Who is John Barnes? | Release Works of Salt Lake
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Who Is John Barnes?

Who is John Barnes? John Barnes (R) and myself (L)

If you’re familiar with English football, you could be forgiven for thinking John Barnes is a sports pundit, New Order backup singer, and ex-Liverpool and Newcastle United “football” (aka soccer) player.

He is, of course, so if that’s who you’re looking for – you might want to try the Liverpool FC Hall of Fame for further information. But for the purposes of this article, we’re talking about the renowned physical therapist and founder of the Myofascial Release Approach®, John F Barnes.

Have you heard of him?

John F Barnes is a trailblazer in the field of manual therapy, including physical and massage therapy. He has been successfully treating patients and relieving their chronic pain using his renouned Myofascial Release Approach® since 1960 (over half a century).

John is the director, owner, and chief therapist of two myofascial treatment centers; Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona, Arizona; and the “Sanctuary” in Malvern, Pennsylvania.  He’s also written two books. These include Myofascial Release Healing Ancient Wounds: The Renegade’s Wisdom and Myofascial Release: The Search For Excellence.

He gets more than a mention in Dr. Ginevra Liptan’s book The FibroManual: A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide For You and Your Doctor and Joyce Karnis Patterson’s book entitled Comprehensive Myofascial Self Treatment. Dr. Liptan says, when talking about the Myofascial Release Approach®, that it is:

“by far the most effective treatment I have found to reduce fibromyalgia pain.”

John F Barnes’ patented Myofascial Release Approach® is one of the most effective therapeutic treatments available. Here are just a few of the conditions we can treat using the John F Barnes MFR approach:

  • Lower back pain
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus
  • Pelvic pain
  • Women’s health issues
  • Urinary stress incontinence
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain and frozen shoulder
  • Spinal Scoliosis or curvature of the spine
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Neuropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Muscle spasms
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)

The length of treatment varies depending on the condition you present with and how serious it is. If, for example, you’ve been in pain for a long time, it might take us a little longer to resolve the issues than someone who has only been in pain for a couple of weeks.

But in all cases, Myofascial Release Therapy is gentle and safe and produces consistent and lasting results for patients in John’s clinics and right here in our own Release Works clinic in Salt Lake City.

Aside from treating patients from around the world at his two “brick and mortar” Myofascial Release Treatment Centers, John lectures internationally as an author and well-recognized authority on Myofascial Release. To date, John has trained more than 100,000 therapists and physicians on the Myofascial Release Approach® during his long and illustrious career. 

He is one of the most influential individuals in specialized physical and manual therapies. He is on the editorial advisory board for Massage Magazine, is a regular contributor to the magazine, and has been featured in their article ” Stars of the Century”.

John is on the council of advisors for the American Back Society (ABS), and has been the keynote speaker at symposiums organized by the ABS for over a quarter of a century.

These symposiums reach comprise orthopedic surgeons, therapists, psychiatrists, neurosurgeons, and TMJ professionals who are at the cutting edge of medical advances in healthcare across the country.

The John F Barnes the Myofascial Release Approach® works on the fascia. The fascia, or myofascia as it’s sometimes called, is a connective, 3-layer web of living tissue (it’s alive with highly sensitive nerve endings and intricate networks of blood vessels).

Myofascial Release

It encases EVERYTHING inside the human body. It wraps around our organs, bones, ligaments, tendons, fingers, toes, tongue, eyeballs, and skull. Everywhere you can imagine.

There isn’t anywhere in the body that isn’t connected by fascia – including the skin. Without fascia, your skin would slide off. One of the fascia’s significant functions inside the body is protection.

It protects the skin, deeper muscles, and connective tissue from invasive bacteria. It protects the joints from twisting right off and helps cushion them from impact injuries.

It even prevents falls and collisions by sending sensory and spatial messages to and from the brain to inform it about the environment. It’s clever stuff. But fascia doesn’t always get everything right.

Sometimes it overshoots and produces too much scar tissue, heals and stabilizes joints too much, or adapts to chronic stress by holding the shoulders in a position of tension because that’s all it’s known for so long.

But this overshooting is when the problems start, and restrictions and areas of dehydrated tissue and rigidity begin to form.

