Monday, June 20, 2005

John Barnes on Myofascial work

Studies have shown that during periods of trauma, people sustain indelible imprints that have high levels of emotional content. The body can hold information below the conscious level as a protective mechanism, so these memories tend to become dissociated. Memories are state and position dependent and can therefore be retrieved when the person is in a particular state or position. The information is not available in the normal, conscious state, and the body’s protective mechanisms keep us away from the positions that our mind/body awareness construes as painful or traumatic.

It has been consistently demonstrated that when a myofascial release technique takes the tissue to a significant position, or when myofascial unwinding allows a body part to assume a significant position three-dimensionally in space, the tissue not only changes and improves, but also raises memories, associated emotional states and belief systems to the conscious level. This awareness allows the individual to grasp the previously hidden information that may be creating or maintaining symptoms or behavior that deter improvement. With the information now at a conscious level, the individual is in a position to learn what holding or bracing patterns have impeded progress. This release of the tissue, emotions and hidden information creates and environment for change that is both conscious and effective.

The therapist, using the myofascial unwinding process, acts as a facilitator, following the body’s inherent motions. When a significant position is attained, the craniosacral rhythm will shut down to a still point. During the still point, a reversible amnesia surfaces, replaying all of the emotional states that occurred during a past traumatic event. This dissociation, or reversible amnesia, is a “double-conscious” state. In other words, what is learned or remembered at the time of trauma is dependent on the psycho-physiologic state of the individual at the time of the experience. The block between the conscious and subconscious minds is the source of many poor or temporary therapy results.

Myofascial release and myofascial unwinding bring the tissue or body part into a position that allows the individual to be aware of his or her divided consciousness. Reactivating the conditions and the resulting physiologic responses during which trauma was acquired through this flashback phenomenon allow for the patient’s conscious awareness. The patient then has the option to change.

Myofascial release and myofascial unwinding techniques relieve excessive pressure on pain-sensitive structures that produce pain and limit full, fluid motion. These techniques also reeducate the central nervous system for new movement possibilities.

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