Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR) for treating compression and pain

What is Myofascial Release (MFR therapy)? How can it relieve pain? Let’s discuss how MFR has improved our health and reduced pain and share articles about how MFR works. MFR helps so many different conditions that have compressed tissues, and entrapped blood vessels and nerves. The time to avoid MFR treatment would be if a person has cancer, because in releasing tight tissues, cancer cells could be released and able to migrate through the body.

Myofascial release is a way to stretch the fascial layers that holds our body together. The fascia is connective tissue that forms a web matrix that interconnects everything in the body. It has recently been described as the “Interstitium” or a new organ in the body.

Fascia can be too tight from injuries or surgical scar tissue, and hold the body in poor ergonomics which can lead to nerve compression. Fascia can be stretched or “released” and it will remodel itself by changing from a semi solid to liquid form which brings circulation to an area of compressed tissue which then expands the tissue and circulation, and it enables removal of metabolic waste products. Using their hands, the trained therapist will find the path of fascial restriction in the patient’s body and push against it gently in a shearing motion, and wait for the tissue to start to slide. The patient can feel the movement and become body aware. This path of fascial movement can reach the full length of the body and cross over between sides. This path changes as it unravels, and often there is a vasomotor response that can be seen on the skin temporarily as a reddish area where circulation has been restored which is shown on the photo below near the therapist’s hands. Treatment must be slow and gentle to prevent the body from guarding in a protective response. This is why aggressive methods to stretch fascia often fail and can cause injuries by tearing the fascia and forming scar tissue that just adds to the problem of fascial tightness.

Fascia also holds tissue memory, and in releasing it, sometimes there is a release of emotions tied to an injury that was a cause of the problem. Stress and injury can cause guarding behavior and tissue tightness that become permanent over time, and MFR and working on emotional health helps a person recover from the physical and emotional effects of stress and trauma on the body.

MFR is helpful to so many conditions that have an underlying physical cause. The physical therapist who developed this treatment method forty years ago is John Barnes. He has developed courses and MFR certifications for physical therapists. There is a lot of information about MFR at myofascialrelease.com as well as directory of therapists treating with MFR. A person may also contact Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona, AZ, and ask for recommendations of therapists who have been trained in the John Barnes Methods. MFR therapy is becoming better known and accepted healing therapy, although there are some doctors who are unaware of the benefits.

I wanted to create this discussion to help organize this information and I thought the Neuropathy group would be a good place to start because someone in pain might look here, but we could have this discussion in many discussion groups. Animals such as dogs, cats and horses have also benefited from this therapy. Hopefully as we collect information here, this discussion can be referenced and shared in the many other discussions on Mayo Clinic Connect.

Here is an incomplete list of conditions that can be helped with MFR treatment.

You may find this list and further information at https://www.myofascialrelease.com/about/problems-mfr-helps.aspx

Back pain
Bladder Problems (Urgency, Frequency, Incontinence, Overactive Bladder, leakage
Birth Injuries
Bulging Disc
Bursitis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy
Cervical and Lumbar spine injuries
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Pain
Degenerative Disc Disease
Endometriosis
Emotional Trauma
Fibromyalgia
Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
Herniated Disc
Headaches or Migraines
Infertility
Interstitial Cystitis
Menstrual Problems
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Neck Pain
Osteoarthritis
Pelvic Pain
Plantar Fascitis
Pudental Nerve Entrapment
Scars (hypertrophic, hypersensitive, painful, burn scars, mastectomy scars)
Sciatica
Scoliosis
Shin Splints
Tennis Elbow
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
TMJ syndrome
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Vulvodynia
Whiplash

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Neuropathy group.

Here is another link that explains how myofascial release works and some basics about self treating. If you are too aggressive with a muscle stretch, the protective mechanisms kick in and cause a spasm. With a slow constant pressure against the barrier, you can reset the muscle's response.
https://thebodymechanic.com/active-release-technique-blog/self-myofascial-release/

REPLY

MFR Therapy worked well to resolve my whiplash (I was rear ended). MY QUESTION: how to find a trained therapist. I live in Houston and don’t know where to start.

REPLY
@catstx

MFR Therapy worked well to resolve my whiplash (I was rear ended). MY QUESTION: how to find a trained therapist. I live in Houston and don’t know where to start.

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I think I googled John Barnes MFR trained therapists and was able to see the list according to state. Helen

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@helennicola

I think I googled John Barnes MFR trained therapists and was able to see the list according to state. Helen

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@catstx, @helennicola……yep that is the right way to do it. I found Align Myofascial in Houston
Nassau Bay,
Houston, TX 77058
Office Phone: (936) 244-0095
This person has an Expert Rating. That is very important for treatment at the highest level.
You also want to make sure that they are trained in the John Barnes method and even better by John Barnes.

