Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release

November 8, 2007 · 14 Comments

I have always admired the quality of content and visual beauty of the “Massage Magazine”. So I was pleased when they asked me to share my philosophy, theories and musings on my approach to Myofascial Release on this BLOG. 

I was a good athlete competing in football, competitive karate and weight lifting. My injury, lifting over 300 pounds and resultant long-term pain led me to discover the theories and principles of my approach to Myofascial Release that is considerably different than other forms of massage or other seminars called Myofascial Release. 

What is now being discovered is that all medical, dental and therapeutic education is based on obsolete information. I am not being critical for I was guilty of much of what I am about to say for much longer than most of you. However, the time has come in healthcare to be honest. We all need to step back and take a very serious and comprehensive look at what we were taught. 

Max Plank, the father of quantum physics, has said that, “science progresses one death at a time.” What the vast majority of scientists have not done is to consider the metaparadigm that the traditional paradigm is based upon. A paradigm is a set of shared assumptions that states our perceived model of reality. Our decades of experience with Myofascial Release have shown the metaparadigm of traditional therapy is incomplete and terribly flawed. When the fundamental concept of the metaparadigm is erroneous, then all of the other concepts that emanate from this fundamental flaw, may be logical but incorrect. This then leads to techniques that only produce temporary results. 

Those that have yet to experience Myofascial Release think that our whole focus is the fascial system. Nothing could be further from the truth! 

I view the fascial system as a powerful handle to access the totality of the human being. As we release the fascial restrictions, we are also create a positive and profound effect upon the golgi tendon organs, the spindle cells of the muscular component, the vascular and lymphatic systems, the osseous structures, the brain and neural system, the neuropeptide system, the acupuncture meridians and the mind. 

Our experience is that there is wisdom, emotions and memories in every cell of the body, which can be released in the most gentle, compassionate and effective way with Myofascial Release. I have had the opportunity of training over 50,000 therapists and physicians who are successfully using Myofascial Release with over 1 million clients per month. Myofascial Release is the “missing link” that will greatly enhance everything you do. 

My intention is to share with you what my intuition, instincts and 48 years of experience treating people from all over the world has taught me.  

-Are you tired of your body hurting?-Are you tired of being tired?-Do you want to achieve emotional and mental tranquility?-Are you frustrated with temporary results, no matter how hard you work?-Do you want to reach your full potential? 

Please ask what you are curious about and I will do my best to express my perspective clearly to you. 



John F. Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB is the President of the Myofascial Release Treatment Centers and International Myofascial Release Seminars. For more information call 1-800-FASCIAL (327-2425) or visit

Categories: General

14 responses so far ↓

  •   Scott // Nov 11th 2007 at 1:26 am

    It has been my pleasure and honor to study for 10yrs with John Barnes. He is a tremendously humble, wise, humorous, sensitive and knowledgeable. I have studied some of the greates manual therapies of our time, but John Barnes’ MFR is by far the most effective in treating my patients who have pain and dysfunction.

  •   Dael Parsons // Nov 11th 2007 at 11:07 am

    Dear John,

    I would like to know how to treat a new client with fibromyalgia. I have taken 4 of your seminars and done Skill Enhancement at your Sedona clinic and I know to look beyond diagnoses and be open and curious and present for each session, but some particular advice from you would be helpful. Thanks!

  •   Yvonne Bleakly // Nov 11th 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I am grateful for the effectiveness of the John Barnes approach to myofascial release as a certified massage therapist who specializes in this approach. Not only do my clients experience improved functioning and health, but, as I receive treatment myself, I am able to be strengthened. Despite a fairly recent whiplash injury, I have been able to continue my practice without interruption. It is amazing work and energizes the bodyworker rather than depleting him/her.

  •   Yucatandan // Nov 12th 2007 at 7:45 am

    I am a most grateful survivor-student of John F. Barnes approach to health care. It literally “saved” my life. It works and is real.
    I tried most forms and modes of all manual therapies – bodyworks available over 20 years. In my opinion-experience, there is nothing as simple and, complete that comes close to John F. Barnes myofascial release and, health care approach. John, and his “Tribe” offer “authentic” healing while the majority of others talk about it.
    I will always be in debt to John & his Tribe of dedicated health care professionals. John, created one of the greatest advancements in all of health care this century. Thank You!!

  •   Carol M. Davis // Nov 12th 2007 at 10:37 am

    Having studied and edited a text on various complementary therapies, and having practiced Barnes MFR for 12 years with all my patients, I have come to realize that myofascial release is fundamental to all energy based therapies. The new science reveals that the mind is found in the vibrating crystal matrix of the entire body, the fascial cells. Subconscious thoughts and emotions of the mind are captured in fascial cells as potential energy at the moment of impact. These driving thoughts and resistances in our behavior lay dormant as potential energy until mfr with its sustained releases re-hydrates those cells and releases the energy that is caught in our tissue by way of the piezo-electric effect. Then we have true control over our lives and thoughts. Other energy based methods can then supplement what Barnes energetic myofascial release makes possible – taking the foot off the garden hose so that energy, blood, lymph, neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and thought itself can truly flow once again.

  •   robert mollica // Nov 12th 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I have had the honor of being affiliated with John’s MFR approach for over 20 years. In the early controversial years we can all be thankful that he maintained his beliefs and kept speaking his truth. Johns fascial voice has educated thousands and we are all better practioners because of his comittment to excellance. John, hello dear friend. Over the years I have guided several thousand people through their healing experience. The most challenging ones were those who looked to me for their own answers. What one thing do you do/use to empower the individual to grab their own reigns and ride their healing journey from within?

