Myofascial Release for endometriosis pain

The Cleveland Clinic reports that endometriosis affects the lives of at least 5.5 million women in North America.

by Maria G. Troia — 

Endometriosis can be debilitating, causing severe pelvic and low back pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, bowel pain and dysfunction, as well as infertility. The Cleveland Clinic reports that endometriosis affects the lives of at least 5.5 million women in North America. This source also reports that approximately 30 percent to 40 percent of women with this condition are infertile, making endometriosis among the top three causes of infertility in women.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory process which creates abnormal growth of tissue outside the uterus, attaching to other structures in the pelvis, including the ovaries, intestines, rectum and bladder. In extreme cases, this tissue buildup can even reach beyond the pelvic cavity.

Allopathic treatment may include pharmaceutical drugs for pain or to slow the growth of the endometrial tissue. Surgery to remove the endometrial tissue is sometimes performed. When these methods are not effective, sometimes a complete hysterectomy is suggested to remove both the uterus and ovaries. In rare cases, however, endometrial tissue can grow back — even after a complete hysterectomy.

The John Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release (MFR) offers a different view of the condition: a noninvasive, awareness-based, compassionate, body-mind approach, without the side effects of drugs or risks of surgery.

As endometrial tissue grows, it becomes part of the fascial web. As fascia wraps around our muscles and organs, it also wraps around the endometrial tissue, much like Saran Wrap™, creating a dense web of entanglement and dysfunction that places up to 2,000 pounds of tensile strength on pain-sensitive structures, affecting blood flow and nerve transmission throughout the pelvic cavity. This stranglehold on the endometrial tissue solidifies and further stagnates this abnormal tissue. The end result is great pain and dysfunction.

MRF is a gentle form of manual therapy that eases the stranglehold on these structures, allowing inflammation to decrease, thereby easing pain. In the case of endometriosis, the focus is on the pelvis, and softening the structures that have become bound with restriction from the tissue buildup.

As we turn these solidified structures from a hardened and dense state to a more fluid, soft and open state, the body can function as it was designed to. Blood can flow again, nerves can communicate again and the person is able to stand more erect. Back pain and pelvic pain are alleviated. Function to the affected organs is restored.

MFR is an awareness-based therapy; therefore, clients are encouraged to experience and explore emotions that might surface during their sessions. At the core of MFR is the belief that the body and mind can never be separated.


Maria G. Troia, MSEd, LMT, NCTMB, CH is trained in the John Barnes Approach to Myofascial Release and AMMA Therapy®. She is a NCBTMB continuing education provider and owner of East-West Holistic Healing Arts in Old Town Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-313-6260 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 5, Oct/Nov 2010.

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