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JFB Myofascial Release

Ann M. Ellis, LMT
2601 Main Street, Brewster, MA

What Is Myofascial Release? (MFR)

Energy handsMyofascial Release, or MFR, is a safe and gentle form of hands on bodywork that helps reduce or eliminate pain, improve posture, and increase range of motion by addressing the patterns of myofascial restriction in your body. MFR never forces, and therefore can never injure! Treatment consists of gentle sustained pressure into the fascial restrictions. This uninterrupted pressure (piezoelectricity or “pressure electricity”) into the system initiates “phase transition”, literally melting the restrictions, allowing the areas that have become dense and tight to regain fluidity and achieve “resonance” in a balanced and flexible state. It is actually similar to the way our touch screen devices work as the gentle pressure/electrical connection of your finger creates change on the screen, but in the body during treatment this process takes a minimum of 3-5 minutes to begin. Other modalities address merely the elasto-muscular component of the tissue, missing this essential time element that gently allows the fascial web to open without forcing; this is why they cannot provide lasting change. The art and science of MFR is using focus, patience, time and sustained pressure to release the fascia and free you from the symptoms manifested by the tightened protective web in your body!

unraveling sweater

This drawing of a sweater illustrates what happens when an area of fascia becomes dense and tight as a protective response. Pulling a thread (tightening) in one part of the garment (fascial “web”) distorts the entire sweater. In your body, fascial restrictions are indiscriminate. Their only mission is to protect by reinforcing, no matter what’s in the way. When an area within this web of soft tissue binds down and hardens, it produces a drag-like effect throughout the entire body, easily compressing or pulling joints out of alignment, impinging nerves, constricting muscles, compromising normal organ function, suffocating cells, or producing symptoms away from the restricted area or pain in areas you might not expect!

NONE of the standard tests, including X-Ray, Myleograms, EMG, and CAT scans show fascial restrictions. It is thought that an extremely high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or reduced range of motion have fascial-based issues!


What is Fascia?

The fascia is a connective tissue that has an appearance similar to a dewy spider’s web. In its optimal state it is flexible, fluid-filled, and infinitely adaptable in three dimensions, a single matrix that exists body wide without interruption. At the cellular level it is responsible for cell health and inter-cell communication. On a broader scale, it connects tissue fibers together to create muscles and organs, and at a most familiar level, sheaths of fascia provide boundaries in the body, like muscle group coverings and body cavity linings. (Since muscle tissue is defined by fascia, this is why massage and stretching modalities produce temporary results- You cannot effectively change the tone of a muscle without reshaping the matrix that defines it.)

When the fascia senses a trauma, it goes into protective mode, loses its natural state of adaptable fluidity, tightens, and solidifies, which is called a “restriction”. Injury, stress, repetitive motion, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures may create myofascial restrictions. Restrictions can form in any direction within us, often producing symptoms distant from the actual issue. Fascia is plastic in nature, and unless released, restrictions will continue to spread and tighten, creating a “straightjacket” of pain and limited motion.


Image of Fascia Here is a photo of living fascia taken through an electron microscope by French hand surgeon Dr. JC Guimberteau. In the center you can see “healthy” open fascia. On the edges of the picture you can see fascial restrictions, denser bundles and tangles in the matrix of strands. (Remember that the spaces you see are not air, they are gel-like… we are fluid beings comprised of 75% water.)

For a remarkable video of living fascia, including releases, click here : Warning: this video shows internal body structures and an open surgical site.


Conditions Treated Using Myofascial Release

Back/Disc Pain Post Surgical Dysfunction & Trauma TMJ
Whiplash Fibromyalgia Plantar Fasciitis
Headaches/Migraines Emotional Stress/Tension Limited Range of Motion
Sports Injuries Repetitive Motion Injuries Chronic Pain
Neck Pain Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) Carpal Tunnel


About MeAnn M. Ellis

I practice in a peaceful, private, dedicated treatment room in my antique home. I earned my Massage Therapy certification through a 650 hr. program at Cape Cod Community College, Since discovering John Barnes Myofascial Release in 2009, I have achieved Expert MFR therapist level, taking and repeating numerous JFBMFR classes and working in the clinic “Therapy On The Rocks” in amazing Sedona, AZ. Although MFR is my modality of choice, I have also expanded my practice with classes in Tom Meyers Anatomy Trains, Reiki, Reflexology, Yoga and Shamanism. I spend my leisure time enjoying nature, playing tennis, supporting live music and gardening.


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