JFB-MFR is a very gentle form of therapy. The client will be lying on a table for most of the 50 minutes. It is ideal for the client to be dressed in no more than soft shorts and a tank top and/or bra if female, shorts if male. I do not cover the client as a rule, because it is ideal for me to see the entire body while I am working: I am able to see postural anomalies, movement, vasodilation and other activity that gives me important information on where I might need to treat next. However, if the client is easily chilled or conservative in nature, more clothing is allowed, and you may bring a blanket. This is not ideal, but it is understandable.
This therapy is very gentle and is NOT massage. My hands usually do not move on the body. Occasionally I will need to perform myofascial mobilization, but even that is gentle and slow. Each hold is at least 5 minutes long, and this can seem very strange at first. Often clients wonder what I am even doing. However, it will not take long for you to feel what I am doing. JFB-MFR is not aggressive and should never hurt more than a therapeutic (hurts-so-good) kind of way. The client is actively involved in the therapy session, giving feedback when it hurts or if pain is being triggered elsewhere in the body. Otherwise, the sessions are typically quiet, allowing the client to feel what is happening. Because the fascial system is connected to and managed by your autonomic nervous system, hard, fast or aggressive work will trigger you into a bit of fight/flight, where the fascial system actually tightens up in preparation to fight or run. This is counterproductive. The slow and gentle technique of JFB-MFR allows the therapist to calm the fascial system, dropping it into rest/restore mode. When this happens, the fascia loosens (it feels like melting), allowing muscles to flex and work properly, joints to return to optimal alignment, nerves, veins and lymph to work properly, and organs to work more optimally.
When the fascial system lets go and softens into rest mode, it begins to let go of old holding patterns stuck in your body's muscle memory that cause pain, like forward neck posture, asymmetrical hips, or shoulders that are elevated and internally rotated. Most clients are very surprised to note that they are sore (this can be mild to pretty significant) the evening after a session. The reason for such surprise is due to how gentle the therapy is. The cause of the of the soreness is usually a combination of muscles and bones shifting back into alignment and the body detoxing at the cellular level. Once the body's own healing has been facilitated, it can continue to realign and heal for as much as 48 hours. Gentle movement, lots of water, and a sea salt or Epsom salt bath help tremendously.
Often during a session, the client begins to thaw out or to unwind. Thawing looks much the same across clients: the body will begin to shake (as if cold, though you are not) and jerk around as the fascial system navigates letting go. This is the system releasing its tightness, and can be isolated to the area being treated or be across the entire body. At first, thawing is surprising and can be unnerving. However, it is an integral part of JFB-MFR and is evidence that your body has begun the process of self-healing. The more a client can let this happen, the better and deeper the release. Unwinding can look like so many different things! Maybe an arm goes to moving on its own. Maybe the neck. sometimes the whole body will move around. It is a strange sensation at first, and the client will often think that I am moving them. I never move the body in such ways, it is counterproductive. But if your body starts moving, I will keep hold, guard and protect it during that process. Like thawing out, unwinding is very self-healing and is your body's way of helping me help it. Sometimes it is as simple as stretching or coughing. Sometimes it is crying (JFB-MFR will release a lot of stuck emotion if there is stuck emotion).
This is quite a bit of information regarding what a session will look like, and it is not enough. This therapy is a lived experience and is best understood through experience. In order to get ahead of the holding patterns and facilitate the most expedient healing process, it is ideal to begin therapy at 2 sessions a week at the least. There are some exceptions to this and I address them on a case-by-case basis. 3-5 sessions weekly for at least 2 weeks is an option and a good one. Most people do not have the time or the money to do that, but it will get you a good long way toward healing to commit at that level. Any more questions can be addressed in your first session (that is usually a very talkative session).
I am adept at traditional Occupational therapy as well, and will often recommend stretches, exercises, or equipment that will aid in self-treatment and healing. These will be designed for the patient to continue doing indefinitely, as our bodies always require maintenance to keep functioning optimally. I know ergonomic strategies in the office and at home to minimize further joint and muscle damage, and we will address these issues as the need arises. Sometimes we will take 10-15 minutes of a session to go through stretches or exercises in order for me to ensure the client is performing them correctly.