Myofascial Release

Myofascial Releasegrey_skeleton

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a technique that is gaining attention in the therapeutic/medical community. It is a soft tissue treatment method that releases pain by unbinding muscles and surrounding tissues that have been placing tension on nerves. The soft tissue that surrounds the muscles plays a key role in the musculoskeletal system’s integrity and hence our general well being. This connective tissue is called fascia.

Throughout the body it winds its way surrounding, supporting, protecting and connecting muscles, organs and bones down to the cellular level. A traumatic event or repetitive motion causes the fascia to over protect the regional soft tissues. Because all fascia is interconnected throughout the body, this local problem can cause a spreading reaction which results in increasingly painful and perhaps distant restrictions.

Fortunately for us all the ever-evolving work of John F. Barnes, PT is becoming better known. In the 1980’s John developed and to this day continues to refine the system of myofascial release (myo=muscle). Over the years John has taught many therapists how to perform several simple yet profound techniques that can unlock the compensations and restrictions that we all develop from our life experiences. These techniques fall into three main categories:

Myofascial Release (MFR): a slow, sensitive and deliberate stretching of fascial restrictions that enables the connective tissue matrix to resume its natural structure and let go of its assumed compensatory positioning. The term Myofascial Release is also used to name a whole system, which is inclusive of Rebounding and Unwinding.

Rebounding: a gentle, oscillating technique that serves to scramble the nervous system’s learned compensatory postural habits and thereby assists the body in letting go. The nervous system is then more able to re-learn proper postural habits.

Unwinding: a technique that allows the body to lead, find and then release the most deeply ingrained physical compensations where they are rooted in emotional blocking. The technique facilitates physical and emotional release.


  • Acute and Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Muscle Cramps and Spasms
  • Sciatica
  • “Frozen” Joints
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Postpartum pain
  • Stress incontinence
  • Bladder retention
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Plantar fasciitis

    Some may be considered absolute while others may be regional

    • Systemic or Localized Infection
    • Aneurysm
    • Acute Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Healing Fracture
    • Advanced Degenerative Changes
    • Open Wounds
    • Acute Circulatory Condition
    • Advanced Diabetes
    • Obstructive Edema
    Common Conditions and Contraindications used
    with permission from John F. Barnes P. T., MFR Seminars

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