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.

@helennicola

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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I have a machine that is like a TENS but the currents cross each other. The company name is Empy. Type Empy electrical stimulation unit to find it online. I think it's better than the TENS but truthfully, I never found the relief I needed bc my pain was caused by a structural problem in my spine which was surgically corrected 3 times! Literally unbearable! Take care and I pray you find relief! Sunnyflower 🙏🤗

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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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Good afternoon @helennicola, @catstx…..you may have something to think about here. I think I understand the philosophy behind this Therapen electric acupuncture pen. It just may have the ability to help release those trigger points. Has anyone else tried it? What do you think about this @jenniferhunter? Should this be what I ask my dear Santa for while sitting on his lap?
https://shoptherapen.com/
May you all have joy today…….
Chris

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@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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Good evening @helennicona, and @catstx, I think we are talking about MFR and where it can help with nerve issues. I chatted with my (Expert) rated MFR therapist. She explained that nerves send messages through connective tissues to our bones and muscles. When those nerves have been damaged or a good number of them have died and we face a long recovery time, if any, the nerves simply can't do the job they were intended to do. And so…the brain sends back pain signals. Here is how Amy puts it….."MFR will not get rid of neuropathy, it is not made to treat neuropathy. What it will do is help you manage and mitigate symptoms." As we all know….there is no cure. So pain, numbness, tinnitus, itching, and other results of neuropathy just continue to be major medical irritants.

I am sorry if that is bad news……it is just the news of the day. Some day…..there will be a solution, especially as we all live longer. Even now, clinicians will tell you that if you live long enough you will have neuropathy. We just need a few more campaigns with the right words on our banners. MFR is the only way I can stay on this planet. I have just expanded my sessions to twice a week. Someone else on this discussion is now at three times a week.

The money deal and insurance coverage is another phase of the whole deal which leaves so many of us unprepared.

May you both be content and at ease.
Chris

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Thank you very much!

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@artscaping

Good evening @helennicona, and @catstx, I think we are talking about MFR and where it can help with nerve issues. I chatted with my (Expert) rated MFR therapist. She explained that nerves send messages through connective tissues to our bones and muscles. When those nerves have been damaged or a good number of them have died and we face a long recovery time, if any, the nerves simply can't do the job they were intended to do. And so…the brain sends back pain signals. Here is how Amy puts it….."MFR will not get rid of neuropathy, it is not made to treat neuropathy. What it will do is help you manage and mitigate symptoms." As we all know….there is no cure. So pain, numbness, tinnitus, itching, and other results of neuropathy just continue to be major medical irritants.

I am sorry if that is bad news……it is just the news of the day. Some day…..there will be a solution, especially as we all live longer. Even now, clinicians will tell you that if you live long enough you will have neuropathy. We just need a few more campaigns with the right words on our banners. MFR is the only way I can stay on this planet. I have just expanded my sessions to twice a week. Someone else on this discussion is now at three times a week.

The money deal and insurance coverage is another phase of the whole deal which leaves so many of us unprepared.

May you both be content and at ease.
Chris

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this is a helpful reslonse. Thank you so much!

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Fibromyalgia – Myofascial

I heard about Myofascial on here! People said how much it helped them. I went for my first “Release Treament” yesterday! I’m not sure if that’s what I got?
The person had told me that she was trained in it and she was farmiliar also with Lyme Disease when I talked to her.
I had sent her information about me and my illness over the last several years. I had mentioned I had a bathroom flooded a few years ago. She made the immediate diagnoses that I had Mold Toxixty!! PLAIN AND SIMPLE! WOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER MY FIBROMYALGIA/LYME SYMPTOMS!
She got me on the table and started working my front.
When she was working on my back she uses sucktion cup all over my back.
I’ve had body work done on me for 60 years. HAd never had the suckion cup done before.
She got done and hurried me out of her office!
Can anyone related to me when they had Myofasical Realese done to them what the person did with your body.
I walked away very confused.
Can someone please give me some inforamtion!
Sundance(RB)

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@sundance6 You went to your first Myofascial Release Therapy appointment and you are wondering if your experience was typical.

You will notice that I moved your question to a previous discussion related to Myofascial Release Therapy. I did this so you could more easily connect with members like @jenniferhunter @artscaping @helennicola @catstx @bustrbrwn22 @1sluna that have experience with this topic.

