Fascia is present all the way down to the cellular level. When an individual experiences physical trauma, inflammatory processes or scarring, the fascia can become restricted and begin to pull throughout the body causing pain, altered posture, excessive joint compression, decreased range of motion, decreased muscle efficiency and many symptoms all of us struggle with daily.
When the cause of these symptoms, myofascial restrictions, is left untreated, these symptoms often progress to the point of some type of chronic pain syndrome. The fascia, when restricted, can produce enormous tensile strength of up to 2000 lbs. per square inch on pain sensitive structures and, in some clients, blood vessels and nerve roots become compressed which creates entrapment syndromes and ischemic conditions. Excessive pressure such as this can explain why symptoms develop.
Conventional treatment methods such as hot/cold applications, ultrasound and chiropractic adjustments do not affect the fascial system comprehensively, and therefore can sometimes produce only temporary symptomatic changes. As clients we are understandably focused on our “symptoms” because they are a source of pain and discomfort and “yell” at us. But it is very important that those assisting you with your healthcare have a broader focus and encourage you to do the same because, unfortunately, it isn’t as black and white as we would like. The vast majority of the time the cause of our symptom is not the site of the symptom because of the nature of the fascial system. Unfortunately, most of the modalities available to us, whether traditional or alternative, are often “symptom” oriented and therefore miss the mark leaving you with a temporary band-aide and temporary relief . Myofascial Release is a structural approach that treats the CAUSE of the problem and not just the symptoms and this is what produces long lasting results.
Effective MFR treatment involves various techniques which are frequently applied to several different areas of the client’s body. Release of these fascial restrictions includes specific manual techniques of holding the tissue for 90 – 120 seconds allowing for a mechanical and biochemical reaction to begin. Full release of the restriction may take five minutes or longer. Successive releases, through each layer, also require this time element and often require multiple sessions to fully address every layer. Given the time constraints of a single treatment session, not every layer of fascial restriction can be addressed in a single session. Therefore, increasing the treatment duration to 1-1/2 hour or doing Dual Therapy Sessions progresses the client through their treatment at an accelerated rate and may returns the client to their maximum level of function sooner. This is a wise choice when considering cost containment in the health care industry.
This vast connective tissue system does not appear on any of the traditional testing now being done (i.e. x-ray, CAT-scan, MRI, myelograms); therefore, myofascial restrictions have gone unrecognized or misdiagnosed. John F. Barnes, PT has developed and refined the Myofascial Release Approach over the past 40 years to make this approach the most advanced and effective hands-on care available, particularly for clients who have not responded to traditional medical or surgical intervention.
My typical client has had problems for five, ten, fifteen and sometimes twenty-plus years, has seen numerous health care professionals and has often exhausted medical benefits and financial resources by the time they make it to our treatment facility. Once the fascial system is addressed these same clients begin to make progress and, in a matter of weeks with intensive Myofascial Release treatment, are on their way to a pain-free, active lifestyle again. In addition to this the client often gains a new relationship and understanding of what their body needs in order to feel well as they move forward in life and have more tools so they can feel empowered and be pro-active in their care.
My goal is to work with you to provide the most cost-effective intervention to address your long- term goals whether they are to address chronic pain, injury, or perhaps maintain your current experience of a pain free body. It is my desire for people to move away from a pattern of having to react to acute experiences throughout their lives and move toward a relationship with their body and a lifestyle that allows a maintenance approach. I hope that with the wisdom and skills I have to share I can assist you in a way that empowers you to have a greater awareness of your body so that you can be less reliant on me and spend more time feeling the way you want to feel.