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 Support Group.

@lioness

@busterbrown I tried to see if my insurance covered it and they don't so your right probably all are like this

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@lioness and everyone interested in this discussion: The other issue is simply this……MFR…Myofascial Release Therapy. The word massage is not used. And I am happy to report that in 3 years I have not had a massage on Thursdays, I have had a medical treatment.
If enough of us use this more targeted and authenticated terminology…..just might help.

Anyone else wants to weigh in on this subject? I realize I kind of jumped in the middle of the discussion. It just happens to be one that I know something about. And that can be rare in this group.

May you be content and at ease.
Chris

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I had MFR yesterday and it works. It's not an over night fix. I did get relief from it.

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@1sluna

I had MFR yesterday and it works. It's not an over night fix. I did get relief from it.

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Hi 1sluna, sorry if I missed an earlier post, are you being treated for neuropathy and if so what symptoms are you seeking relief from? Thanks, Helen

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@1sluna

I had MFR yesterday and it works. It's not an over night fix. I did get relief from it.

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@1sluna Hello and welcome to Connect. Congratulations on your first post! Thank you for joining the conversation. I'm glad you found relief from your MFR treatment and hope, as you feel comfortable, you will share more information about your condition and what may or may not help you.
Best wishes,
Rachel

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@artscaping

@lioness and everyone interested in this discussion: The other issue is simply this……MFR…Myofascial Release Therapy. The word massage is not used. And I am happy to report that in 3 years I have not had a massage on Thursdays, I have had a medical treatment.
If enough of us use this more targeted and authenticated terminology…..just might help.

Anyone else wants to weigh in on this subject? I realize I kind of jumped in the middle of the discussion. It just happens to be one that I know something about. And that can be rare in this group.

May you be content and at ease.
Chris

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@artscaping Chris, you just gave me a nice chuckle when you said

" I realize I kind of jumped in the middle of the discussion. It just happens to be one that I know something about. And that can be rare in this group."

It was the "that can be rare in this group" that I smiled at. Since I read through all the discussions in the neuropathy group, I'm now reading about MFR. I am learning a lot just from reading all the comments on it since Jennifer H. started this discussion. But your words are apt. It is best to take everything you read on Connect with a grain of salt and spend some additional time researching on more authoritative websites if you truly wanted to understand something. Thanks for the pinch of reality. 😉 Best, Hank

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@rwinney

@lorirenee1 Hi Lori! I've missed you. You doing alright? Thanks for the perspective. You usually come up with a creative one, which I love. You are correct,…temperamental, unreliable, and yes, we always strive for balance. Such a key word. Sometimes, I need reminders. 🤪
Take care and I wish you a peaceful day filled with good distraction. 😊
Rachel

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@lorirenee1, rwinney, Hello Rachel and Lori Renee, you beautiful goils! I am receiving 30-40+ + emails a day. I have only just learned that I need to type out everyone's Mayo (makes me think of mayonnaise LOL!), who is mentioned at the very top for them to see my reply. I hope I'm understanding this correctly? This is difficult and takes a lot of time for me bc I can only remember a few letters at a time so must keep scrolling up and down sometimes 3 times or more, just to memorize and type one name, depending on how many letters there are. I find it exhausting bc there are so many emails. Also hard on my eyes.

Girls, I MUST join the bones, muscles and joints group. I don't know how I will handle so many more emails /discussions and, how I will separate them from my neuropathy group! AAaahhhh! 🤪
I welcome suggestions.

Someone in the know, gave me some great info. I hope I'm understanding it correctly. Do you two go through the same thing?

I miss you! Hope you are doing well or at minimum, having some victory over your circumstances.

You two rock!! My warmest wishes, Sunny 😊🙃💗

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@sunnyflower

@lorirenee1, rwinney, Hello Rachel and Lori Renee, you beautiful goils! I am receiving 30-40+ + emails a day. I have only just learned that I need to type out everyone's Mayo (makes me think of mayonnaise LOL!), who is mentioned at the very top for them to see my reply. I hope I'm understanding this correctly? This is difficult and takes a lot of time for me bc I can only remember a few letters at a time so must keep scrolling up and down sometimes 3 times or more, just to memorize and type one name, depending on how many letters there are. I find it exhausting bc there are so many emails. Also hard on my eyes.

Girls, I MUST join the bones, muscles and joints group. I don't know how I will handle so many more emails /discussions and, how I will separate them from my neuropathy group! AAaahhhh! 🤪
I welcome suggestions.

Someone in the know, gave me some great info. I hope I'm understanding it correctly. Do you two go through the same thing?

I miss you! Hope you are doing well or at minimum, having some victory over your circumstances.

You two rock!! My warmest wishes, Sunny 😊🙃💗

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@sunnyflower Whew! Yes, this neuropathy group has been rockin' with new involvement, new members, plus a bit of chit chat, which causes flooded air ways. 😃 When we think of new members coming in to learn neuropathy facts, imagine how they feel?! It's tough to navigate and fact find. Because neuropathy, in my opinion, is one of the more popular and active groups, it is bound to be busy and full of wonderful people.

