Updated: Nov 4, 2019
The MFR 3 class I attended in Sedona Arizona last month was probably one of the most unique classes I had attended since starting my Myofascial Release journey with John F. Barnes almost 8 years ago. John has been teaching thousands of therapists Myofascial techniques for over 40 years. He is the absolute leading authority on Myofascial release techniques. This seminar was exclusively for Expert Level therapists. This gave us the opportunity to receive treatment from therapists that have amazing skills. Although we learned some new techniques the highlight was learning how to let go of beliefs that have prevented us from growing and living a fearless life. We shared our stories of what holds us back from achieving our goals, dreams and desires. In hearing other therapists stories, I heard the similarities in the journeys we have all traveled. We then used our stories to turn our thoughts into powerful transformations and practiced how to transform those thoughts by listening to our internal dialog which was different for each of us.
The eye opener for me was underneath those stories it showed how much we have been programmed by our family and our society. We fear not succeeding because we were told we will not. We have to do it this way, we have to listen to our teachers, parents and our doctors. We have to try harder, have goals and work hard to achieve them. But, rarely we were taught to go slow, relax or just take it easy, and that maybe we don't have to try so hard. Actually, when someone would say, "take it easy" I thought they were crazy and lazy.
Our fascia has responded to our stories and the stress making us stronger or weaker by holding onto rather than letting go of stress and tension. We developed protective reflexes around the belief systems that sustained our lives. Belief systems that controlled our thoughts and feelings and our ability to let go. Belief systems that are no longer necessary.
This may not speak to you entirely but keep reading you still may see the connection to your beliefs and what you feel in your body and understand the way you have turned into the person you are today. The competitive A-type personality, myself included, finds this to be undermining the mindset that supports our desire for growth. Yet, I have found through personal experience that if I just move slowly and be a little more flexible in my end range of movement the physical stress changes and I begin to see the results I really want. I hope we all want to feel good and move with a lightness and feeling of bounce in our step. After all the fascia provides that bounce and all we have to do is release the tension. It's that easy! Some of us workout so much thinking this is the right thing to do. Maintain strength, prevent bone loss gain more power for the sport we engage in. Yet we do not consider the three dimensional movement patterns and the everyday resistance of gravity. Every weight training movement, Pilates and Yoga too, only work in one or two planes at most. For those of you who play golf or tennis its a three-dimensional plane that occupies space at the same time. I'm not saying to throw it out, but consider there is a better way at most. Stop trying so hard and get out of your own way. Toss out the beliefs that you have to workout most days to stay in shape. Shape is three dimensional and it needs to resist gravity and have a bounce to protect us. Strength is not the end goal. Stretching is not cutting it either. We stretch to end range and force the stretch and are not understanding the process of letting go. We get frustrated with the results. We then have to rely on surgery to correct. It's really so easy that if we were taught this from an early age we would be incredibly strong and adaptable.
I cringe every time I see a new tool on the market to do self mfr techniques. The tools are getting harder and have more nobs by the day. The nobs even look like torture chamber devices and everyone says it hurts but yet they keep going. My first visit with every client I talk about how adaptable our fascia is. It responds to the stress we put on our bodies so it can protect us from harm. Using tools as hard as a lacrosse ball or using the rollers to roll over dehydrated and already injured tissue is telling the fascia to bear down more, hold on more because this is going to hurt.
Everyday we are resisting gravity and that force alone puts pressure on our pain sensitive areas, if you have had an injury or other strains that force gets magnified. The fascia can resist up to 10,000 pounds per square inch so it can protect us and yet when we try to stretch we force the stretch and the fascia will always wins. We work out hard, play hard and stretch hard. I believe that is why so many people get injured playing sports or working out. We have to let go of the tension first! We have to change the way we think. We have to get out of our own way.
Try this: Tighten all your muscles for a count of 3 then slowly let go, very slowly. Dot it again and tighten your diaphragm for a count of 3 then slowly let go. Feel the tension melt away. Imagine that the tension we feel while tightening our muscles is the accumulation of a lifetime of tension. All the times you experienced physical or emotional tension. That's a lot of tension for us to still be holding on to. It takes a skilled MFR therapist to release it as well as daily self treatment. There really is no other way unless you learned how to let go from an early age.
Next time I see you I want you to tell me how you get in your own way. We all do it. Its a common thread but lets try it another way. Change the dialog, stop repeating the same dam mistake. Take a few breaks during your day to check in on how you are feeling. You are certainly worth it and its so easy.