Mermaid Fascial Freedom™

Emily Estes, LPTA, LMT and co-owner of Wild Grace Wellness Center, LLC, has created a new modality! It is called Mermaid Fascial Freedom™ and it expands the work of her mentor and teacher, John Barnes, PT, creator of Myofascial Release Approach©. Using specialized equipment, Emily has created ways of safely floating patients in the 94-degree therapy pool at Wild Grace and employing Barnes’ MFR techniques to create amazing results!

In February, 2016 John Barnes endorsed Emily to offer and teach Mermaid Fascial Freedom™. We are extremely honored to receive his endorsement and very excited to offer Mermaid Fascial Freedom™ to our clients at Wild Grace Wellness Center, LLC!

To begin a Mermaid Fascial Freedom™ session, we start with a brief standing postural assessment on the pool steps in our beautiful, warm indoor pool room. Then the client enters the delicious, 94-degree saltwater therapy pool, either by the stairs or the hydraulic lift. Special neoprene leg floats designed for aquatic bodywork are wrapped around each leg, just below the knees. New, silicone ear plugs are offered and fitted to sensitive ears that do not like to get wet. Then, a soft, supportive fabric float is placed under the neck and the client leans back and floats with the therapist assisting and keeping them safe at all times.

Floating in warm water is deeply relaxing and therapeutic. The properties of warm water such as hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy help create changes in the body that alleviate edema, pain and create improvements in range of motion. Lasting pain relief is possible when immersion in warm water is combined with Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach© techniques. A Mermaid Fascial Release™ session generally lasts an hour and provides a 3-dimensional, hands-on treatment to many areas of the body.

MFR techniques involve the precise application of sustained pressure into the client’s body by the therapist. The sustained pressure, between 3 to 5 minutes, creates powerful phenomena: piezoelectricity, mechano -transduction, phase transition and ultimately resonance and release. The end result is the rehydration of the fascial matrix, the return of fluids through the ground substance and the release of crushing pressure off sensitive structures. The patient feels relief and can begin to return to full function.

John Barnes, PT, developed MFR 50 years ago to address his own severe back pain that was not resolved with surgical intervention. He knew first hand that scar tissue from his back surgery, along with multiple sports injuries over time, had turned his body to stone. He was lead by divine intervention and superior intellect to begin applying pressure to the areas that were painful and restricted. He was amazed that something so simple gave him tremendous relief! He realized then that the importance of fascia had been overlooked in Western Medicine. Thus, he began his lifelong study of fascia and its role in human health and developed his unique and powerful hands-on approach to healing, Myofascial Release.

Fascia, or connective tissue, is made up of collagen, elastin and ground substance. It connects all the cells of the body together in a 3-dimensional spider web. Collagen and elastin act as shock absorbers and provide structure, along with providing the body its ability to stretch and recoil. Healthy ground substance is a gel-like substance that transports water, proteins and sugars to all the cells of the body. When fascia is damaged, the ground substance loses its fluidity and solidifies. Damaged ground substance places up to 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure on delicate nerves, blood vessels, organs, muscles and bones. This crushing pressure causes pain and dysfunction.

Modern science is finally catching up to John Barnes!

  1. In 2015, French hand surgeon, Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau, published a new book Architecture of Human Living Fascia. Using a digital, endoscopic video camera on live human tissues, Dr. Giumberteau has demonstrated the vital importance of the fascial system. His key discovery is how living matter is organized within a continuous fibrillar network and how this network permits simultaneous mobility, absorption of forces and sliding and dividing while having no effect on surrounding tissues. This beautifully photographed and illustrated book reveals our inner structures: polyhedral microvacuoles which contain liquids under pressure, the observable evidence of tensegrity , millions of fibers in a network of apparent chaos yet organized in “fractal” patterns.
  2. At the Fascial Congress in Washington, DC in 2015, researchers revealed that sustained pressure greater than 5 minutes into the human body creates the production of Interlukin 8, the body’s natural cancer fighting agent.
  3. Dr. Gerald Pollack, an expert in fluid dynamics, has discovered a fourth phase of water that is liquid crystalline in nature. Dr. Pollack’s work confirms that this fourth phase of water resides in the human being and is most likely found in the fascial system. Dr. Pollack supports the importance of treating the fluid aspect of the fascial system with hands-on pressure.
  4. After 30 years of research, one of Germany’s leading scientists, Dr. Alfred Pischinger, reports that the fascial system is the environment of every cell of the human body. Of the trillions of cells in a human body, only the fascial system is capable of communicating with all of them. And it communicates at speeds millions of times faster than a human nerve cell. Not to mention all nerve cells are surrounded by fascia!