Equine Myofascial Release
John Barnes Method Accredited at Motion For Life.
Level 2 Pracitioner
Certified Level 2 Equine Myofascial Release Therapist.
Because Myofascial Release is much different than a massage, it can be difficult to finish a session in just one hour. The therapy, at times, looks like nothing is going on. But you usually will see some astounding reactions from the horse.
Prepare your horse for Myofascial Release, the same way as for a massage.
Groomed clean, in a flat halter and put on the Back On Track Sheet or blanket if you have one (30 minutes ahead of time is ideal, but any amount of time you can get one on them, will start to loosen muscles and make them more ready).
In order to get fascia to release, I may stay very still and quiet for an extended period of time, a minimum of 3-5 minutes per area sometimes 10-12 minutes per area. With MFR it is better to work fewer places for a longer period of time, rather than many places for a short time. I will be quiet and holding still. Feeling for the restriction to release with a very light touch, (squished fascia will not release) and then work down to the next restriction, in the same area.
MFR is different from a massage appointment in that:
While after one of my massages it is best to work the horse, after MFR Therapy the horse should rest and let the Myofascial experience sink in. After a Myofascial Release session I recommend that you limit your horse to gentle grooming or maybe hand walk, hand graze.
Or just let the horse go to his pasture or stall to chill.
Myofascial Release..........$65.00 first hour
$15.00 each additional 15 minutes
More about MFR Below
What is Fascia?
A good visual representation of fascia is how the cut orange shows all the white tissue that is under the skin. Then at the next level each section is contained within a tough fibrous wall that forms the section. At the next level, each of those elongated, football shaped cells are also contained within a wall of tougher fiber. Without those structures, an orange would just be a ball full of orange juice. This system of fibers is like the fascial system in a living body. The body needs those structures of fascia or it would just be a skin full of liquids.
Fascia is tough connective tissue which spreads throughout the body in a three dimensional web from head to hoof. The fascia surrounds and interpenetrates every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and organ down to the cellular level.
The tightening of the fascial system is a protective mechanism that responds to trauma by tightening up to protect. The trauma may arise from an acute injury like a tendon strain or as a result of surgery, chronic compensation, or repetitive training techniques. Fascia tension can also be a result of emotional trauma. They way we or our horses get tight and tense when under emotional stress. Fascia loses its pliability, becomes restricted, and is a source of tension to the rest of the body.
Tight fascia restricts blood flow, thus oxygen, nutrients and restricts the outflow of toxins.
What is MFR good for?
Can any horse benefit from Myofascial Release?
Yes, especially those with:
● A history of chronic lameness, injuries or surgeries
● Decreased performance with no diagnosed problem
● Decreased range of motion
● Pain sensitive areas/trigger points
● Irritability/unwillingness to work
Myofascial Release can be healing to very old injuries. Injuries you may not be aware the horse has suffered.
The release can go very deep after just a few sessions.
How does myofascial release fit in with my horse’s current veterinary care?
Myofascial release is an adjunct therapy to your current veterinary care. Using a team approach can help keep your horse in optimum condition.
When observing Myofascial Release Therapy, you may see very little going on, outwardly. MFR is a soft and slow therapy. If the fascia is held down too tight it won't release and the minimum amount of time to spend on one spot is 3-5 minutes, with longer being better. The release technique is most effective, if fewer areas are worked for longer periods of time.
What you should see is, your horse relaxing and you may observe a lot of yawning, sighing, chewing and blinking of the eyes.
“We canʹt solve the problem on the level of the problem” John Barnes PT