Therapy in the Forest, LLC
Practicing John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (JFB MFR) in Portland, Oregon
What is Fascia?
Fascia is one continuous structure throughout our bodies, three-dimensional without interruption. It goes from the superficial fascia under the skin and the anatomical coverings of all the structures in the body all the way down to the cellular level. Everything is connected to everything else through this structure. A restriction of mobility in one area will cause problems in other areas. John Barnes frequently states during his courses: "Find the pain, look elsewhere for the cause". Even for incontinence that is true!
Specialized in Pelvic Physical Therapy/Pelvic floor therapy, primarily using JFB MFR
Restrictions in the fascia come about in many ways: injuries, surgery, poor posture. Injuries start with birth and continue through life. Childhood injuries have a great impact as your body grows with the restrictions and has to compensate for them. Who hasn't fallen on their bottom? Some of these "normal" bumps and mishaps cause small restriction. But if you fell just so and hit your tailbone for example, and maybe had discomfort sitting for a while, this may have been enough to start some scar around the tailbone. From that over time the surrounding tissues also become restricted since they are being held still by the scar. In general fascia is very much about "what you don't use, you lose". As your tailbone is held by more restriction, more compensation is needed from the other side or close by tissues. As restriction becomes larger, is starts to compress tissues and cause symptoms. This can be years or decades later. A good example from surgery is that even an appendectomy scar can cause a bowel obstruction many years later. Abdominal surgery is especially problematic because they are in an environment where many organs share an expandable space and there is lots of room for compensation for many years before the symptoms start. Also, with abdominal surgery, the standard of care does not include scar care or rehabilitation. When you have orthopedic surgery, you are usually referred to rehabilitation to make sure you get all your movement, strength, coordination and balance back. And hopefully your PT or OT will work whatever scar and tissue restrictions you have. But with abdominal surgery this is not part of care!!! Fortunately, it is my experience that even very old scars will still become more mobile when John Barnes' approach is used. This is especially true for hysterectomy and Cesarean section scars. Even pelvic oncology cases have results.
Poor posture is another case of "Lose what you don't use" As you sit to work, eat, drive, watch TV, travel. wait, etc you are telling your body that you don't need your hips to extend, or your hamstrings to stretch up, front of the chest to open, etc. If this is not balanced with activities that counter all that tightening, you slowly lose movement. JFB MFR is GREAT for getting these restrictions out of your body. It is incredibly relieving to get out of that straight-jacket!! Your body gets choices of movement back which causes less "wear and tear" on joints, etc. I compare this to a hoarder's house: the more stuff(restriction) is in the house, the fewer ways you can move through the house and the more the carpet wears out in the place you can still walk on. MFR is like clearing out that house. The more is in there, the longer it takes. JFB MFR is always about letting go, just like that stuff in the house: some of it you can't wait to let go of, but some of it is very hard to let go of.
Please also read at Anatomy Trains