@sundance6 The experience you outline above, makes me call into question the practitioner that assessed and administered the Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR). I am not medically trained but I am familiar with the treatment. I saw a physical therapist/medical doctor for my treatment and I was referred by my PCP.

May I ask more about their title, qualifications, credentialing, education, etc.? . What kind of an establishment did this person work at? Were you referred and will your insurance pay for the treatment?

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@erikas

@sundance6 You went to your first Myofascial Release Therapy appointment and you are wondering if your experience was typical.

You will notice that I moved your question to a previous discussion related to Myofascial Release Therapy. I did this so you could more easily connect with members like @jenniferhunter @artscaping @helennicola @catstx @bustrbrwn22 @1sluna that have experience with this topic.

@sundance6 The experience you outline above, makes me call into question the practitioner that assessed and administered the Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR). I am not medically trained but I am familiar with the treatment. I saw a physical therapist/medical doctor for my treatment and I was referred by my PCP.

May I ask more about their title, qualifications, credentialing, education, etc.? . What kind of an establishment did this person work at? Were you referred and will your insurance pay for the treatment?

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She was recomended to me by some else who practices MFR. She told me she had been in the business for eight years. She works out a n office in a business complex. On her business card it says LMT #$#@, CCSP whatever that means.
As I said I have had body work done on me for 60. I had never had the use of sucgen cups used on me before. I told her not to try and dig the knots out of my neck because they would fight back. She did anyway and I'm very sore back there today.
I just want to know what other people have had done to them with MFR? I looked a little on line the night before and read about Dr. John Barnes and his body work didn't seem the same! Can someone let me know how MFR was done to them.
Thanks,
Sundance(RB)

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Hello, I am a Disabled Veteran and during my active duty time, I sustained a lower back injury. The injury got worse as time went by and eventually it led to my retirement. Over the years it worsened. I was 6'3 when it happened and now I am 6'0 as disks in my back have disintegrated. I have tried lots of things to bring relief, but most of them did nothing and a few brought slight relief. The many doctors I went to ruled out surgery and told me never to let any doctor do exploratory surgery. After everything, the only option was pain meds. They had me on Percocet and now I am on Methadone as they felt the Tyonoel inside the Percocet would cause me liver damage over a long period. I do have to say the Methadone has helped far more than the Percocet ever did. Now I want to get off the Methadone. I was told you cannot come off it cold turkey but you must do so gradually. I would like to ask if anyone knows how much should you decrease your amount daily and for how long? I take 190 mg a day. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and may our Heavenly FATHER bless everyone who reads this!

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@standingbear I am a Vet.. a long time ago.. I go to a VA in Des Moines, IA for my hearing aids. Are you being treated at a VA, and where? What kind of specialists have you seen? Were any surgical solutions offered? What was the diagnosis of your injury? We on Mayo Clinic Connect are not Medically trained; most can only tell you of our similar diagnosis or treatments. I had a spinal injury 25 years ago and had a fusion of the 3 lowest (S1, L5, L4) vertebrae…I lost an inch or so in height.. and I have had no problems since that 8 hour surgery.. I was never on a pain killer drug of any kind for more than a month or so around the surgery time.. I would try to go get another opinion of what will help you on a more permanent basis? How old are you.. I am 83, an ex-Marine.. and no you cannot go off those types of Pain killers cold Turkey… Ken

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@sundance6

She was recomended to me by some else who practices MFR. She told me she had been in the business for eight years. She works out a n office in a business complex. On her business card it says LMT #$#@, CCSP whatever that means.
As I said I have had body work done on me for 60. I had never had the use of sucgen cups used on me before. I told her not to try and dig the knots out of my neck because they would fight back. She did anyway and I'm very sore back there today.
I just want to know what other people have had done to them with MFR? I looked a little on line the night before and read about Dr. John Barnes and his body work didn't seem the same! Can someone let me know how MFR was done to them.
Thanks,
Sundance(RB)

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@sundance6 LMT is probably liscensed massage therapist.

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Jennifer, That's what I surmised! But not licenced in MFR! Old saying, "Let the Buyer Beware!"
I trust certain types of people, this being one who we trust to help us!
Hope You have a Wonderful Weekend! Truely! I appreciate the information! Interesting that the only Certified Barnes person is in the southern part of New Mexico 200 miles away!
Will go to plan "B"!

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