Yes, I think its awesome for you to explore bones, muscles, joints groups and more. Keep in mind that you are fact searching and as hard as it may be, you might not have the physical ability to connect with everyone you cross paths with. Remember you are in the specific group to learn and/or teach from your experience.

Private message is great for more personal connections and may be helpful for some topics. I have my notifications selected for each group that I choose to want to participate in and receive mail notifications of updates. If I wake in the morning to 30-40 new messages, depending on my day, I just may have to delete some or pick and choose. If I really need a break, I may choose to change my settings and not receive notifications for a bit. Yes, ignorance can be bliss sometimes. 😜

I know if something is meant for me specifically, it should be addressed to me using "@rwinney" or sent to my private message box. Now that you have realized this trick, it may be easier on you.

I hope this helps! I wish you, my kind hearted friend, much success with onward and upward Mayo Connect participation and progress. 🤗

Rachel

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@rwinney

@sunnyflower Whew! Yes, this neuropathy group has been rockin' with new involvement, new members, plus a bit of chit chat, which causes flooded air ways. 😃 When we think of new members coming in to learn neuropathy facts, imagine how they feel?! It's tough to navigate and fact find. Because neuropathy, in my opinion, is one of the more popular and active groups, it is bound to be busy and full of wonderful people.

Yes, I think its awesome for you to explore bones, muscles, joints groups and more. Keep in mind that you are fact searching and as hard as it may be, you might not have the physical ability to connect with everyone you cross paths with. Remember you are in the specific group to learn and/or teach from your experience.

Private message is great for more personal connections and may be helpful for some topics. I have my notifications selected for each group that I choose to want to participate in and receive mail notifications of updates. If I wake in the morning to 30-40 new messages, depending on my day, I just may have to delete some or pick and choose. If I really need a break, I may choose to change my settings and not receive notifications for a bit. Yes, ignorance can be bliss sometimes. 😜

I know if something is meant for me specifically, it should be addressed to me using "@rwinney" or sent to my private message box. Now that you have realized this trick, it may be easier on you.

I hope this helps! I wish you, my kind hearted friend, much success with onward and upward Mayo Connect participation and progress. 🤗

Rachel

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Hi Rachel, how does one initiate a new post, on subject, in the correct group? That is when we obviously need to type in the Mayo name of the person we are directing the post to even though, the post would be valuable if read by others.

As mentioned somewhere today, in the many replies I've given, if we are just responding to someone's post to us most often in the form of a response or reply to a post we initiate it, we don't need to include their name in our reply, yes? And, since I am not including your Mayo name here because it is a direct response to you, this will reach you right?

Of the many emails I get and I welcome, I have not been involved in the discussion yet I'm getting emails members right back and forth to one another. That is what is confusing me because some say that unless we include the Mayo names of everyone at the top of a post or reply oh, that they will not see it. I must be misunderstanding.

Your thoughts? Fondly, Sunnyflower 🙃

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@sunnyflower

Hi Rachel, how does one initiate a new post, on subject, in the correct group? That is when we obviously need to type in the Mayo name of the person we are directing the post to even though, the post would be valuable if read by others.

As mentioned somewhere today, in the many replies I've given, if we are just responding to someone's post to us most often in the form of a response or reply to a post we initiate it, we don't need to include their name in our reply, yes? And, since I am not including your Mayo name here because it is a direct response to you, this will reach you right?

Of the many emails I get and I welcome, I have not been involved in the discussion yet I'm getting emails members right back and forth to one another. That is what is confusing me because some say that unless we include the Mayo names of everyone at the top of a post or reply oh, that they will not see it. I must be misunderstanding.

Your thoughts? Fondly, Sunnyflower 🙃

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To start a new discussion…just go to the original "Group" page (ie: Neuropathy Group) and click on the blue box that reads "start a discussion" .

Yes, correct, if responding to someone's actual post, you dont needto technically use their handle.

Everyone who follows each group has the ability to read all messages. It is not necessary to use someone's handle but does help to clarify who you intend your message for. Remember though…everyone can read it unless you post in someone's Private Message area.

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@sunnyflower

Hi Rachel, how does one initiate a new post, on subject, in the correct group? That is when we obviously need to type in the Mayo name of the person we are directing the post to even though, the post would be valuable if read by others.

As mentioned somewhere today, in the many replies I've given, if we are just responding to someone's post to us most often in the form of a response or reply to a post we initiate it, we don't need to include their name in our reply, yes? And, since I am not including your Mayo name here because it is a direct response to you, this will reach you right?

Of the many emails I get and I welcome, I have not been involved in the discussion yet I'm getting emails members right back and forth to one another. That is what is confusing me because some say that unless we include the Mayo names of everyone at the top of a post or reply oh, that they will not see it. I must be misunderstanding.

Your thoughts? Fondly, Sunnyflower 🙃

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Hi @sunnyflower……may I provide some suggestions? Yes, please address the Mayo name you are replying to at start of your message. In doing so, the readers will automatically know with whom you are talking to.
Every day early in the morning you receive an email from Mayo Connect called “Daily Digest”. It may be helpful to click on a topic. From there you can start a new discussion. Hope this helps 😄, Toni

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