I Became Undone
When I stepped into my first seminar, Myofascial Release 1, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had read a little of John’s Barnes’ website but it didn’t prepare me for what I was about to experience. So I found my third row seat. Purposely I picked the third row because I didn’t want to be in the first row and be too close, yet I didn’t want to be too far back either. I had my notebook and pen ready to take extensive notes.
John introduced himself. He said that we could put our notebooks down because he rather us listen and experience. Our packets would have everything we needed to take home with us.
This was April, 2006, 3 months after graduating Massage Therapy College and then taking the NYS board exams. I was still recovering from mental and physical burnout so this was a pleasant surprise (no need to take notes??). He started to guide us through a basic meditative exercise called “Glowing”.
Within a few minutes, I finally started to become undone….It was like, metaphorically speaking, having a pair of tight laced shoes on for a long time. Then finally pulling that first string to release that knot, feeling as my feet start to wiggle and come to life again, eventually taking off the shoes and feeling the freedom of bare feet.
I started to let go, to release and rejuvenate my wrung out self. I had been through a lot of stress with school, work, and other personal things going on the 3 years prior. I didn’t realize how much I was holding on to in my body.
After just a couple of minutes of sitting in front of John I had a thought “THIS is what I have been looking for all along and didn’t even know it! This is my calling! I am meant to do this!” “This” meaning being a Myofascial Release (MFR for short) Therapist and having my own practice. The next 9 days I threw myself into the seminar, being the newbie enthusiast. I was giddy with excitement.
I heard countless stories of how it had helped many people from various types of physical and emotional trauma: back pain, sports injuries, emotional distress, accidents, and the list goes on and on…………
I knew from direct experience of receiving and giving the work, that it was profound and extremely effective. I left feeling lighter and freer. It is almost indescribable how I felt after those 9 days, but I knew I was changed forever and that I was embarking on a new path in my life.
For about a year before the seminar, I would regularly get a “question mark” type headache, and annoying pain on my right side- shoulder, neck and face. Nothing, I or anyone else did to treat it got rid of it. Also I had sprained my disc between T12 and L1 a few years prior and was out of pain, but I always felt like something was “stuck” in my back. It felt like a ball when I would move and stretch especially any type of bending back. After those 9 days, I never felt those pains again.
Now this might sound like some sort of romantic comedy that ends where the couple skips off through the field of wild flowers happily ever after. That’s not reality. This was the start of my inner initiation into the world of MFR and boy has it been quite a journey since! It has been a process of growth, and learning and stepping out of my comfort zone as with anything someone loves dearly and is dedicated to.
I fell in love with Myofascial Release for some basic core reasons:
Wholistic- NO Protocols:
Meaning that every person is unique. Two people with the same pain symptoms will not be treated the exact same way. It is something that cannot be determined in a book, but by looking and touching the fascia of each individual person to see where they have tightness and restrictions. Many times the symptom area has connections all around the body through our continuous fascial system, so all areas related need to be treated to relieve pain long term.
MFR completely goes along, or in line with everyone’s body. The MFR therapist is taught never to force a release to happen in someone’s body. This means being centered and focused on what I am doing. It also takes patience! The benefit of this, is that our bodies then don’t “shut down” out of protection while being treated. I as a Therapist can then go deeper into the tissue that otherwise might not have been able to be accessed by force. This also means that it can never injure anyone. BONUS!!!
These are the two major core principles that are important. There are many other things I love about MFR, that stem from these like:
–Empowering the individual to know that their body knows best and we have an amazing capacity for healing.
-It easily teaches you how to have more and more awareness of body and mind.
-The Unwinding component which is a process where our bodies can go into positions in space for optimal healing on a deep level.
All in all it is a choice! Each person who gets treated is in complete control of their process. The therapist is the facilitator, the helper, the guider, but never the “forcer” or leader.
To sum up, I love what I do!