Amy Danielson, OTR/L Myofascial Release

Amy Danielson, OTR/L, has attended all John Barnes myofascial release courses, some of them multiple times, and is an expert-level practitioner.  

Shari Niemela, OTR/L, has taken multiple courses from John Barnes and has over 20 years of bodywork experience.  Shari is a skilled therapist and also provides myofascial release at Therapy Works.

Myofascial release is typically covered by insurance companies. We recommend that you call your insurance and ask if Myofascial release is a covered service. If you have coverage for Myofascial release, you will need an order for occupational therapy. Please contact your physician and ask them to fax an order for OT to Therapy Works at 320.229.4071.

John F Barnes Myofascial Release

John F. Barnes, PT, is the founder and leading world expert on myofascial release.  He has two clinics in the Unites States in Malvern, PA and Sedona, AZ.  John travels extensively and has trained thousands of therapists on myofascial release.

The goal of myofascial release is to help people return to pain free lifestyles.  Myofascial release can help people who are experiencing or have been diagnosed with back pain, neck pain, headaches/migraines, pelvic pain, Fibromyalgia, painful scars, neurologic dysfunction, TMJ, Sciatica, infertility issues and a variety of women’s health issues.

Myofascial Release

Our whole body is connected through our fascial system.  Our fascial system is a web of tissue that spans from the top of our head to the tips of our toes and circles and weaves through our blood vessels, organs, bones and muscles.  The fascial system in our bodies can be compared to an orange; our skin is the peel and our fascia is the white part of the orange, found in between, through and around all slices.

People who have experienced injuries may need structural myofascial release to lengthen tissue and return the fascia to its normal, fluid and dynamic state.  A normal functioning fascial system allows for free movement with hydrated tissue.  An abnormally functioning system is being pulled into restrictions and fluid cannot reach inside the tissue and fascia.

When we experience a traumatic event, we often times dissociate and pull out of our bodies because the pain is too much to handle.  When we dissociate, we leave a print of that injury or event in our body; it becomes held in our tissue as memories and in our subconscious.  Our bodies and our minds are constantly suppressing these memories, causing pain and/or a variety of emotional issues, such as anxiety and depression on a daily basis.  When we hold events or memories in our subconscious, our bodies form restrictions.  Restrictions can apply up to 2,000 pounds of force per square inch into that area of your body.  Often times, it is not until our bodies are in pain that we attend to ourselves.  Commonly we have to look outside of the area of pain and find an underlying cause.  Myofascial release treatment frees the structural restrictions and emotions we carry with them. When these events or emotions are being held in our subconscious, we are not aware that they are affecting our body.  John Barnes says “without awareness, there is no choice”.  During myofascial release treatment, the therapist may be working on a part of your body and a past memory or emotion may emerge.  This brings about awareness; when you have awareness of an event or emotion, you are now able to make a choice of how to handle it.

Myofascial Unwinding

When we experience negative events and emotions and our bodies dissociate, we can create subconscious holding patterns.  During unwinding, our bodies must get into positions of past trauma, at the point in which we dissociated, which will allow you to fully move through the event and emotions associated with it.  When a person unwinds, it allows the tissues to release the memories, emotions and subconscious holding patterns associated with it.

Everybody’s life experiences and bodies are different, therefore, everybody’s journey will be different.  Therapists are present to guide and support patients, however, you have to be ready to release the restrictions and to deal with the emotions that are lying underneath.  Therapy will only go as far as you want and allow it to go.  If you allow your body to release, you will find true, authentic healing.


  1. For more information on myofascial release, visit John Barnes’ website at  There are a number of resources on John’s website, including articles on myofascial release, as well as his DVDs and books.  John’s book Healing Ancient Wounds talks about his journey and the authentic healing of myofascial release.
  2. Cathy Covell, PT wrote A Patient’s Guide to Understanding John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release.  It is available on her website:
  3. Another good book was written by Phil Tavolacci, MSPT, PT titled What’s in Your Web: Stories of Fascial Freedom.