MFR Wow!!!

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

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MFR Wow!!!

Postby amypowerhands on Sun May 06, 2007 7:26 am

O.K. Wow, I have read through nearly all of the posts on MFR. I was pleasantly suprised to see Mark Barnes even participate, as I have received dozens of phamplets with his father on them.
I must admit, I was a bit shocked to hear the stories of people having physically violent emotional releases, and a bit dismayed at the stories regarding the John Barnes seminars. Boy, am I glad I've had the chance to read up on other experiences first. I may at some point still go, but will definately have backround knowledge first. I would hate to have that type of experience as my first introduction to MFR.
I have just started to experiment with MFR. I have not really done much for hands-on, but have done alot of research. I have the realbodywork videos on MFR. I have not heard anyone comment on them. Is anyone out there aware of them? Any comments? They present the techniques quite calmly and mention the emotional commonent, but do not describe such "active" releases. I must admit, they feel more scientific than some of what I'm hearing about.
Having said all of that, I remain very curious about this modality. I am looking forward to more discussion. Wow!
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MFR Wow

Postby Lyomyo on Sun May 06, 2007 7:04 pm

Amy,
I am an MFR client and love it. It works for me. Don't get caught up in the hype about unwinding. When it happened for the first time for me, my therapist just said "What you just did is called unwinding." It was not wild or scary. It was natural and I felt so good afterwards. It does not happen every time or to everyone. Find a trained JB MFR therapist and try it for yourself.

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Re: MFR Wow!!!

Postby maestra on Mon May 07, 2007 12:09 am

amypowerhands wrote:I must admit, I was a bit shocked to hear the stories of people having physically violent emotional releases, and a bit dismayed at the stories regarding the John Barnes seminars. Boy, am I glad I've had the chance to read up on other experiences first. I may at some point still go, but will definately have backround knowledge first. I would hate to have that type of experience as my first introduction to MFR.


Amypowerhands,
I don't consider what I experienced to be in anyway "physically violent"... although I did unwind off the table and onto the floor, it was, I thought, rather slow and graceful. :lol: I definitely felt supported my JFB MFR therapist never took her hands off me during the whole experience... even when I ended up with my head on the floor her hand gently cradled my head.
As others have said, if you don't want to have a dramatic unwinding, you won't. You're always in control of the session... your body will take you only as far as your mind is willing to go. If you're open to releasing old traumas then yes, you sometimes can have a dramatic unwinding. But if you're not ready for it, then someone else can't make it happen.
If I may quote John Barnes from his book, Healing Ancient Wounds: The Renegade's Wisdom ...
"Myofascial Unwinding helps bring this information to a conscious level, allowing patients to reexperience it and let go, if they chose."
But MFR doesn't always have to be big dramatic unwindings. They can be subtle too.
I had a new client Saturday who booked a deep tissue. Even the strokes to apply oil seemed to make the guy writhe in pain. I stopped asked him if I was using too much pressure. He said it was fine but when I tried to resume he again seemed to writhe about in pain. I asked again about the pain level. He told me he always hurt after a massage. I told him I wanted to try something different so I switched to MFR. I started to do some work on his pecs, his neck and shoulders and he started to unwind his arms! :smt041 It was just a little bit... but I was so proud! :lol:
And later I was able to use MFR again to release some restrictions in his back. It was great to see, in only a few minutes someone who had never experienced MFR before... intuitively start to unwind.
Little releases are good too. It doesn't always have to be about giant unwindings and reliving great big traumas.
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Postby Blisss on Mon May 07, 2007 6:35 am

Although MFR sounds like a wonderful modality & one I also want to experience someday, I don't like the superior tone surrounding the unwinding experience. For example:

Maestra wrote:If you're open to releasing old traumas then yes, you sometimes can have a dramatic unwinding. But if you're not ready for it, then someone else can't make it happen. If I may quote John Barnes from his book, Healing Ancient Wounds: The Renegade's Wisdom ... "Myofascial Unwinding helps bring this information to a conscious level, allowing patients to reexperience it and let go, if they chose."


There are two things I disagree with about this statement:
1. That unwinding is the only way to "let something go."
2. That if clients don't unwind, it's because they're "not ready", as if they're amateur clients compared to the professional clients who have reached the unwinding level of treatment.

