sense of openness, softness, soreness….as your body adjusts to the new found structural freedom. Your healing and unraveling of your fascial system will continue for hours and even days after your treatment. This is a normal process of healing. Remember that healing is a process not an event. A steady flow of treatments is recommended but it is really important for you the client to trust what you are feeling in your body to dictate the number and frequency of treatment sessions needed.
Call your therapist if you have any questions about your treatment or any home self treatment suggestions.

What clients are saying about MFR

“I was diagnosed with “degenerative disc disease”. I had constant neck and shoulder pain.  I tried physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, heat, ice and traction. At last, I was referred to Colleen Leigh for MFR. I went in with a level 7 pain level and left my first appointment with a level 2! What a huge improvement right away! Colleen has given me techniques and suggestions for home self treatment and am continuing to improve. I cannot say how much I appreciate what she has been able to do for me. Colleen is a remarkably talented MFR Therapist. I am in awe of her ability to identify the source of pain and address it. She is professional, insightful and knowledgeable.”  Deborah Whitson 5/29/17

“What an earth angel I found when I met Colleen! I hurt my back just before a one month vacation to CA so I got off the plane in pain. After two sessions with Colleen she had me moving with freedom and joy. I wasn’t sure what to expect having never received MFR before, but I love it! It was so much more gentle and “focused” than a visit to a chiropractor or massage therapist. My body really responded to her careful therapy and after the first session I began to feel the difference. Before I knew it I was hiking San Luis Mountain, Bishops Pick, and Montana De Oro before flying back to Pennsylvania. I also attended her Rib Thrust Awareness Workshop to help me figure out changes I could make in daily living to prevent my injury from returning. I’ve incorporated these changes and have had no issues since returning home. I can’t wait to come back to CA again next year and Colleen will definitely be one of my stops!”     Cheryll Fedder 5/21/17

“Colleen’s caring and educated approach has made my life better. Years ago there were times I could barely turn my head from side to side. Colleen was able to find the source of these problems, provide me with tremendous relief and teach me ways to avoid the reoccurrence of such problems. I have less pain and more flexibility because of Colleen’s treatments and class instruction. And what is possibly the greatest gift I’ve received from my work with Colleen are the tools to use at home when problems flare up.” Marta Peluso 2017