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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Myofascial Release Addresses Hidden Sources of Pain

Jun 01, 2017 12:10AM

Practitioners of myofascial release address the kind of pain that often doesn’t show up on x-rays, CT scans or other medical imaging. Trauma, inflammation and surgery, for example, are thought to cause painful restrictions in the fascia, the thin web of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and organs. Myofascial release is a natural way to ease those restrictions and thus the pain. 

Janet Hardy, who practices the John F. Barnes method of myofascial release at Caring Touch in Santa Rosa Beach, says the technique helps fix more than pain and tight muscles. It also boosts the flow of blood and lymph, helps organs function at their best, and provides relief from stress, including post-traumatic stress.

John F. Barnes, a physical therapist with practices in Pennsylvania and Arizona, is considered a founder of this technique. He developed his Myofascial Release Approach in the 1970s and has trained more than 100,000 therapists and doctors in this gentle, hands-on method for evaluating and treating pain and dysfunction.

“Dr. Paul Standley of the University of Arizona has shown that myofascial release therapy, as taught by John F. Barnes, releases interleukin proteins, such as IL8, which is one of the body's natural anti-inflammatories, and IL3, which produces white blood cells that help with healing,” Hardy says.

Myofascial release is performed directly on the skin, without oils, creams or machinery. “This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia,” according to

The number of treatments required varies according to the patient, Hardy says. “Some patients feel some relief after one session, while others require regular treatments and can then begin tapering off.” One difference maker is the patient’s involvement in his or her healing, she adds. “If the patient is active in their own home therapy which is suggested after treatments, the treatment time frame can be reduced.”

According, this natural technique for healing “has exploded on the therapeutic scene with an unprecedented impact and is recognized as the most effective form of healthcare therapy.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Janet Hardy, LMT, Myofascial Release Therapist Expert Level at 850-231-9131 or

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