This world is a wide & varied place. There are numerous methods for letting things go; unwinding is just one method.
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Postby maestra on Mon May 07, 2007 12:38 pm

Blisss,
I'm sorry if you feel I've used a superior tone. I am not JFB MFR trained, I only have an avid interest in it the same as many others on the board. I never intended to come off sounding like I or MFR was superior in any way to any other modality. It's merely one I've had some amazing results with.
I didn't think there was anything wrong with sharing that enthusiasm in the appropriate section of the board.
Let me clarify, I don't feel that it's the only way to let things go. Clients have releases, physical and emotional all the time. I'm sure that there are other techniques which are as beneficial. However, we are talking here about MFR. I would assume that if someone wanted to talk about the fantastic results they've had using NMT or CST, or any of 100 other modalities, they'd have started their own thread about that. Never having recieved CST, I wouldn't feel comfortable posting there. And my experience receiving NMT was a bad one... not sure anybody would really want to hear about that.
Blisss, I don't know where you get this 2 levels of clients from. Did I say anything about there being 2 levels? If I did I apologize I never meant to imply it. I'm sure that when it comes to MFR I'm definitely an beginner as a client and a practitioner. I'm sure that there's tons about MFR that I don't know.
I think we're all on our own journey as clients and practitioners. My mentioning that a client can choose to unwind or not was only to indicate that the client is in control of the session and can stop it at any time.
:roll: Sorry if I rattled any cages, I was just trying to encourage Amypowerhands to give it a try. :(
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Postby Blisss on Mon May 07, 2007 4:05 pm

Maestra, I know you love MFR, and I'm not challenging that love. I'm glad you've shared your experiences with us, and you are one of the reasons I actually want to receive MFR myself in the future.

I didn't see your post as stating MFR is superior to other modalities. Rather, the superiority I heard was from a client-level, relating to the unwinding experience itself. I realize you didn't intend to sound superior in your post, but when you say things like "If you're open to releasing old traumas then yes, you sometimes can have a dramatic unwinding. But if you're not ready for it, then someone else can't make it happen." That statement holds the assumption that people who are "ready" to release trauma are the ones who unwind, and those who don't unwind somehow aren't ready to let go of their pain. This is what I disagree with.

Your second post was more clear: "A client can choose to unwind or not...the client is in control of the session and can stop at any time." Thank you for clarifying.

P.S. I didn't mean to offend you with my post, either.
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Postby pueppi on Tue May 08, 2007 5:45 am

Jst adding a few thoughts here. Also, I didn't read maestra's post in the way Blisss did; it came over fine to me. Blisss saw a different meaning than I -- but, I'd like to pick up on something regarding clients unwinding.

I recently had an experience with someone I was working on, who didn't know what "unwinding" was, and obviously wasn't planning to unwind.

When doing abdominal work, this individual started to writhe, murmer, babble and twitch. He is in the process of detoxing, and this went on for a good half hour.

I have learned some somatic work, and this individuals response was what prompted my original thread, Unwinding - What are your experiences?.

Now this sure wasn't the only way to let something go, but I will tell you it was emotional and undescribable. As a matter of fact, I leave that kind of work for other therapists, and don't specifically work toward it in my office. However, I believe it made a big difference for this individual in that as he has been detoxing, he has been loosing weight and there is obviously an emotional issue which is seated in the abdomen which was at the time and may still be an unknown entity. It did seem to open something up generally, though there wasn't anything specific that came from the session (like "I have a new take on life" or anything like that).

I just wanted to add, that sometimes the client isn't the one ready to unwind, but the body may be. And, that doesn't mean that client is any bette than another. It's just another form of therapy that somehow stems from some people.

Trust me, this guy is not the: somatic release - let's do something strange and different - or artsy/funky/out there type. I just want to be clear that I don't think "unwinding" itself is totally freaky, but it is definitely what I consider to be a little less than the mainstream and more clinical type work that I perform.

Hope that makes sense. If not, please ask.
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Postby amypowerhands on Tue May 08, 2007 6:11 am

Great comments everyone. I hope that no one took me as negative towards MFR, because I still see it as a great modality.
I still have not heard comment on the realbodywork dvd - anyone seen it?

One burning question that I still have is this: I have worked with many clients who have had what I call emotional releases. They may cry, laugh, change breathing, sigh etc. This has never happened during deep work, almost always it happens with the Swedish warm up, and almost always it happens when I am working on the clients right arm. Do masters of MFR consider these emotional releases to be the same process no matter what the modality, or do MFR masters think there is a difference?

My students really have a hard time grasping the concept that someone could get emotional at all on the table. It is always an interesting conversation to have.
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Postby maestra on Tue May 08, 2007 7:40 am

amypowerhands wrote:I still have not heard comment on the realbodywork dvd - anyone seen it?


Nope, I've never seen it.

amypowerhands wrote:One burning question that I still have is this: I have worked with many clients who have had what I call emotional releases. They may cry, laugh, change breathing, sigh etc. This has never happened during deep work, almost always it happens with the Swedish warm up, and almost always it happens when I am working on the clients right arm.


