Therapeutic Insight: The John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Perspective—Struggle, MASSAGE Magazine

This classical statue symbolically represents what I’ve seen over the years: the inner struggle that most go through. I don’t believe life was meant to be a constant struggle; obviously there will be struggles in life. It seems that even when people are going through a good phase in their lives, they still struggle and we cannot fully engage in life and enjoy ourselves.

A very simplistic way of looking at this is what I call the “Channel 3” and “Channel 5” mentality. The Channel 5 mentality is our intellectual, rational side which has basically dominated our lives due to the educational system. While Channel 5 has great value, it was never meant to function on its own.

Channel 3, which is our intuitive, instinctive side—also known as the healing zone—is also our creative, joyful side and our wise side. This aspect of our consciousness was ridiculed in school. I’m sure you’ve heard, “It’s only your intuition.” Some of the most valuable assets you possess may have been dampened down.

I believe our education was not true education; it was more mass hypnosis. We also have to introduce more of the Channel 3 mentality intro our school system. One of my Myofascial Release Seminar instructors also works in the school system. She is frustrated she cannot offer myofascial release to children in the school system, since nowadays schoolchildren are not to be touched. 

In my myofascial unwinding and myofascial rebounding courses, I teach how to unwind and rebound yourself. Driving to work one day, the aforementioned instructor said she had an insight: She could teach the children without touching them. She had one of the most challenging classes, both academically and behaviorally. She started to have them do myofascial rebounding and myofascial unwinding every day, as a group, in class. They absolutely loved it. Within two months, they were the calmest kinds in school, with the best grades.

The great news is our creative, intuitive side can be restored again, and myofascial release allows us to reignite these powerful aspects of ourselves. We can let go of the struggle and when struggle appears in our life, we can deal with it much more effectively and return to a calm, peaceful life.



John Barnes, MASSAGE MagazineJohn 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 75,000 therapists worldwide in his Myofascial Release approach, and he is the author of Myofascial Release: the Search for Excellence (Rehabilitation Services Inc., 1990) andHealing 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,

For more information about myofascial release, access two excerpts from the Fireside Chat with John F. Barnes, PT DVD on YouTube:

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