Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Discussion of Myofascial Release techniques, both generic and modality specific.

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Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby MarionFM on Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:52 am

Last weekend I went to a Tom Myers' Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians seminar in Ithaca, New York.

It was a great seminar. I loved the Bodyreading aspect, but the treatment techniques were hard - painful for the patient, hard on the practitioner in many cases. I have never had Rolfing but I understand they are closely related.

I think it is time there was a new name for Myofascial Release that does not hurt (in most cases!). During breaks, I worked on several partners myofascially. (Have I mentioned that I love what I do?!) They were surprised at how much better they felt with so little pressure.

I guess we just have to convert people one at a time!

Thanks, Marion
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby WaltFritz on Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:46 am

Marion,

I've often thought that a new name was in order, but you would undo many years of name recognition. There is much confusion regarding the name MFR. What would you suggest?
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby MarionFM on Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:14 pm

I don't have a better suggestion right now, I'm afraid. I tend to use the term Acupressure, acupuncture without needles, when describing what I do to someone new. And then explain MFR later.

Even the name recognition only goes so far. Many people assume it is going to hurt, like Rolfing. Is it better to have faulty recognition, or no recognition?

Perhaps there needs to be some certification, but who would agree as to what should be included or covered.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby WaltFritz on Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:55 pm

There is at least one certification program that I am aware of, at least within the style both of us practice. But it really does not carry much weight; it allows you to state that you are certified.

I think that there are a number of reasons why "our" type of MFR does not have a certification program. You've stated a few of them.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby Taoist on Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:21 pm

Marion, how much experience do you have with Rolfing? Have you gone through the 10 sessions? I've never seen a certified Rolfer, but my Structural Integration class in school was based on it. I had one classmate who tended to hurt people, I think because she was never aware of sensitive and bony areas, but other than that, the Rolfing moves we learned never hurt.

Were we doing it wrong? lol. In my opinion, any modality of bodywork should never be painful. It might cause a little discomfort, but never beyond a tolerable level.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby jeffscottlmt on Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:23 pm

This is a great thread. As far as I know, and by what I have experienced or heard from others. Such as clients that have received both. Myofascial release does not hurt, at least I don't think so. (John Barnes style)

Acupressure, or Trigger point is only supposed to be "mildly uncomfortable" while holding the point and waiting for release. When I practice TrP Therapy (which I have studied endlessly), I use verbal cues. Such as when I am gently slowly applying pressure, to the TrP, I say"tell me when discomfort is a 7 out of 10" Because this varies for everyone, the verbal cues are helpful. Then I hold and ask to tell me when it goes down to a 3, because it will. Then back to 7, back to 3, without ever letting up completely. But, never "pain" and I never use that term for verbal cues, too negative.

I have had a client that went through a 10 session Rolfing Structural Integration series, by a Rolfer that actually studied directly under Ida Rolfe. And he said, and I quote "it hurt like hell, every session".

However, I am not an expert in either style. So it's just hearsay and personal experiences. I did once have a therapist that worked for me that was crazy deep. She practiced under the old school means of therapists years ago "NO PAIN, NO GAIN", which is absolute hogwash. She told people her technique was "based on Rolfing, and Hellerwork" But never took a course in either, let alone being certified.

There are definitely people out there that claim to be MFR therapist, that are doing it wrong (in a traditional sense, because they never were certified), and have made up their own style but call it MFR. Who is to say, who is right and wrong. I personally wouldn't lay claim to a style unless I was certified, or I developed a style and gave it my own name. Such as Tom's Anatomy Trains. He invented it, it's his. If he says it's supposed to hurt, it's supposed to hurt.

I don't even know...is MFR even a trademarked name, because it is almost as common as saying Deep Tissue nowadays.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby WaltFritz on Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:34 pm

Myofascial Release is not a trademarked name, so anyone can use it, no matter what the style. Which makes me questions you in stating that "There are definitely people out there that claim to be MFR therapist, that are doing it wrong (in a traditional sense, because they never were certified), and have made up their own style but call it MFR." A number of teachers preach that theirs is the only true form of myofascial release, but how can this claim be made? If effectiveness is the measurement, then where are the outcome studies?

I don't mean to pick on you, but this type of indoctrination is rampant in myofascial release. ABC Myofascial Release is the only true form of Myofascial Release. Sound familiar? There are many forms of MFR that provide quality outcomes. Some are quite deep, some quite gentle. I don't feel it is about better or worse.