I've had clients which have experienced an emotional release on the table over the years, maybe once every 2 years or so. IMO, it's usually clients who have had more than one treatment from me and thus there is a measure of trust already established. Yes, I believe emotional releases can happen with any kind of massage or bodywork.

amypowerhands wrote:Do masters of MFR consider these emotional releases to be the same process no matter what the modality, or do MFR masters think there is a difference?


Good question. Maybe Mark Barnes, WaltFritz or Ami (AGWLMT) will respond with some feedback for you.

amypowerhands wrote:My students really have a hard time grasping the concept that someone could get emotional at all on the table. It is always an interesting conversation to have.


I've known that massage and bodywork could bring about an emotional release for probably about 11 or 12 years. Even before attending MT school. And though there were times when I cried in MT school... it was never on the table. I've had clients who experienced an emotional release on the table. I was even afraid that the first massage after my mother passed away would bring about an emotional release. It didn't.
So, that's what made it even more mind-blowing for me to have experienced an emotional release during my most recent MFR session (end of March). Nearly 3 years after my Mom died. It's too bad students can't see one in person... though such things really can't be scheduled, they just happen. Still I think it's important that they learn how to support the client through the experience and how to refer the client if they feel it's needed.

As for sighing, laughing, etc. I've always encouraged my clients to do that if circumstances and the environment allowed it. As a matter of fact, my JFB MFR therapist says she can tell when I'm about to allow myself to release... I giggle. :lol:
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Postby WaltFritz on Tue May 08, 2007 3:45 pm

While not a master of MFR, whatever that might be, I've had a great deal of experience with it. An MFR unwinding emotional release is no different from any other emotional release, whether bodywork induced or not. But, those who have a vested interest in selling you something may try to get you to believe this is not the case. I think Bliss' original hesitations about the unwinding/emotional release process may come from teachers or practitioners who truly do believe that unless one releases old wounds through unwinding, they are not going to completion. And, I have seen and know many who do put judgement on those who are not ready to go there, via unwinding.

In my practice, unwindings happen daily; some full blown screamers, but most subtler and quieter. Again, it is about what the person on the table needs, not what I think they need. This really has turned into a good thread, as much mystery exists out there about MFR and unwinding, even among those who've taken classes. As Bliss said, unwinding is simply one way to let things go. A pretty damn good one at times, though! But, it is not the only way and not for everyone.
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Postby amypowerhands on Wed May 09, 2007 8:45 am

Walt, (or anyone else)

Thanks for the comments, I agree that this has become an interesting thread and forum in general.
The way I was taught, unwinding happens with basic cross handed stretches and is desribed as the letting go of the tissue that you are engaging in the technique. When I have read some of the other posts, it somewhat seems as it is a technique of it's own. Is it both? Or is unwinding the term used for the releasing of the myofascial unit, and the stories are of results of the unwinding? Do you understand what I'm asking?
Another thing that is interesting to me is that I am hearing far more stories of the emotional components of this modality and not so many physical stories about this modality. Just an observation, but I have really enjoyed reading your posts, advice and instruction. I'm more science than energy, if that makes sense. So allthough I beleive in and can appreciate the emotional components to our work, I view it as more of a side effect, if you will. It needs to be considered, but is not my focus.
Thanks again, to everyone!!
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Postby StressSolutions on Wed May 09, 2007 10:35 am

amypowerhands wrote:stories of the emotional components of this modality and not so many physical stories about this modality.


Physical story. In class, Cervical Thoracic, I think. "Patient/client" positioned on side, at edge of table, therapist hooks scapula with fingers and tractions up up and away. I was looking all around, not being as present as I should have been, as usual, and got really distracted by a large feller across the room, little therapist....Therapist is standing a long way away, looking scared....the client/patient feller's arm was rotating around like a propeller/windmill. FAST and it went on for quite a while.

If that is not physical unwinding, then I don't know what it could be.
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Postby Blisss on Wed May 09, 2007 10:55 am

I think Amy means that people aren't talking as much about the physical benefits of the work long-term. Not that they don't exist, but so far, it hasn't been the focus of the conversation. People have given many examples of physical expressions of the unwinding process. But what experience do you have of long-term results? For example, have you treated anyone with frozen shoulder, whose shoulder was released permanently? Have you treated anyone with chronic low back pain whose pain disappeared? Have you been able to correct someone's forward-neck posture? Etc.
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Postby goodtouch2 on Wed May 09, 2007 6:16 pm

Myofascial release, when applied properly, can provide long lasting results. It does seem that this thread has been focusing on the emotional aspect of myofascial unwinding, but there are two other important aspects to John's approach, and those are structural myofascial release, rebounding techniques as well as the myofascial unwinding.

