Why do you use so much Myofascial Release in your practice?
MFR fits my personal style and I get good results.
What does MFR feel like?
Patients typically tell me MFR feels “relaxing” during a treatment, and after treatments I frequently hear words like “looser”, “freer”, “less pain”. When fascia is in the process of releasing I perceive a sensation like deforming warm plastic.
What about patients who have not heard of MFR?
Those patients I see who are not yet acquainted with MFR work are pleasantly surprised.
P.T. has a tongue-in-cheek reputation as an acronym for “physical torture”. That’s not what I do. Good physical therapy does not have to feel like torture. The old Benjamin Franklin motto of “no pain, no gain”, is not something you hear in my clinic.
Are patients ever sore after MFR treatments?
Sometimes. If a person gets sore from the treatment it will usually be the next day. This after-treatment soreness will be different from the symptom pain a person comes in with. Typically, one will not get after-treatment soreness twice from the same treatment.
There can be fine line between “a good kind of pain” and pain that makes a patient tense-up or react. An effective treatment is often near this cusp. The trick is to navigate through it without going over the top.
Do you treat with MFR exclusively?
No one treatment approach has all the answers. I use techniques I pick up from other practitioners and courses that are not oriented toward myofascial release. However, I find myself adapting other techniques to MFR concepts.
Do you prescribe strengthening exercises?
Yes, unless a person declines. Myofascial release changes the tension in the body’s three dimensional web and I think it is important to “re-calibrate” the patient’s neuromuscular “hard drive” with a few functional exercises that encourages a patient out of the old compensatory movement patterns that have been contributing to the pain scenario the patient came in with.
What about home programs?
I love to give people self treatments with foam rollers, small balls or gadgets that augment the hands on treatments we do in clinic. This typically includes a couple of customized stretches and versions of the exercises we do together.
I can show spouses or significant others how to do certain hands on treatments at home too.
Do you ever push patients?
Sure, as long as a person wants to be pushed without reproducing symptoms.
What if someone comes in that does not want MFR?
We don’t have to do MFR. Sometimes just a few exercises in clinic and a home program is all it takes and I can provide that. However, if you have pain or dysfunction, the fascia is always going to be involved.
Is MFR massage?
Myofascial release is a type of stretching. Massage has value, but does little to make long term structural changes.
If you see a still photograph of MFR being performed it looks like massage. If you see a video of someone performing good structural MFR it looks like a glacier moving–like nothing is happening.
Do other practitioners practice Barnes trained MFR?
Yes. There are many massage therapists (LMTs) and other bodyworkers who treat using MFR. Most are quite good.
What are some advantage of seeing a Physical Therapist for MFR treatment?
Physical Therapy programs are more intensive with regard to anatomy, physiology, bio mechanics and therapeutic exercise. PTs are trained to evaluate injuries independent of physicians and to look for signs of pathology that may need to be addressed by a physician.
Insurance coverage of physical therapy is a big advantage for many people. Massage therapists or other bodyworkers are not covered by most insurance policies.
PT treatments are oriented toward achieving functional outcomes and not just feeling good the rest of the day. Of course, it is a nice bonus when the treatments feel good and effect lasting change. MFR is like that.
Do you accept patients without insurance?
Yes. I offer a discount on the customary charges to patients who pay cash up front, since I don’t need to pay a biller to pursue reimbursement from insurance.
What do you like best about being a Physical Therapist?
There is nothing more satisfying than watching a patient get up off the table and have that awe-hah moment and say “it’s gone!” or come back the following week and say, “I can now do this, this and this.”