I recently returned from Key West, Florida upon the completion of John Barnes’s newest course, Fascial Cranium, where we learned several effective techniques to help treat TMJ Dysfunction, headaches, sinus issues, neck pain, and whiplash.
This was one of the best seminars I’ve been to, and I want to share some thoughts with you as I process all that we learned.
In a nutshell, we live in a society where we’re taught to view our bodies as we would a machine. We’re taught that our emotions and spirits are separate from our bodies and that how we feel plays no part in how our bodies feel and function throughout our lives.
This is false.
We’re taught to take a pill, get surgery or fix a physical ailment like you would fix a part of a robot. And while certain modern medicinal means can be necessary, it’s not the only way to help our bodies feel better.
In truth, we are integrated beings with a body, mind, and spirit where one aspect informs the other. It is through the fascial system (i.e. “the tissue of consciousness” ~John F Barnes) where our emotions and experiences get stored and manifest as physical ailments if they’re not expressed or fully experienced at the time of the onset.
Myofascial Release (MFR) is a gateway to authentically heal our bodies by accessing the fascia through working with the skin as a lever (hence why it’s imperative to not wear lotion when receiving an MFR treatment) and allowing what’s stored in this tissue to come to the surface. The time of a minimum of 5 minutes per technique is key in this modality. There are a few reasons for this, one of them being is that it give us time to pause, soften and listen into the fascial restriction so what is within it can come to the surface in order to be released. Living in such a hustle and bustle time, we don’t often stop long enough to hear what is going on underneath the surface, so the tension (whether mental, emotional, spiritual or physical) builds up within our systems and once it has no more room to be stored, it comes out as some form of catastrophes, such as a major illness, an accident, a major injury and the like.
MFR can positively disrupt the body’s system, and it’s compensation/holding patterns that are not healthy for us so we can then develop a healthier state of being. This can sometimes result in chaos or a healing crisis. This is a good thing, and although it may feel uncomfortable going through it, this period of chaos brings us out of our comfort zone so we can authentically heal.
And just a reminder, we rarely grow in our comfort zone.
If you happen to experience a healing crisis (by the way the word ‘crisis’ in this case means ‘sifting’ as your body is sifting through old holding patterns), you may experience the following: old memories coming into your awareness, crying, increased agitation or anger, laughing fits, headaches, old pain patterns coming to the surface (this is not a reinjury, but a moving through by rising to the surface to finally let go), skin irritation, nausea or more.
Whether you experience a healing crisis or not, it is so important that you take quality time for yourself to rest 24 – 48 hours post session so the effects of the treatment have time to integrate into your body and being.
It’s also important that you stay well hydrated as fascia is, in the words of Richard Harty, PT, “a water-loving tissue.” Staying hydrated alone can help curb fascial tension and dysfunction.
And last, but certainly not least, learning self Myofascial Release techniques to help maintain the work you receive in session and help keep tension from arising when you’re not in session is key, and is why I recommend signing up for an individualized Foam Roller Session with me, so you can empower yourself further by learning how to take care of yourself.
These are just a few thoughts from my time with 180 fellow MFR therapists learning from John. It was such a gift to experience this seminar and I look forward to sharing all that I learned with you!