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Back Massage

What is Myofascial Release (MFR)?

Myofascial release (MFR) is performed to alleviate pain and dysfunction that is the result of fascial restrictions - thickening, shortening or tightening in the connective tissue caused by injury, trauma, inflammation or poor posture. MFR differs from conventional stretching in that it is a very gentle form of hands-on bodywork, done with prolonged, continuous holds by the therapist where each position needs to be maintained for 3 to 5 minutes for a true and permanent change in the tensile integrity of the muscles and fascia. Conventional stretching only affects the elastic and muscular portions of the tissue, providing temporary results.


John F. Barnes was a pioneer in this field and when you get a Hands-on Wellness MFR treatment, you'll be receiving his unique form of gentle MFR to release fascial layers to restore greater flexibility, help with pain reduction, improve athletic performance and enhance overall wellbeing.

What can I expect during an MFR Treatment?

A physical release may feel like taffy lengthening or butter melting. There may be a burning, rippling, pulsing, or tingling sensation or a release of heat. Sometimes you may feel an increase in tension or discomfort in other areas of your body. This is your body communicating to you where there are additional restrictions and it is considered wise to treat those areas next. There may be involuntary movement in some body parts. Some individuals feel release right away; others take a little longer. 

The other way in which MFR is different from conventional stretching is that during MFR both therapist and client / patient need to be consciously present throughout the process of stretching. MFR is considered a form of body-centered meditation, transforming you into a more focused, centered, and grounded person. MFR is a powerful mind-body healing tool for the release of pain from physical or emotional causes.

Hands-on Wellness OT encourages you to hydrate well before and after an MFR session and listen to your body's fascial "voice" in directing the attention toward areas of tightness, pain or discomfort as well as pay attention to whatever emotions may occur during or after an MFR release. This can happen because a memory related to the current pain was triggered or trapped during a previous physical or emotional trauma. These feelings come up for a reason. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions allows for true healing to happen. 

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