Therapeutic Insight: The Myofascial Release Perspective—Snap Your Fingers!, MASSAGE MagazineWhat does snapping your fingers, the speed of light and the massive amount of information that supports the importance of treating the fascial system have to do with each other?

It is a well-known fact that a nerve can only conduct one signal at a time at approximately 20 to 100 meters per second. There are more than 50 trillion cells in our body. Each cell is capable of 100,000 interactions per second. These numbers are staggering, incomprehensible. To better understand these important facts, I thought the following visuals may help.

If you were to take a ruler, end on end, and counted the inches (each inch would represent one cell), a million inches (cells) would represent the distance between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and close to Orlando, Florida, traveled at 20 meters per second. Now, common sense would tell us this is impossible to stimulate more 50 trillion cells instantaneously. It gets worse; a billion inches would represent two trips between the Earth and the moon. A trillion inches would represent a trip to the moon and back to the Earth 3,300 times! We are not done yet. Now, we have to multiply these enormous numbers by 50.

Since nerves can only conduct one message at a time, 20 to 100 meters per second, how could the nerves stimulate each cell to work in a coordinated fashion instantaneously? It is impossible for our bodies to function based on the traditional thought of reliance on neural conduction and biochemical reactions.

It’s unfortunate that most of what we have learned in therapeutic school has been known to be obsolete for close to 70 years. I have referenced several reasons why this is in many of my previous articles. I would like to give you a quick example of just one aspect of the erroneous education that was thrust upon us in a linear and logical format. As therapists, we are interested in the human body, which is neither linear, nor logical. We were given the wrong map of reality. (For more information, read “The Map is Not the Territory.”) Traditional science taught us the brain and neural system control everything and that consciousness was just an accidental artifact of the biochemistry of the brain, and yet there is no evidence that supports that.

The microtubules of the fascial system have a hollow core in which fluid flows, and the fluid within the extracellular matrix surrounds every cell of our body. The fascial system is the environment of every cell in our body and it is light vibrations that help to coordinate and activate each cell instantly at enormous speed. The fascial system is the primary communication system of our mind-body. The nervous system and biochemical reactions are an important but slow secondary form of communication.

The importance of the speed the frequencies of light travel through the fluidity of the fascia’s ground substance comes from a British particle physicist, Brian Cox, who stated,  “Light travels around the Earth seven times in the time it takes you to snap your fingers!”

Myofascial release enhances the fluidity of the fascial system that is essential to allow the frequencies of light to stimulate our 50 trillion and more cells. Light and sound are our mind-body’s primary communication system.



John F. Barnes, MASSAGE Magazine

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 50,000  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,

For more information about myofascial release, you can now access two separate excerpts from the Fireside Chat with John F. Barnes, PT DVD on YouTube. Just click on the following links:

Part 1

Part 2

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