  •   Jackie Castro-Cooper // Nov 12th 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Dear John,
    I am a PT and I began taking your courses in MFR to benefit and enhance the treatments for my patients. Low and behold a world opened up for not only my patients but for me as well. Your manual therapy is changing the body, mind, and spirit of almost everyone I treat. I will be full time in my own practice very soon and will not be taking insurance. What should I be careful of? What type of doctors should I consider marketing to? and what advice could you share? Thank you for the gift of MFR.
    Con amor y salud (with love and health),Jackie

  •   Rich // Nov 12th 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Life has not been the same since I began my journey, over 12 years ago, with this phenomenal facilitator. John and his work has allowed me to grow within and outside myself. Helping me face and feel my fears and pain to evolve into a more whole and more aware individual. Returning the power back to begin living in the now…happens. I thank the Universe for having allowed me the great opportunity to be a part of this Sacred and fulfilling gift.

    Remember Always the Blessings, Never the losses,


  •   Ryan Watson LMT, NCTMB // Nov 14th 2007 at 1:59 pm

    I have had the pleasure of studying under John for 8 years now. John’s MFR approach is vastly different from anything I had ever seen or heard of in the alternative field. I belive this philosophy of treating “the whole person” is on the cutting edge of our next healthcare breakthrough. The idea that our bodies truely are mirrors of our emotional selves rang true to me personally and has opened doors in me that had been shut for some time. Thanks, John, for your wisdom and insight over the years! You are truely a gift!

  •   Dottie // Nov 15th 2007 at 1:30 am

    How can anyone adequately thank someone for giving them back their life? “Thank you” just doesn’t seem to be enough. After more than 40 years of chronic pain and trying almost every other form of therapy/treatment on the planet, I finally discovered John Barnes’ approach to Myofascial Release (MFR) and have been virutally pain-free for more than a year.

    My life has changed completely from 3 years ago when I began my healing journey. I opened my own MFR treatment center almost a year ago and people are thrilled to discover this authentic therapy that allows the body to heal itself on a cellular level.

    So I will say “Thank you, John” for all you do. Your tenacity has changed my life and countless others’ lives. Thanks for hanging in there!

    Now for my question: If you only had 5 minutes to explain MFR to someone who had never heard of MFR, what would be the most important things they would need to know before their first treatment?

  •   Lilian Holm // Nov 15th 2007 at 6:08 am

    Clients immediately feel the difference between JFB MFR and other approaches. Without cognitively knowing that there’s a difference they can sense it, and once having experienced Myofascial Release will request it and seek it out. The practitioner is doubly rewarded through his or her exponentially increased ability to help clients, and an increased love for his or her profession. What more could we ask for?

  •   Barbara Long // Nov 24th 2007 at 1:18 pm

    I began taking MFR seminars over seven years ago and my life has never been the same! Having had a mva w/ multiple fractures and soft tissue damage, I saw and felt the change in my body during my first class–MFR I. After John and his instructors put their hands on me during a multi-hands treatment demonstration, I was able to stand tall–where before, scar tissue from a chest tube, femur and hip surgeries and subsequent fascial restrictions were reaching up thru my system from my lower extremities and pelvis and pulling me down and forward internally. Until that force was reduced, I hadn’t known it was there! I will never forget that feeling of physical and emotional freedom I felt after that incredible demo experience!!! I immediately ‘knew’ this is what I was looking for–both personally and professionally!

    Unfortunately, I discovered this amazing form of therapy, after carrying my son. I had significant pelvic pain and instability (and, therefore, 2 mo. of bed rest) during my pregnancy from–I believe–my unbalanced pelvis and fascial restrictions. Years later, however, I was able to eliminate the physical complaints of endometriosis w/ continued MFR treatment!

    I am a JFB MFR practitioner. I love this work; it is my passion. I trust this work. I have seen first hand how this approach can literally ‘give me my life back’. Thank you, John!

  •   Cathy // Nov 24th 2007 at 6:26 pm

    What has John F. Barnes MFR done for me? I also have to say it gave me my life back!

    I had back surgery prior to going to PT school. Needless to say I tried everything during school and spent 5 years after I graduated going to continuing ed classes to try and help my back pain.

    I did every kind of mobilization, manipulation, stabilization exercise, modality… you name it, I tried it. And only got temporary relief. The verdict was that I had scar tissue, nothing could be done for scar tissue, and I would just have to “live with it”.

    Then I tried every kind of massage and even accupuncture- still with only temporary results.

    When someone first offered to do John Barnes MFR on me, I really didn’t think it would make any difference. Was I ever wrong! I went from constant dull to stabbing pain to now being pain free. I never thought it could happen.

    After my own results, I knew that I had to take the seminars to learn how to help others. Taking the seminars changed my life professionally. I finally felt I was being taught what I went to school to learn- how to help people regain their function.

    MFR not only gave me my function back, it helped me become a therapist who can truly help others on there healing journey.

    Thanks John!

  •   Sheila Walker // Nov 25th 2007 at 6:25 am

    In the June 2007 issue of ‘Massage Magazine’, I read a part II article you wrote on your Myofascial Release Approach. In that article you described a ‘healing zone’ which you feel happens when we are able to shift from our intellectual side to our sensitive, feeling, intuitive side. Many of us who were led into ‘healing professions’ acknowledge this instinctive part of us. However, ‘the techniques and methods’ we may have been taught in school did not prepare us to use this clinically.
    Could you please describe how myofascial release allows the therapist to shift into this healing zone for both ourselves and our patients?

    Thank you,

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