I am a Physical Therapist and Massage Therapist who has been studying and working with John since 1991. I have corrdinated and participated in too many seminars to count, but everytime I have the opportunity to hear John speak , I get a new and deeper understanding of the work. He is passionate about MFR and it shows in his seminar presentation and patient care. I am presently the Director at John's Sedona facility (Therapy on the Rocks) and I have been here for 3 years. Before coming to Sedona, I ran a Rehab Dept in an Acute Care Hospital in New Orleans La.. I had the opportunity to work with a very wide range of patient types utilizing MFR. I can say without hesitation, that MFR benefited all patients that I worked on. I used MFR on Acute care, ICU, Rehab, SNF, Home Health, post-op, hands, lymphedema, outpatients, women's health, sports medicine, neurologiically impaired and pediatiric patients (basically the full spectrum of patient care).

With most patient's, we approach patient's structurally initially, finding the restrictions, connecting down to collagenous barrier and then waiting for the pizoelectric phenomenon to begin. The correct amount of pressure must be exerted by the the therapist so that the patient's subconscious's does not go into a protective mode and abort the pizoelectric phenomenon. This sustained pressure allows for the ground substance of the fascial system to essentially rehydrate and reconvert from a solid substance to it's natural liquid nature. Other forms of therapy tend to deal with the cross links that come from trauma, but do not change the dehydration and resultant solidication of the ground substance.

All patient's can benefit from structural releases provided by MFR. As a rule of thumb the longer the restriction has been within one's system the more treatment or increased frequency of treatment is warranted. The patient needs to actively participate in the process for maximun benefit to be acheived. If the patient is talking throughout the treatment session, medicated, just not focusing on what is happening in his/her body , then the results can be limited. When the patient and therapist are both centered and focused on the task at hand, anything can happen. As the patients allows themselves to let go of control and trust in the process that is when the MFR unwinding can occur . That is when the trapped energy that has been stuck within one's facial system can be released. Sometimes the released energy has an emotional component, memory or belief system associated with it that can now be brought from the subconscious to the patient's consciousness (this does not have to always occur to have a benefit). Now the patient has a choice to complete the experience or not. The ones that connect in with the upcoming experience, feel it fully (rather than abort the process) and then allow themselves to feel a more healthy or productive way of looking at it have a greater ability to abolish their dysfunction.

I have seen literally hundreds of patient's /client's find instant relief from their symptoms with this work. I have also seen numerous patients/clients
initially struggle before they find their way with this work. This work challenges one's traditional view of illness and healing, which for some can be a struggle. It is wonderful to see patient's who were just vacationing and stopped in for a treatment come back again the next year and share how much the one or two treatments made such a difference in their lives. Many of them sign up for our Healing Seminars and take our professional brochures home for their local therapists.

Remember, therapists can only take their patients as far as they are willing to go themselves in their own personal healing. So if you have a centered therapist who understands these principles from a personal and professional perspective and a patient who is willing trust in the process,
I truly believe that anything is possible. This form of body work treat the totality of the individual, mind body and spirit , but the patient has to be willing to go where the work takes him/her.

To get a better understanding of the possibilities of this work from John, you may want to visit his website www.myofasicalrelease.com or check out he latest issue of Massage magazine. John's approach is currently being featured in a series of articles in Massage magazine. The first one was in the Dec 2006 issue and the next will be in the June issue (Oct will be the third). Hopefully , these articles can illustrate his prinicples well enough for all that are interested. Then there are always his seminars which are given all over North America.

I noticed on other threads people had issues with John's ads, smugness, seminar rates, seminar size, the renegade philosphy and the potential of unwinding itself. It really amuses me to read these comments. People will walk to John at his seminars and tell him that they had similar feelings and now after hearing him speak and being introduced to the work they have shifted. There were years that John was bashed consistently by his peers
and our professional organization, so it is natural that he adopted a renegade approach to deliverying what he felt was authentic healthcare.
He consistently will put himself out there to make a difference and that is what matters. You know, he has to be doing something right. I mean , he has trained well over 50,000 therapists in his approach and the demand for more seminars is greater than ever. His clinics continue draw patients from all over the world and favorable outcomes are always achieved.

I understand the value of asking other people opinions on different issues
before committing to take a seminar, but don't let a few negative comments deter you from experiencing the work first hand. Some people are always going to complain and focus on what they feel is the negative.
The work speaks for itself and John is a pretty amazing therapist, great guy and good friend.

Last point I would like to add it that in a previous thread a massage therapist voiced her displeasure about John teaching a women's health class to massage therapists, because they cannot do the work. I do not know what type of massage therapist she is or what knowledge she has about the course outline , but, in my opinion, she is selling her profession short by taking that stance. I have instructed in this class since John's first developed the seminar. There are numerous external techniques that are taught that an MT can utilize with their clients and eliminate pain and dysfunction. Yes, he also teaches internal techniques. There is personal and professional value to this seminar (as well as all his seminars) for those who participate in the education process. A number of Canadian massage therapists who have taken this seminar and have been able to demonstrate competency in this area of treatment, have gotten the massage governing laws in their provinces rewritten to allow them to now treat inside the pelvis. So , here are MTs to are learning new ways to apply their field of touch work and changing the legal system in which they operate. That is how change happens., a little at a time, but you got to stick with it. Just like John has done for the past 30 odd years.

