John F. Barnes Myofascial Release
Myofascial Release is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The theory of myofascial release requires an understanding of the fascial system (or connective tissue). The fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similiar to a spider’s web or a sweater.
Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot (sole) without interuption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.
The essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the pizioelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.
Fascia plays an important role in the support and function of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture and repetitive stress injuries has cummulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influences comfort and function of our body. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure (upt to 2,000 lb per sq inch) causing all kinds of symptoms producing pain, headaches or restriction of motion. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities. These restrictions do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)
The use of Myofascial Release allows us to look at each patient as a unique individual.
For more information on John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach please visit www.myofascialrelease.com.
You can also view the following video for a more detailed explanation of how the fascial system affects our body, and how myofascial release works with it.