There is a lot of difference between MFR and Massage.
Myofascial release is a very effective whole body technique. Gentle sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions allows an elimination of tissue memory that may be trapped in the body which keeps the problem present. These restrictions take us to the root cause of a problem which may be causing pain, lack of motion, or rigidity in the body, and removal of these barriers gives restoration of motion and promotion of relaxation. Massage is a superficial application in the body which is great for flushing lymph, venus return, and providing temporary relief to the parasympathetic nervous system.
Massage can always be added to any session; however, when you are releasing restrictions on blood vessels, organs, muscles, ligaments and more you are removing stress at 2000lbs per square inch which translates to pretty profound relaxation! In addition, MFR can produce unwinding of the tissue which can enhance the structural change of deep tissue memory release at the cellular level. No massage can ever achieve that!
What does a release feel like? A release may feel like taffy lengthening or butter melting. There may be a burning or ripping sensation, pulsing, tingling or release of heat. You may see intense colors or vivid images. Anything is possible! The sensations often intensify as the release is occurring and then decrease or disappear when it is complete. You may feel the fascia connecting into other areas. This is your body talking to you – the fascial voice – letting you know there is a relationship between the restriction being treated and the area where you are feeling the referral.
While the therapist is performing a technique, your symptoms may be reproduced. This should not be alarming as this is probably treating the cause of your pain. At times you may feel emotions connected with the fascial restriction or release. This can happen because a memory related to the restriction was triggered or trapped energy from a previous trauma has been accessed. You may feel like crying or your body may want to shake or move. If this should happen, stay present with what you are feeling and breathe into the feeling or emotion. Allow yourself to feel; allow yourself to cry, shake, move and/or vocalize. These emotions are coming to the surface for a reason and healing will take place more readily when you allow yourself to feel. Give yourself permission to let go. At the point of trauma, our body disassociates from the mind and these emotions that the body has experienced get trapped inside. Unexpressed, they materialize as pain and dysfunction. This is a powerful example of mind-body connection. Please remember, if you would like support in dealing with emotions that may surface with the physical releases, please contact a counselor or therapist who is licensed to assist you with this process.
What can MFR help with?
Pain – neck, back, pelvic, chronic, jaw Headaches / migraines Whiplash Disc Problems Sports injuries Pelvic floor dysfunction Fibromyalgia Myofascial Release can be used for nearly anything. However, MFR is not a cure all. Some injuries and conditions may have progressed beyond the point of repair and MFR treatment will not reverse these changes (i.e. late stages of cancer, brain injuries, etc.).
At what age can you safely begin MFR treatments?
Myofascial Release is a safe and gentle form of treatment and it will never injure. An advanced trained MFR therapist knows how to apply John F. Barnes MFR principles to treat anyone from newborns immediately after birth to children and adults of all ages and in transition in death.