OK, last, last point I want to add is about the comments made about seminar prices. Not sure what classes you are comparing his seminars to but are they similar in contact hours, content, and retake policy? John's seminars are usually 20 contact hours long, alot of other classes out there are shorter duration. Also there is a 50% discount on any class that one wants to repeat to get a deeper understanding of the work, do others offer that? Do other MFR or body work seminars really give you something that provides for the long lasting benefits that patients end up on your table looking for? We see so many patients and therapists at our facilities that have run the course of all types of bodywork and traditional healthcare with little or no lasting benefit. MFR can take you and your patients to levels of wellness and optimal health if you are willing to take the journey.

I hope I have not come off as smug , pushy or belittling your community.
Please do not read any of that into what I have attempted to share. I support you all in your efforts to enlighten eachother with your knowledge and passion for your professions. I have just tried to share the point of view of a therapist with 20yrs. of experience who has a daily initmate knowledge base of MFR , John Barnes and his centers. John and MFR have made profound effects on me personally and professionally that I would not trade for anything in the world. I became a therapist to help people in need. This work has supported me in fullfilling this personal mission. John taught me that I needed to help myself first. That was a hard concept to grasp initially, but when I let go of the struggle , the essence of the work began to flow and my patients really noticed and felt the difference. That is when I knew there was true value in this work.

If anyone is interested John also has a MFR Talk chat that is free to subscribe to also. Sign up is on his website and the community is comprised of practioners, patients, and lurkers.

Thanks for Reading,

Rob Maggio
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MFR WOW!

Postby Barbara on Wed May 09, 2007 6:45 pm

I am also a JFB MFR practitioner and have been doing the work full time for over 7 years.

Bliss wrote: But what experience do you have of long-term results? For example, have you treated anyone with frozen shoulder, whose shoulder was released permanently? Have you treated anyone with chronic low back pain whose pain disappeared? Have you been able to correct someone's forward-neck posture? Etc.

YES!!!! Even after just taking MFR I, little miracles became the norm in the treatment room. I was able to immediately use everything I learned in the first seminar and was also able to treat the whole body w/ the basics of mfr. Each additional seminar improved my skills and addressed my personal pain and tightness.

I used to get bummed when I would see someone one time....and they wouldn't come back. Living in a small town, I would eventually run into them or they would come in for another c/o and they would say that there original c/o never came back.

Did all of them unwind? No...often regional UWs (maybe their neck) or more often--emotions would come up. But w/ MFR most do leave w/
more body awareness and a sense of how everything in their body is connected...as well as, decreased pain and increased flexibility.

Hope this helps,
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Re: MFR WOW!

Postby pueppi on Fri May 11, 2007 6:09 am

goodtouch2 wrote:...belittling your community.


Welcome. I'm hoping you make it your community too. :)

That's the nice thing about boards like this, finding new people who go out of their way to try and help.

What a very informative first post.


Barbara wrote:I am also a JFB MFR practitioner and have been doing the work full time for over 7 years.


Wonderful! I am sure you'll be an asset to the boards. :)

I look forward to reading more from you!
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Postby BJB-LMP on Fri May 11, 2007 7:52 am

goodtouch2 wrote: A number of Canadian massage therapists who have taken this seminar and have been able to demonstrate competency in this area of treatment, have gotten the massage governing laws in their provinces rewritten to allow them to now treat inside the pelvis.

Seriously, where in Canada are RMTs performing internal pelvic techniques?


Also there is a 50% discount on any class that one wants to repeat to get a deeper understanding of the work, do others offer that?

This is a great policy. Just so you're aware, yes there are certainly other teachers who make similar offers -- Taya Countryman's SRT classes where the second "take" is 20% of the original price, and the third "take" is free.

Do other MFR or body work seminars really give you something that provides for the long lasting benefits that patients end up on your table looking for? We see so many patients and therapists at our facilities that have run the course of all types of bodywork and traditional healthcare with little or no lasting benefit.

OK, watch your step -- basically you just said that nothing but JFB MFR has lasting benefit for the client. I have no doubt that your modality does do this for many clients. Just don't even imply that nothing else does. We ALL see clients for whom we are the last stop on a long train of therapies that haven't worked for them. This is true for MTs, PTs, acupuncturists, surgeons, pharmacists, you name it. Everything works for somebody.


