Yoga for Myofascial Release: A Visionary's Guide to Healing from Within - Interview with John F. Barnes

Eva Norlyk Smith

John F. Barnes, dubbed the “Father of Myofascial Release” has been one of the most influential people in the therapeutic massage profession for the greater part of five decades. He recently sat down with us to share how he came to discover the highly effective body therapy technique we now call Myofascial Release.

In this first video in a series of four, John discusses what led to the discovery of his Myofascial Release technique.  After a traumatic weightlifting training injury, Barnes was left in excruciating pain and unable to move easily. He had been seen by numerous doctors, PTs and massage therapists, to no avail. Barnes decided he needed to ditch the conventional therapy modalities, and instead began developing new techniques that were effective long-term. He worked intuitively, listening to his body’s response to different kinds of touch and pressure. Soon, he realized he must be working with the myofascial system, fostering healing on a much deeper level of the body than any previous therapy technique he had worked with.


As Barnes was discovering new ways of working with his own pain, his intuitive sense of the body deepened, and eventually, be began implementing these new techniques in his work as a P.T. and bodyworker. This led to the founding of the Myofascial Release Approach, one of the most successful and influential approaches to bodywork of our time.

Click here to listen to the other videos in the series

John F. Barnes Interview, Part II: What Facilitates Myofascial Release

John F. Barnes Interview, Part III: The Different Components of Myofascial Release: Rebounding and Unwinding

John F. Barnes Interview, Part IV: A Yoga Approach to Myofascial Release—Unwinding and Rebounding