Integrative Myofacsial Therapy (MFR) is one of the more gentle types of bodywork, which can be used to good effect on anyone but as it’s so gentle is especially great for those with chronic pain conditions, fibromyalgia and M.E. The techniques used in MFR are based mainly upon the teachings of John P.F. Barnes, but also incorporate some adjunct skills such as traditional Myofascial work (Rolfing) and Soft Tissue Release. The first difference between MFR and standard massage is that we don’t use oil and just skin to skin contact is used, in fact clients are requested not to use any lotions or body butters before the sessions as this it intereferes with alot of the techniques.
The techniques used are very slow and allow us to work on the collegenous aspect of fascia which allows permant structural changes to be made. This basically means that rather than just softening tissue (as in most massage) we can change the shape and use it to improve your posture and gain lasting relief not just temporary benefits. In the first session or two we normally begin by balancing the pelvis and head. This is really important because as I have discovered, a large number of lower back, disc, jaw, neck and shoulder problems are actually being caused by the pelvis being out of line and if the pelvis is out of line or twisted, pretty much everything above is out of balance in compensation.
As part of my training I have had the pleasure of having some of this work done on myself, and have have to say the benefits were pretty evident not only physically like in how I was standing and planting my feet, but also in the following days and weeks I enjoyed quite a large increase in energy. One of the less complex reasons myofascial work can help improve energy is if you are more in line you will move more efficiently, and if your movement is more efficient, you need much less energy to do it. As is well documented in many articles, fascial restrictions can exert pressure of up to 2000lb per square inch which if you think about it is rather like wearing a virtual straight jacket.
If any of my clients who have sampled these techniques off me are reading this, please do leave your own accounts or experience as everyone is different. I’m actually writing this while on a course in Scotland studying something called visceral manipulation, something equally fascinating. I’ll keep you all posted.