Please stick around and post more; obviously a lot of us are getting interested in this modality and others related to it. The more people who contribute to the discussion who actually do this work, the better. :)

(Thank you all for bearing with my so-far-unsuccessful attempts at the multi-quote . . .)
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Postby Rose of Sharon on Fri May 11, 2007 8:09 am

Totally agreeing with BJB-LMP, that most anything will work for *someone*, and nothing will work for everyone....no matter how sure the practitioner is. I learned just a little MFR in MT school, and I use and love what little I know. There are times that is my tool of choice. However, I do not work with a practitioner who believes only ONE thing will work, and that it will work for everything, and therefore sees no use for other tools, techniques, or practitioners.

I have learned a lot from these discussions, and I do hope they continue. I hope more experts in MFR come on board and post....and that all who have posted will continue. I am, however, understanding the reluctance of some to pursue JFB MFR. I haven't decided against it, but I do see a few red flags.

I've given up on the multiple quote, BJB...colorful posts are more fun, anyway! :oops:
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Postby goodtouch2 on Fri May 11, 2007 4:09 pm

BJB-LMP,

I will get back to you about which province MT are doing pelvic floor work, just don't have that information handy where I am right now. I believe it is Nanoose Bay Area

But, I thought this is an MFR thread?? Taya Countryman's website does not say that she does MFR and she has classes that vary from 3 hours to 12 hours. Don't you think comparing her class to the topic of this thread is like comparing apples to oranges? There are many MFR courses out there and many are 12-15 hours long, so people should understand that eventhough JFB classes are higher in cost, you are also getting more class content (20 hours is the norm for his professional classes). As previously stated, he offers a 50% discount for retaking classes. Not trying to say he is such a neat guy to do this, I was just making people aware of the fact that they may not be comparing similar courses, and if you not doing this, do your comparisions carry any validity?? For the record, any teacher that offers financial incentives to his/her students to continue to deepen their understanding of the work, rates high by my appraisal (if that is worth anything) Any bit helps.

I guess my statement about the lasting potential of MFR should have been preceded with "My view as a Physical Therapist with 20 years of clinical experience is that , when speaking about bodywork is...." So take out Phamacists and doctors because their licensure, practice acts, and abilities to diagnosis cannot be compared to ours, right? Besides, they do not do what we do , so why even bring them into the discussion? But in the world of body work and all the seminars I have taken , I have never seen anything that addresses the totality of the patient like the JFB approach does. Yes, everything may work for somebody ( I really do not believe in that statement), but to what level of "work" are you looking to achieve.
John states in his seminars repeatedly that all forms of body work have their place and value, that we need good therapists and doctors , surgeons, etc.. But when it comes to what I can offer a patient as a PT or MT , this form of therapy is the most comprehensive and effective choice out there. I am not going to bore you with all the seminars and classes I have taken, but I have experienced most of what is out there in the field of manual therapy.
Alot of manual courses out there are systematic and protocol driven in their approach. In my opinion, this limits you to just doing techniques and prevents true therapeutic artistry. To quote from Taya Countryman's website, "Understand the 3 structures that are culprits in thoracic outlet syndrome." This lets you think that only 3 areas can cause TOS, but we all know it can come from many, many other areas of the body. For years I was told when you have a TOS patient , look for an extra rib, scalenus anticus muscle or poor posture but even after addressing these areas, symptoms still persist.
John teaches find the pain and look elsewhere for the cause. After his seminars I started looking at the totality of the patient and started there. I broadening my scope , started balancing pelvises, opening dural tubes, intra-oral work, etc. Again, outcomes dramactically improved.

hope this clarifies my thoughts for you,

Rob
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Postby amypowerhands on Sun May 13, 2007 9:01 am

Really not too sure how much it helps to argue the validity of this modality. We could argue anything, if all we wanted to do was argue. We know better than to be judgemental of others experience and opinions. And we also all know that we are all human, and can word things in ways that we understand, but others percieve as negative.

I have real questions about the work itself, and not about its validity. I'm sure many others share my feelings. Thank you to everyone, sometimes we need to get it all out there in order to have meaningful discussion, I'm hoping this is one of those times.

One of those questions is this - Do you use arm and leg pulls? Do you experience fatigue while performing them? How do you handle it if you do? I am really having difficulty with this, as holding an isometric contraction makes me shake. It is of course made worse if I am dehydrated, but happens even when I'm plenty hydrated. It happens all over my body no matter what muscle is holding the isometric contraction. I am currently trying some nutritional supplementation and guidelines. I would appreciate any feedback, about how to maintain the pulls, or about shaking with isometric contractions. I will post the isometric contraction question in the techniqes forum also, if this is not the appropriate place for such a quesiton.
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Postby Breathe on Sun May 13, 2007 10:53 am

goodtouch2 wrote: There are many MFR courses out there and many are 12-15 hours long, so people should understand that eventhough JFB classes are higher in cost, you are also getting more class content (20 hours is the norm for his professional classes).


