I will admit that I had no idea what myofascial release (MFR) was before I went on the course.  I also don’t think I have been as inspired or motivated after taking a course after this one.  I spent four days in Kemptville at the Kemptville Canine Center with 13 other physiotherapists and one vet tech.  I think all of our eyes were opened.  We were taught by Ruth Mitchell-Golladay, a physiotherapist from Texas who trained under John F. Barnes.

Fascia is the connective tissue that holds us together.  It surrounds every muscle, every cell, every blood vessel, organs, bone…you get the picture.  When our bodies are injured we develop restrictions in our fascia.  This means it hardens, does not stretch and places tension on other areas of the body.  Not sure what I mean?  Think of the shirt you are wearing.  If you pull down on one part, it has an effect on other areas of the shirt, not just where you are pulling.

OK.  So that makes sense right?  If something is tight we want to loosen it.  Physios do that all the time.  But it’s the HOW that makes it so different and why it can be so great in dogs when we can’t explain to them why we are doing something to them that hurts for them to feel better.  MFR involves light touch.  No digging in required.  And the fascia tells my hands where to go.  Does it sound like I’m playing with the Ouija board here?  I honestly wouldn’t have believed that this works unless I had used it on someone else or had it done to me.  The treatment has no time limit…the fascia lets us know when its done.

The other thing that blows my mind is that our cells hold emotions.  Please don’t run away thinking I’m crazy!  Our cells have a memory.  And I hate the term muscle memory because our cells don’t have brains but here I am talking like a crazy person.  Now I don’t know enough to truly explain the science (Molecules of Emotion by Candace B. Pert, PhD is on my reading list so I can learn more), but we were told some pretty wild experiences of people and animals who had MFR treatment…

  • a horse who re-experienced giving birth and came out of her depression later that day.  She had previously given birth to a stillborn and was not eating and the owners thought they would have to euthanize
  • a woman who had been sexually abused and had blocked out who the abuser was, relived her experience during the treatment and was able to unlock who it was

I’m a day late from Halloween so I hope it doesn’t sound like a trick.  If you have questions and want to know more or you think your pet could benefit from these techniques please get in touch.


If you missed my Facebook post about trying some MFR on my dog, here’s the pictures.  I did an ear pull technique.  Look at her eyes in the close up…pretty neat!