You can also put the following in your browser search:
Myofascial Therapy in Houston and see what comes up.

Enjoy and benefit. As @helennicola knows I am asking Santa to bring me more sessions.
Happy Thanksgiving
May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

Chris

REPLY
@artscaping

@catstx, @helennicola……yep that is the right way to do it. I found Align Myofascial in Houston
Nassau Bay,
Houston, TX 77058
Office Phone: (936) 244-0095
This person has an Expert Rating. That is very important for treatment at the highest level.
You also want to make sure that they are trained in the John Barnes method and even better by John Barnes.

You can also put the following in your browser search:
Myofascial Therapy in Houston and see what comes up.

Enjoy and benefit. As @helennicola knows I am asking Santa to bring me more sessions.
Happy Thanksgiving
May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

Chris

Jump to this post

While I am here, I want to welcome you to Connect, especially on this Thanksgiving day. We are happy to greet you. I replied to your other post above about the MFR. Are you also concerned about Neuropathy in your life or your family's life? If so, tell me a little more. Are you experiening pain and numbness or just numbness?

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

REPLY
@artscaping

While I am here, I want to welcome you to Connect, especially on this Thanksgiving day. We are happy to greet you. I replied to your other post above about the MFR. Are you also concerned about Neuropathy in your life or your family's life? If so, tell me a little more. Are you experiening pain and numbness or just numbness?

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

Jump to this post

Yes, I experience both, though not constantly. For some reason I feel it more at night, once I’ve gone to bed. Maybe once my legs are up and out, it strikes more. A few times only it was quite painful. I once tried gabapentin but it gave me the willies, like something was under my skin. My neuropathy is caused by type 2 diabetes.

REPLY
@artscaping

@catstx, @helennicola……yep that is the right way to do it. I found Align Myofascial in Houston
Nassau Bay,
Houston, TX 77058
Office Phone: (936) 244-0095
This person has an Expert Rating. That is very important for treatment at the highest level.
You also want to make sure that they are trained in the John Barnes method and even better by John Barnes.

You can also put the following in your browser search:
Myofascial Therapy in Houston and see what comes up.

Enjoy and benefit. As @helennicola knows I am asking Santa to bring me more sessions.
Happy Thanksgiving
May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

Chris

Jump to this post

Thank you Chris. I did what you suggested and found several. Unfortunately some are at least an hour from my home, but I’m going to one to see if they know others.

REPLY
@catstx

Yes, I experience both, though not constantly. For some reason I feel it more at night, once I’ve gone to bed. Maybe once my legs are up and out, it strikes more. A few times only it was quite painful. I once tried gabapentin but it gave me the willies, like something was under my skin. My neuropathy is caused by type 2 diabetes.

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Hi again catstx, I am having success regarding neck and bursitis pain with my MFR therapist who is John Barnes trained with only 3 sessions, each 90 minutes; however he did tell me he has not found this type of therapy to be beneficial to those with neuropathy as this science does not extend to treatment of nerve issues but could possibly help as an adjunct to help relieve muscular, tendon type pain if that is the cause of your neuropathy. (hope I explained that correctly) Just FYI before making an investment that insurance does not always cover. Helen

REPLY
@helennicola

Hi again catstx, I am having success regarding neck and bursitis pain with my MFR therapist who is John Barnes trained with only 3 sessions, each 90 minutes; however he did tell me he has not found this type of therapy to be beneficial to those with neuropathy as this science does not extend to treatment of nerve issues but could possibly help as an adjunct to help relieve muscular, tendon type pain if that is the cause of your neuropathy. (hope I explained that correctly) Just FYI before making an investment that insurance does not always cover. Helen

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Is your therapist in the Houston area? If so I’d appreciate your giving me the name. Many thanks. MFRtherapy, which I had in Colorado, helped me get rid of a whiplash injury.

REPLY
@catstx

MFR Therapy worked well to resolve my whiplash (I was rear ended). MY QUESTION: how to find a trained therapist. I live in Houston and don’t know where to start.

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Anyone ever try PENS treatment (electro acupressure) rather than TENS? It’s supposed to be similar to acupuncture with no needles. Helen

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@helennicola

Anyone ever try PENS treatment (electro acupressure) rather than TENS? It’s supposed to be similar to acupuncture with no needles. Helen

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No, haven't heard of it. How are you doing Helen? I hope better than tolerable. Warmest wishes, Sunnyflower

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@sunnyflower

No, haven't heard of it. How are you doing Helen? I hope better than tolerable. Warmest wishes, Sunnyflower

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Hi Sunnyflower, i am doing very well thanks, hope you are also. I read about it on Facebook, supposed to work better than Tens for pain, some P/T’s and pain clinics use it, I have no experience myself. Helen

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