by John F. Barnes, P.T., L.M.T., N.C.T.M.B.

Therapeutic Insight: The Myofascial Release Perspective—The Titanic is Going Down!, MASSAGE MagazineThe health-care system is collapsing under its own weight and obsolescence. Therapists are concerned about loss of control, diminishing income and their future potential.

All of this consternation about the collapsing health-care system is to me no more than a reshuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic. The Titanic is an inept health-care system based on principles that are more than 300 years old and were proven to be obsolete in 1923 by Max Planck, the founder of the Quantum Theory. Many of the principles taught in medical, dental and therapeutic schools have been proven to be wrong for more than 70 years and yet are still being taught. Medical theory has degraded into the biochemistry of disease, as if we were just mindless bags of chemicals.

A massive amount of recent research supporting our experience with myofascial release has shown that fascial restrictions change the shape of the cell and the viscosity of its surrounding environment, the extra-cellular matrix. This can drastically alter the biochemical flow and balance. Medicine’s narrow view of not understanding that biochemistry is an effect caused by aberrations of the fascial system, has ignored the “big picture,” the fascia, the important environment of every cell. Myofascial release helps to enhance cellular function by treating the cause and effect. Medicine, surgery, massage and myofascial release will be the health care of the future. You have a choice. You can go down with the Titanic or you can expand your abilities and talents with techniques that produce consistent results in a safe and cost-efficient manner.

The National Center for Complementary Medicine and Alternative Medicine reported Americans spent 33.9 billion (out of pocket) on complementary and alternative medicine in 2007, according to a government survey1. These figures will likely continue to grow, demonstrating that the use of alternative approaches to health care is not a small trend—it is massive!

Therapeutic Insight: The Myofascial Release Perspective—The Titanic is Going Down!, MASSAGE MagazineClients are demanding and willing to pay for techniques that produce results they desperately need, and this has been our experience. Patients are referred to our myofascial release treatment centers—in Paoli, Pennsylvania, and Sedona, Arizona—from all over the world. The average patient we see has not had acceptable results, despite spending between $50,000 to $100,000 on traditional medicine, surgery, therapy and massage and having every test and treatment known to mankind except for myofascial release.

We see these people on an outpatient basis for approximately two to three weeks (five days per week, three visits per day) as part of our Intensive Myofascial Release Comprehensive Treatment Program. The vast majority of people we see have their lives turned around, so they regain the quality of their life, return to work and lead a pain-free, active lifestyle.

There seems to be two different realities occurring. One reality is where the therapist still uses obsolete, traditional techniques and is running around like “Chicken Little,” crying “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” The other reality is where the therapist focuses on the Myofascial Release Approach and is flourishing, with minimal burdensome paperwork, very satisfied clients and lucrative incomes. So, you have a choice of realities. In fact, we receive numerous requests weekly from insurance companies, hospitals, health-care facilities, private practices and physicians looking for highly trained myofascial release therapists.

Is the Titanic going down? Yes. Is the sky falling? Only for those that persist on clinging to the past. Consider another perspective. This is a wake-up call! This turmoil is a tremendous opportunity.

The assembly line approach is not health care. I know you have to take care of yourself and your family, but I have a suggestion. Do what you have to do now and look for facilities that focus on myofascial release that will give you the quality time to provide effective health care or open your own private practice focused on myofascial release. You can keep your present job and start private practice part time. It does not take a large expenditure of money. You only need some space, a treatment table and knowledge of myofascial release.

I recommend this at every myofascial release seminar, and I receive calls and e-mails weekly from those who have taken my advice. They say they have switched to a health-care facility that focuses on myofascial release and provides the proper environment and time necessary for quality care, or that within six to eight months they were generating sufficient income from their new private practice to switch to it full time. They also report they have happy clients and a sense of personal fulfillment and professional achievement.

This paradigm shift will be enormous in the next couple of years, providing an incredible opportunity for facilities and individuals willing to expand their knowledge and allow their skill level to grow.

Let us all work together to enhance the quality of our client’s care. We can do it!




1. Nahin, RL, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ, and Bloom B. Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007. National health statistics reports; no 18. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009.

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 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, as well as on MASSAGE Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. For more information, visit