I’ve read a number of points that I’d like to address. I could not help but smile when I read of the “smug” factor of John Barnes’ photo in his ads. I felt this same way back in the early 90’s. In fact, if it had not been for a co-worker who convinced me to attend MFR1, I still would not have done so. The smug photo, though a much younger version, coupled with the smear campaign that the Amer. Physical Therapy Assoc. (APTA) had in place against him at the time, almost held me back. Barnes as a personality is certainly one thing, and I am in no way defending or representing anything about that. What I know is that the money I spent taking all of his seminars was worth as much, if not more, than my PT degree, at substantially less cost. Are the seminars expensive? Yup, but I feel that they were well worth it. I do 100%MFR. Were they expensive, considering the results I get; no, they were not. There is no doubt that he is pulling huge amounts of money in from the seminars, but isn’t what matter the outcome for you? After having taken a huge number of manual therapy courses over the years, I’ve yet to find anything that is so effective. Only my opinion, though.
I instructed with John for over 10 years and was a site coordinator for many of those years. I met many wonderful instructors and some that were not so good. When reading through the student evaluation forms at the end of classes, it always seemed that the students who complained about the lack of one-on-one help were the ones that least asked for it. The instructor to student ration in normally quite good, on par with most Upledger classes, except for the smaller classes of his. As for learning MFR in an Upledger class…it simply is not taught unless you attend one of the higher level fascial mobilization seminars. You may prefer the way the Upledger folks present craniosacral, vs. the way Barnes presents it. I’ve taken both and found both had strong points, but to each their own. As for the person who said that too much time with an arm pull technique, the arm and leg pull techniques are only demo’d by John in the front of the room, no time is devoted from class time for the practice of these techniques. So, either the person was practicing them during break time or not at all. Same for every seminar, no class time for the arm pull. As for someone working too hard on the QL, even an instructor, one has to look out for themselves in any seminar setting. As I stated before, there are good as well as bad instructors/TA’s, as there are good as well as bad seminar participants.
As for taking MFR classes from others, or from students of Barnes, this can be a good place to start. I teach some intro style classes in my area, 15-18 hour type ones. I encourage anyone who connects with the work to then take the classes from John. Is it that I’m not good enough? No, just that he really is the best teacher out there for MFR. Again, simply my opinion.
One difference between Barnes and Upledger classes, from a student standpoint. Upledger gives you only a very little bit of rope once you complete class 1. You are told to do 50-100 10 step protocols before taking CST 2, and the TA’s are instructed to discourage/stop any unwinding during the early classes. The various head instructors vary, but are mostly quite good. They tend to be very quiet, serous classes. In Barnes’ classes, you, as the student, are given the encouragement/empowerment to take what you’ve learned and go with it, no limits (beyond some basic contraindications). This met more with my personality. I guess a lot of what people have heard about Barnes’ classes is second handed, much like what I originally heard through the APTA.
Walt Fritz, PT Pain Relief Center, Rochester, NYhttp://www.myofascialresource.com
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