Developed by Physiotherapist John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR) is a safe, gentle, hands-on treatment that works with your body to untangle the restrictions that cause pain, tension and inflammation.
MFR is often used to address symptoms that are not traditionally treated by physiotherapy.
These relaxing techniques are very effective for problems that have been there for years, as well as acute injuries.
An innovative and highly effective whole body approach for the evaluation and treatment of pain and dysfunction, the treatment works with your body to open up restrictions and scar tissue, which can cause many symptoms.
Everything that happens to us from the time we are conceived is recorded within our fascial network (the myofascia). This is a continuous web of fibres that holds our cells in place and connects them all to each other, forming a bio-tensegrity system.
This 3D network gives you strength, flexibility and stability meaning that no part of the body exists in isolation. The myofascia solidifies and shortens in response to any kind of trauma, repetition of movement or ongoing poor posture. It will slowly tighten, spreading tension throughout your whole body.
There is a gloopy substance between the cells and fibres, called the ground substance. This reacts to physical and emotional stress and becomes more solid, preventing your body from being able to adapt to things and leading to symptoms and illness.
The ground substance is thixotropic, meaning that it becomes more fluid in response to warmth and pressure. During treatment the heat comes from our hands and we use this reaction to feel where the restrictions are coming from and to gently release them.
As we never force our patients’ bodies, the treatment is very safe and enables us to truly follow what each individual needs, producing long-term results. It also allows us to work very deeply without pain, so most of our patients find it a very relaxing treatment.
Following your initial consultation, your first session will include a further short assessment, and we will ask that you to sign our consent prior to hands-on treatment.
We will assess your posture and look at any movements that are restricted by pain or stiffness. It is common for symptoms to occur in a different part of the body to where the problem originates, so treatment may not always be where you are experiencing pain.
Myofascial Release is a hands-on treatment that works best on skin, rather than through material. You may therefore be asked to take clothes off down to your underwear, depending on the condition being treated. Some people prefer to bring shorts and a vest top to change into – this is a personal preference. If you think you will struggle to have skin on skin contact, please tell us and we will find a way that works for you.
Once the session is complete, we will discuss your ongoing treatment with you. The number of sessions required varies from patient to patient, even those with the same symptoms, as each person is unique and individual. As a general rule, the longer a symptom has been present, the longer it takes to resolve it. It may be possible to give you an idea of how many sessions you will require, but we cannot tell exactly.
It is very important to communicate with us how you feel your treatment is progressing and what your expectations are. Myofascial Release is not a ‘quick fix’ but if you are able to complete the course of treatment that your body needs, it is often possible to get long lasting results that enable you to manage even chronic conditions yourself.
Throughout your treatment, you are encouraged to tell us what you are feeling. This helps us to follow your body and also helps you to work with your body day to day. However, it is important to tell your therapist immediately if you want them to stop whatever they are doing.
Some people feel immediate benefits after the treatment, while others find that symptoms change over the next couple of days. Everybody will respond in their own way and we will help you to work with your body.
Please remember to make sure you are well hydrated to get the best out of your treatment. To help you with this we provide filtered drinking water and we encourage our patients to bring their own drinking bottles to refill.
Occasionally, following a treatment, symptoms may get worse before they get better. This is a normal response to treatments like this that affect the whole body and is nothing to worry about. Drinking plenty of water can help, as can following what your body needs. Please feel free to call us if you are concerned about what you are experiencing.