These restrictions then restrict blood flow, oxygen, and lymphatic drainage to create the perfect storm for chronic pain and so-called myofascial pain syndromes, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue-like symptoms. In this situation, myofascial release is the answer.

But what’s so special about the Myofascial Release Approach® taught by John F Barnes?

John Barnes Myofascial Release

In short, his method is the original and the best.

But first, we should point out that many manual therapists (including physical therapists, massage therapists, and aestheticians) adopt the term “myofascial release” as a fancy (but inaccurate) way to describe massaging out “muscle knots.”

They advertise this type of service as part of their treatments, but it’s misleading. It’s misrepresentative of what they’re offering because you can’t just massage away restrictions in your myofascia. It’s much more complex than that.

So, when we refer to “Myofascial Release Therapy,” we mean true Myofascial Release as taught by the John F Barnes Myofascial Release Approach®.

The John F Barnes approach to myofascial release is – in our opinion, and many of our patients – the most effective therapeutic treatment available, and it uniquely treats the mind and physical body in tandem. In contrast, traditional physical therapy and other methods treat the physical symptoms in isolation.

But Myofascial Release Therapy works on a more holistic, more profound level to reduce pain and increase mobility and function. It alleviates the symptoms of chronic stress, burnout, and emotional trauma by addressing rigidity in the totality of the human being, including both the mind and the body.

The results can be revolutionary. Especially if you’ve been given a diagnosis for Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and have been unable to find relief from any other type of treatment.

The standard Western Medicine treatment protocols for such patients and others suffering from many types of chronic pain are palliative in nature – treating symptoms and pain with heavy painkillers or steroid injections without treating the root cause of the pain and discomfort.

Consequently, many patients only get temporary relief without any significant improvement through conventional medicine. But that’s where the Myofascial Release Approach® revolutionizes patients’ lives.

How Can The John Barnes Myofascial Release Approach® Benefit Me? 

John F Barnes Myofascial Release Approach®

Unlike other therapists, we’re able to locate and treat the root cause. This unique ability allows us to relieve your pain using our hands and our highly trained proprioceptive senses, which is a catalyst to kick-starting the healing process you already possess within you.

What we’re doing is supporting your body’s innate capacity for healing. It might sound too good to be true and like a fantastical alternative therapy with no basis in real science.

But in the same way, acupuncture was once dismissed due to a lack of funding and peer-reviewed studies. Finally, the scientific community is catching up. They’re beginning to study and confirm what John F Barnes and many others have been reporting for years: a restricted myofascial system leads to inflammation and pain.

So, when these restrictions are “released,”: symptoms magically disappear.  Except it isn’t magic.

It’s an everyday reality for John F Barnes and the therapists he has trained, along with our delighted patients who have struggled with chronic pain for months, years, and sometimes even decades.

They’ve put their lives on hold, given up careers, and suffered from anxiety, agoraphobia, and depression because of their pain issues. T the Myofascial Release Approach® gives them their lives and a decades-younger-flexible body back.

We successfully treat patients from all corners of Utah and beyond using the John F Barnes Myofascial Release Approach®, often when traditional physical therapy, surgery, massage, or medication have failed. It’s not magic, of course. But it’s close – that’s what our patients tell us anyway – and it’s our patients that guide everything we do.

If Myofascial Release Therapy didn’t work, we’d be out of business very quickly. But, instead, patients have been coming to us for over a decade, and John F Barnes and others have been treating patients since the 1960s. All with glowing testimonials from pain-free patients.

So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to get out of pain and achieve genuine healing and long-lasting results?

Ready for positive change? Book your appointment here.

Still not sure? We offer all new patients a complimentary 30-minute consultation either on the telephone or at our Salt Lake City Myofascial Release clinic, to explore the best way forward for your specific set of symptoms and explain how we would approach your treatment – all before any financial investment on your part, so there are zero risks.

Michael Sudbury LMT

Michael Sudbury LMT

Michael has been in pursuit of uncommon wisdom practically since the day he was born. This has led him through many twists and turns, questioning philosophies and excelling in school only to drop out near the end, abandoning career paths. He has a scientific mind but has come to understand that life and love require artistry, not facts, figures, and protocols. In his pursuit of true therapeutic artistry, Michael has trained extensively with the creator of The John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach®, John Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB (a therapist and teacher of the highest caliber) and has been an assistant instructor in his seminars.