Therapeutic Insight: The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release
Perspective—Keys to Improving Health Care
by John F. Barnes, P.T., L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B.
Piezoelectricity, mechanotransduction, phase transition, chaos theory and resonance are the key components in changing and improving health care as we know it.
Piezoelectricity is a Greek word that means electricity by pressure. It is well-known that each of our cells is crystalline in nature. When you place pressure into a crystal, it creates an electrical flow. The sustained pressure of my approach to myofascial release coupled with the time element (five minutes or longer per restriction) creates a bioelectrical flow in our bodies; in other words, the motion of our mind, which leads into mechanotransduction.
Mechanotransduction, or sustained mechanical pressure, can also create biochemical changes within our bodies. It is important to note myofascial release produces interleukin 8, our bodies’ natural anti- inflammatory agent.
Research has shown inflammation is an important part of the healing process; however, when inflammation has been thwarted, it tends to solidify the ground substance of the fascial system, which should be fluid. This then blocks healing, and over time tends to continue to solidify into crushing restrictions that produce symptoms many of your clients come to you for treatment. It is no longer enough to just treat the effects or symptoms anymore (traditional therapy).
These two occurrences, piezoelectricity and mechanotransduction, dovetail and then phase transition takes place. This is the phenomena of ice transforming into water. In our bodies, a similar occurrence happens. The solidification of the ground substance becomes more fluid, allowing tissue to rehydrate and glide, taking crushing pressure off pain-sensitive structures.
Everything in traditional medicine and therapy insisted upon order and control. However, true growth and healing cannot occur in a controlled, orderly way.
Systems theory states that nature goes through continuous periods of order and chaos. It is in the chaotic phase that reorganization occurs. Then, the system returns to a higher level of order.
It appears that for phase transition to occur, there is a period of chaos for ice to transform into water—or in our body/mind for the solidified ground substance of the fascial system to transform into a more viscous/fluid state.
When one human touches another human, their vibratory rates are quite different on a molecular level. However, with sustained pressure at the fascial restriction, the vibratory rates will become identical creating resonance. Resonance is the very essence of my approach to myofascial release. This is what I call a release.
Release occurs both in the cranial area and throughout the body. Resonance, unfortunately, does not occur in other forms of therapy due to the sheer fact these other therapies are too quick, hence providing only temporary results. The good news is myofascial release coupled with various forms of massage, bodywork and energy techniques can enhance your effectiveness as a practitioner.
This is why it is important to learn the art of locating fascial restrictions, which are unique to each individual. Combine this with sustained pressure of five minutes or longer and your clients will have the profound and lasting results they deserve.
John F. Barnes, P.T., L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B., is an international lecturer, author and acknowledged expert in the area of myofascial release. He has instructed more than 100,000 therapists worldwide in his Myofascial Release approach, and he is the author of Myofascial Release: the Search for Excellence(Rehabilitation Services Inc., 1990) and Healing Ancient Wounds: the Renegade’s Wisdom (Myofascial Release Treatment Centers & Seminars, 2000). He is on the counsel of advisors of the American Back Society; he is also on MASSAGE Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board; and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. For more information, visitwww.myofascialrelease.com.