Self Treatment is an essential part of your MFR healing journey.
John Barnes recommends daily shorter sessions (no less than 5 minutes) and longer week-end sessions (at least half an hour). Self treatment is how you reinforce in your structure that, yes, I really want these changes in my body. I often say "Your body is always the result of what you have done with it so far". The body of a marathon runner is very different than that of a coach potato or a wrestler. Everyone understands that. The same is true for going through treatment and getting rid of restrictions.
Self treatment can be as simple as placing a small ball under your buttocks and "melt" over it for 5 minutes or as complex as a full self unwinding with all kinds of movement and expression. You can use your hands, positioning, a foam roll, different sizes balls, a sacrowedgy, etc.
Your therapist will teach you self treatment as you go through treatment sessions. As with everything else: the more you do it, the better you get at it.
There are books to guide you too:
Joyce Patterson, PT - "Comprehensive Myofascial Self Treatment".
And my book "Myofascial Release for Women's Health Self Care" at www.womenselfcare.net
This video is by Aaron LeBauer, PT showing how to work with a ball:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-XYy0jTcUc&feature=youtu.be and with aTheracane:http://youtu.be/ASsIQpBCwHU
Scott van Niekerk, PT with the foam roll:
Jeannette has created a simple YouTube channel with videos similar to the online (Zoom) sessions she provides organized via Meetup. Videos are being added on a regular basis.
This guide is organized as follows:
In section 1, we begin with basic information about MFR, the pelvis, the pelvic floor muscle (PFM), and PFM exercises.
In section 2, we explore Barnes MFR self-care. We begin with techniques for various parts of the body that most affect the pelvic region and then focus on specific pelvic area release techniques. We start with external pelvic techniques, followed by internal techniques.
In the Appendix, you will find the author’s story, a monthly journal worksheet, a list of sample self-care sessions, a reading checklist, a technique list, and a list of resources.
AVAILABLE AT www.womenselfcare.net
After 22 years of working as a “regular” physical therapist, I learned pelvic physical therapy and then 3 years later started learning the John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach® (Barnes MFR). Since then, my career and personal life completely changed for the better. I started to feel that I wanted to share my story and what I learned on this wonderful journey by writing a book, but did not know what kind of book it would be. I also had a very busy Barnes MFR practice that kept me from working on it until I moved from Florida to Oregon and had more time. On top of that, COVID-19 arrived and brought my life to a screeching halt. I used much of the extra time to do self-treatment. I did a lot more internal pelvic work. I found that I was doing things that are not in any book or guide. I suddenly knew what my writing would be: a sharing with the women of the world of everything I had learned in the past 12 years. Along with sharing a lot of practical information, I would also be offering a guide which demonstrates how to do both external and internal self-treatment of the pelvis.
Barnes MFR is often the missing link in work aimed at reducing pain and restoring movement, strength, function and a feeling of well-being. Barnes MFR is very different from the usual practices of massage or mainstream manual therapy in physical therapy. Self-care is an essential part of your MFR healing journey.
It is my sincere wish that women will become empowered with a deeper understanding of their body, with more appreciation for what is “down there”, as well as an ability to better understand and interpret information they receive about their body from other providers. Our bodies possess an innate ability to self-correct and heal and by sharing my life’s work, I’d like to show women of all ages how using their hands and attention, they can have healthier pelvises, abdomens, and breasts by using more preventative self-care and treatment methods. I hope that many people will understand that healing begins with self-love. And self-love includes being able to take time to practice self-care.
Jeannette Zyderveld, PT