Myofascial Unwinding: Part I
John F. Barnes
, PT, LMT
Myofascial Unwinding: Part I
John F. Barnes
, PT, LMT
Each component complements the other and allows for deeper releases. Adding myofascial release to your massage expertise brings you to a higher level of effectiveness.
It is helpful to understand that the theory of traditional therapy eliminates the mind. All forms of therapy were designed to deal with the physicality of the human being. As you all know we are much more than just a physical structure.
The definition of a paradigm is a set of shared assumptions. Most scientists do not look at what is called the metaparadigm of healthcare. These are the beliefs from which all of the other beliefs emanate from. There were two choices, does consciousness matter or does it not? Since there are too many variables for them to do research in a traditional way, scientists chose that consciousness does not matter. Science strives for objectivity. I have great respect for all scientists that developed computers, build bridges, buildings, among other objects. They have incredible intellect and amazing skills, but we are not objects! We are not a bunch of widgets to be stacked and quantified. We do have a mind! Unfortunately, ignoring the mind has led to temporary results.
I term traditional therapy ‘parking lot therapy’. I am sure you have had the experience where a client feels better on the treatment table, but by the time they get back to their car, their symptoms and pain have resurfaced. Adding myofascial release to your current massage regime will increase the longevity of profound, positive changes.
When I speak of consciousness, I am not talking about the brain. Our brain is absolutely incredible, but it is a different level of vibrational consciousness than that of our mind. We were brought up to believe that we are thinking brains, and as we move through life we were to think our way through life. In actuality, we are so much more than this; we have so much wisdom within us. Our mind perceives the sensory information that bombards us every moment of our existence, this sensory information flows through the microtubules of the fascia system at an incredible speed and it is when it connects with the brain that true healing can occur.
A very simplistic way of looking at consciousness is what I call Channel 5 and Channel 3. Simplistic, but I believe very accurate. Which means that all healthcare was about our Channel 5 intellect, figuring things out, control and order. While this sounds good, and it would be nice if it worked, unfortunately it is plainly obvious to most that it is not working! No healing can occur in these kinds of conditions. The beauty and power of myofascial release is that it switches us safely, efficiently and effectively into Channel 3 where authentic healing becomes possible.
Channel 3 is our intuitive, instinctive side. This is the “healing zone” and our creative side that I refer to as our ‘feeling intelligence” which is a whole different level of vibrational consciousness than that of Channel 5. Scientists have discovered the database available to us in Channel
3 which is also our subconscious is in excess of ten million to one of that our intellectual Channel 5 side. In fact, it is much more than this because they gave up counting, because it is was so vast. Another word for this is wisdom! We all possess incredible wisdom. The problem is our education, which I believe wasn’t true education, but rather mass hypnosis; memorizing other people’s thoughts. Channel 5 is also our critical, judgmental, negative, fearful side. What a wonderful way to live. We need Channel 5, and it is a very valuable tool, but it needs to function in coordination with our mind. The intellect is wonderful, but left on its own it makes decisions that are fear- based. In Channel 3, your mind is fearless. Utilizing the combination Channel 5 and Channel 3 is really the way humans were meant to function and helps us to reduce pain, headaches, increase function and achieve authentic healing.
The combination of structural myofascial release and myofascial unwinding helps us to move into another dimension of higher quality and long-lasting results.
The art of myofascial release is feeling for that person’s restrictions and waiting with gentle, but firm, sustained pressure. Always wait at the barrier without forcing. This differentiates my approach from other forms of myofascial release that attempt to force a system that cannot be forced. Force throws our mind into protection. As long as the mind is in this protection mode, no healing is possible.
Only when the mind feels safe with the therapist using the appropriate pressure for the correct amount of time does the self-correcting mechanism of the mind/body complex come into play. Energy techniques and/or light massage do not wait long enough at the barrier, thereby releasing only 20 percent of the fascial system. The key to a structural myofascial release is to find the barrier, wait patiently and you will elicit a number of phenomena; piezoelectricity, mechanotransduction, phase transition, and ultimately resonance or release. For further explanation on this phenomenon, please refer back to my previous article Myofascial “Structural Release” in the January/February issue of Massage Today.
Myofascial unwinding is a subtle motion that comes from the client’s subconscious, not the type of the type of motion that comes from the conscious mind. The beauty and power of myofascial unwinding is that it finds positions of past traumas that are somehow imbedded in the fascial system. When these positions are found, the subconscious holding patterns, start to release their iron grip on our clients, and the straightjacket of fascial restrictions begin to soften, melt, rehydrate and glide. We will also explore the phenomenon of state dependent memory, learning and behavior, position dependent learning and immune system exhaustion for the reduction of pain and increase range of motion and function.
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