Diane M. Hibbard, LMT, Myofascial Release Therapist
Living with pain isn’t a foregone conclusion of growing older. Over the years, through physical/emotional trauma and repetitive stress, our bodies form fascial restrictions that pull us out of alignment and inhibit our movement. Left untreated, these restrictions can exert pressure on sensitive areas in the body, causing chronic pain, disease, irritability, and discomfort. During a treatment session, I use both therapeutic massage and John F. Barnes Myofascial Release techniques to help locate and treat these restrictions. Each session is specifically customized to you, to help give you the treatment and support you need on your healing journey.
- Back and neck pain
- Lumbar compression/degenerative disc disease
- Frozen shoulders
- Digestive issues
- Nerve entrapment issues including sciatica, carpal tunnel, and thoracic outlet syndrome
- Muscle aches
- Chronic pain
- And more…
What is myofascial release?
Myofascial release is an advanced therapy technique that focuses on releasing restrictions that inhibit the body’s natural healing process. Fascia is a connective tissue (imagine a network of many fibers throughout the body) that surrounds every muscle, nerve, bone, organ, and cell. In normal tissue, the fascia moves freely within a gelatinous-like ground substance. When either a physical or emotional trauma occurs, the ground substance dehydrates and hardens, which restricts the fascia. Fascial restrictions can cause up to 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure on structures in the body, pulling them out of alignment, causing pain and contributing to additional compensation patterns. Imagine fascia as the guide-wires to a tent, and the center pole as the spine. If the guide-wires or fascia is pulling on one side more than the other, it would cause the center pole or spine to be out of alignment. This imbalance can cause anything from muscle tension and weakness to nerve entrapment and scoliosis. These restrictions help explain why patients can have chronic issues even after receiving extensive physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, or other forms of medical treatment.
How does the myofascial release technique work?
Using the John F. Barnes myofascial release technique, I locate and assess the restrictions through a postural assessment, patient history, range of motion, and tissue assessment. Once the restrictions are located, I apply gentle hands-on pressure or sustained stretching (always within the patient’s comfort level) to help the restrictions release. After a period of 90-120 seconds the pressure creates a piezoelectric effect that causes the ground substance to melt or soften allowing it to rehydrate and release the fascia. The myofascial session consists of following the patient’s body and response to treatment to gently locate and release restrictions that are pulling the body out of alignment, so the body has a chance to heal. Even though fascial restrictions cannot be seen by x-rays or diagnostic equipment, evidence can be seen by how they pull on various sensitive structures in the body. Also, given that fascia transports nutrients to and waste from cells, it is easy to see how restrictions can compromise a cell’s growth and function contributing to disease. The good news is that fascial restrictions can be released through myofascial therapy, and healing can take place.
How did I get into Myofascial Release Therapy?
Myofascial Release Therapy has been a large part of my healing journey. After years of suffering from digestive issues and frozen shoulders, my myofascial release sessions helped relieve my chronic pain giving me hope that my body could heal. This experience totally changed my life. I became a licensed massage therapist and attended several John F. Barnes myofascial release seminars: Patient Healing Seminar, Myofascial Release I, Myofascial Release II, Fascial-Pelvis Myofascial Release, Myofascial Soft Tissue Mobilization, and Myofascial Unwinding, so that I could offer the same treatment and hope to others.