Certification only means that you have passed a certain competency within a certain teaching style. It doesn't guarantee anyone that the therapist knows what they are doing.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby jeffscottlmt on Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:15 pm

Yes Walt...That is what I was asking, because I wasn't sure. So, saying someone is an MFR therapist is just as generic as saying I am a Deep Tissue therapist? That is pretty much what I thought. Being that "myofascial release", literally means muscle and fascia release, which for all intents and purposes means, muscle release, or massage.

But to say you are a Hellerwork practitioner, or a Rolfer, or CST therapist, etc..without certification is wrong. Because they are trademarked...agreed?
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby WaltFritz on Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:16 pm

The others I cannot attest to, as I'm not as familiar with them. Though I doubt that CST falls under that umbrella, as there are many schools of CST.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby MarionFM on Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:41 am

A question I have is, why do a version of a technique that is hard on the practitioner and the patient, if there is an alternative that doesn't hurt but is also effective?

There are a few areas that are going to hurt if they are very restricted - Psoas and SCM are two that come to mind - but generally, going in to the tissue slowly and gently and waiting for it to release, which can take 2-10 minutes or even longer, seems much more humane than warning that you might cause bruising or making the person breathe through the technique because it is so painful.

When I do chair massage, I get feedback on depth of pressure. People often say, go deep, as deep as you can. My usual response is "Do you want me to go deep - OR do you want me to get rid of the knots? That makes them think and most say get rid of the knots! And then I do.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby WaltFritz on Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:48 am

Marion,

I think that is a good point: Those who want the deep work may not know what it takes to be rid of them.

There are times/areas that just need deeper work, but the deeper work need not be painful. I was taught soft tissue mobilization in a manner that presented itself in a somewhat sadistic nature. The teacher called out to the class, as we were practicing deep psoas work "I don't hear enough groaning" or similar. I did this painful work for a few years, but quickly tired of it. I slowly developed MyoMobilization, which works deeply but without the pain.

You can work deep without causing pain. It would take a lot to convince me that pain is necessary.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby pueppi on Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:58 pm

WaltFritz wrote:There is at least one certification program that I am aware of, at least within the style both of us practice. But it really does not carry much weight; it allows you to state that you are certified.

Walt, I am not so much inclined to "get certified", but I would like to know of which you speak. :)


Taoist wrote:Have you gone through the 10 sessions?

Obviously I am not MarionFM, but for reference, here is my (old screen name) prior experience with Rolfing... viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2557
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby Taoist on Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:53 pm

Wow, so much of that class is coming back to me after reading that thread! I wasn't quite sure while I was reading, but do your descriptions of "intense" imply "painful"? I still don't remember hands-on being painful at all :smt017 There were uncomfortable spots of course, just never painful. For the most part, I actually quite enjoyed it! :smt102
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby MarionFM on Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:03 am

Sorry I did not reply - no, I have never taken a 10 session series of Rolfing. And judging by the experience of almost everyone I have spoken to , or experienced a little myself, I am not likely to!

Apologies to all you practitioners out there. Perhaps if I first get to know a practitioner who I trust not to inflict pain, then I might re-consider. Mind you, with my attention span, I seldom do 10 sessions of anything!
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby WaltFritz on Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:06 am

Lisa Satalino, in Albany, NY, offers a certification program in myofascial release: http://www.cnwsmt.com/redpines.php

Lisa is a good friend, so I don't mind giving here a plug.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby palpable on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:58 am

I should say that I have not attended Tom Myers' classes, however, I have studied with teachers who have taught with him, and have also had rolfing sessions. Yes, they can be intense, but my experience has not been one of pain. In fact, I believe most teachers from the Rolfing background (Erik Dalton and Tom Myers both come to mind) will say that Rolfing was known for painful work originally, but has changed in approach so that the work is more comfortable.

The work should also be comfortable for the therapist. Obviously, I can't speak to individual classes or teachers either, but from my experiences the trend is to allow your body to work from a place of ease.

On the flipside of that, I have seen a practitioner certified (as shown by the multitude of certificates on her wall) in ABC Myofascial Release, and, quite honestly, I had to go for several appointments with another MT to "fix" me from results of the MFR work.

My point in all of this, is not to say that any one person or one style is right or wrong or better or worse or whatever, but it really is dependent upon the individual practitioner. And as Marion mentioned, there are certainly people out there who just want deep, deep, deep even if that is not always what will work best. And we all know there are practitioners out there who will work deep, deep, deep regardless of, well, anything.
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Re: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians

Postby MarionFM on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:48 am

And we all know there are practitioners out there who will work deep, deep, deep regardless of, well, anything.


So true - love it!
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