So if you find a class, (and there are many 20-22/hours in length,) that is the same length, are you still getting more class content? Apples to apples, just saying.

I guess my statement about the lasting potential of MFR should have been preceded with "My view as a Physical Therapist with 20 years of clinical experience is that , when speaking about bodywork is...." So take out Phamacists and doctors because their licensure, practice acts, and abilities to diagnosis cannot be compared to ours, right? Besides, they do not do what we do , so why even bring them into the discussion? But in the world of body work and all the seminars I have taken , I have never seen anything that addresses the totality of the patient like the JFB approach does.


In my less than 3 years as a bodyworker, I have seen clients make tremendous recoveries in modalities other than MFR. Does that mean that my experience and observation is less valid? PT/20years/clinical experience... while all excellent benchmarks of experience, are a bit of a logical fallacy (argument from authority.)


Yes, everything may work for somebody ( I really do not believe in that statement), but to what level of "work" are you looking to achieve.


Are you insinuating that the really deep "work" can only really come through MFR? Since you don't really believe that everything may work for somebody, are you insinuating that SRT or MAT, or NMT, etc could not possibly have the efficacy and totality of JFB MFR? Because that's what I get when I read your posts.

John states in his seminars repeatedly that all forms of body work have their place and value, that we need good therapists and doctors , surgeons, etc.. But when it comes to what I can offer a patient as a PT or MT , this form of therapy is the most comprehensive and effective choice out there.


More accurately stated, this is the most effective modality you can offer out of YOUR "toolbox." Or, again, are you insinuating that this is THE most comprehensive and effective manual therapy? period. full stop.

I am not going to bore you with all the seminars and classes I have taken, but I have experienced most of what is out there in the field of manual therapy.


There are many therapists who are enthusiastic about other modalities who likely have taken as many classes or seminars as you have. Again, logical fallacy of appealing to authority. "I've taken LOTS of classes, so I must be right."

Alot of manual courses out there are systematic and protocol driven in their approach. In my opinion, this limits you to just doing techniques and prevents true therapeutic artistry.


AHA! In your opinion... but talk to dedicated practitioners of other therapies, even protocol-driven ones, and they readily acknowledge that there is tremendous latitude for artistry, creativity and variation. It's just like cooking. You may follow a recipe to the letter, and one person's end product is a pretty good dinner, while the next person's is a work of art. Protocols are not mutually exclusive with "art."


To quote from Taya Countryman's website, "Understand the 3 structures that are culprits in thoracic outlet syndrome." This lets you think that only 3 areas can cause TOS, but we all know it can come from many, many other areas of the body. For years I was told when you have a TOS patient , look for an extra rib, scalenus anticus muscle or poor posture but even after addressing these areas, symptoms still persist.


Having not taken TC's classes, and only looked on her website, I'm not certain if this is an intentionally misleading generalization from you or not. IME, most classes tell you to first look at the most obvious potential causes for common syndromes. If that doesn't solve the mystery, they don't stop there. Every treatment in the world is like this. If a patient has pain in their leg, doesn't it make sense to look at the leg first? Isn't it a little nuts to start with the ear canal? I'd be surprised if TC stopped with only three causes if it doesn't provide a solution. Maybe someone who has taken the class could enlighten us. But pulling one sentence out of her site (and one sentence from a blurb on a one-day class no less,) is not representative. I suspect if you distilled one of JFB's classes into 2-3 short sentences, there would be quite a bit to take out of context or limit scope in that also.


John teaches find the pain and look elsewhere for the cause.


As has much of the (non-MFR) instruction I have taken.

After his seminars I started looking at the totality of the patient and started there. I broadening my scope , started balancing pelvises, opening dural tubes, intra-oral work, etc. Again, outcomes dramactically improved.


Same here, except with other modalities. And again, with dramatic effect for the patient.

I believe what some of us object to is the cult-like mentality that springs up in some of the followers of JFB-MFR. As with any exceptional instructor, there will be people who are admiring users of the technique, who have made special effort to take all of the available instruction. You see it with Rolfing, Upledger CST, and other well-known trademarked techniques. That's a good thing for our profession. What is not good is when a particular instructor gains such a cult following that their adherents infer things like "any modality can gain great results, (but not really, only this one.)" Or "This is the only technique that really addresses the WHOLE person."

As a bodyworker who chooses to use other techniques, an encounter with one of these technique adherents feels a bit like a pat on the head with the words "well, you're not REALLY a therapist, but I'm sure you're very nice."

I guess what I object to most strenuously in JFB-MFR is how some therapists come out of training with an entitled, superior, condescending attitude towards any therapist who goes a different route.

If it weren't for therapists like Mick, maestra and others, who take an enthusiastic, but reasonable view of MFR as an effective modality, but not the be-all/end-all of manual therapy, I would be inclined to completely dismiss this messiah of massage therapy as a charismatic tent revivalist.
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Postby amypowerhands on Mon May 14, 2007 5:36 am

Don't we always learn the effectiveness of a modality when we learn it? Don't we usually hear what makes that modality different than others? Don't we usually hear what makes that modality better than others? Why would anyone learn and try to master a modality if they thought it was only just as effective as another? Come on people, a little forgiveness and understanding goes a long way. This forum is starting to remind me of parenting politics or religion. It seems that some people are searching for quotes within other posts in order to pick apart, interpret and ridicule. I'm not sure this promotes open communication.
I think you're awesome if you use MFR (JFB or not), sometimes, all the time, or never. I have true respect for all of you, and all of your opinions, and I really thank those who have risked ridicule to share them. I want to learn as much as I can. I am not learning anything from pick-apart posts.
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Postby BJB-LMP on Mon May 14, 2007 5:44 am

Breathe wrote:
goodtouch2 wrote:To quote from Taya Countryman's website, "Understand the 3 structures that are culprits in thoracic outlet syndrome." This lets you think that only 3 areas can cause TOS, but we all know it can come from many, many other areas of the body. For years I was told when you have a TOS patient , look for an extra rib, scalenus anticus muscle or poor posture but even after addressing these areas, symptoms still persist.


Having not taken TC's classes, and only looked on her website, I'm not certain if this is an intentionally misleading generalization from you or not. IME, most classes tell you to first look at the most obvious potential causes for common syndromes. If that doesn't solve the mystery, they don't stop there. Every treatment in the world is like this. If a patient has pain in their leg, doesn't it make sense to look at the leg first? Isn't it a little nuts to start with the ear canal? I'd be surprised if TC stopped with only three causes if it doesn't provide a solution. Maybe someone who has taken the class could enlighten us.


On this specific point, I can, as I have taken her classes. (I was using them as an example of retake pricing, but since it's come up . . .) Of course Breathe is right, the TOS example pulled off the website is a way of showing that there are a few usual logical places to start looking at some named problems, but the reality of SRT work is "Meet the body where it is" and help from there. So, a formula maybe, as a way in, but just like any bodywork modality taught by a very experienced teacher/practitioner, the premise is to assume nothing and listen to the client's story and body. As it has with many MFR folks, this approach resonates with me and with all the teachers I have learned the most from.

goodtouch2 wrote:Also there is a 50% discount on any class that one wants to repeat to get a deeper understanding of the work, do others offer that? Do other MFR or body work seminars really give you something that provides for the long lasting benefits that patients end up on your table looking for?


These 2 sentences placed close together are what made me bring up my own favorite classes as an example -- of class-retake pricing policy. Rob asked above if "others" offer students a reduced price for retaking classes, it looked like he was referring to all types of bodywork classes as his next sentence mentioned them. I offered a generous retake-discount policy I knew of. Apparently he meant to ask about only other MFR teachers ("But, I thought this is an MFR thread??") -- even though the second sentence above branches far beyond MFR to include all bodywork modalities, and my answer to it is that of course other bodywork seminars have given me skills that take my clients to longlasting benefit. As to "what level of 'work' are you looking to achieve" -- not sure how that can be answered when the person posing the question seems to believe that MFR is the only way ANY client/practitioner pair can achieve something real, deep, and lasting. I'm glad you've found the modality that works best for your clients -- truly. I will point out that, just because other modalities didn't work in one bodyworker's practice, doesn't cancel the results others achieve.
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Postby StressSolutions on Mon May 14, 2007 6:22 am

amypowerhands wrote:One of those questions is this - Do you use arm and leg pulls?
Yes, even when doing a relaxation massage, I'll incorporate an arm pull. It may not last as long as during an MFR session, and, I must admit that my tiny room does not give a leg pull justice.

Do you experience fatigue while performing them? How do you handle it if you do? I am really having difficulty with this, as holding an isometric contraction makes me shake.
No....but I wonder if you are working too hard? This also could be a call to strrengthen yourself.

Soften your focus and feel...
Last edited by StressSolutions on Mon May 14, 2007 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby palpable on Mon May 14, 2007 6:51 am

StressSolutions wrote:
amypowerhands wrote:
Do you experience fatigue while performing them? How do you handle it if you do? I am really having difficulty with this, as holding an isometric contraction makes me shake.


No....but I wonder if you are working too hard? This also could be a call to


Or you could try this while in a seated position on a rolling stool.
Move on as quickly as you can to people who get you and what you do. -Robert Chute
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