Mareea, 66, had grown accustomed to living with pain. When she enrolled in Kristen’s Learn to Move class in March 2018, it was because of an arthritic knee.

She also had pain in other areas of her body, and when it started, she talked to her medical doctor and “he had nothing to suggest. He sent me for an x-ray just in case it was the hip joint breaking down, but they said there hadn’t been any change from three or four years ago. But when I went to Kristen, she said almost immediately, ‘Oh, I know what this is, and we’ll work on it.’ “

“Kristen has been doing some marvelous work with me in releasing the myofascial blocks that I’m experiencing. It’s been very, very painful and has really impeded my mobility, but she has been so great that when she does those treatments, usually I will be free of the shooting pains for a couple of days and I’m able to move without leaning on my walker.”

“We’ve been doing quite a few sessions together and it’s taken a while, but just this morning, I could feel it release a lot of tightness. So I’m really excited because it decreases pain, and increases mobility. There seems to be a cumulative effect. With Kristen, there’s not only short-term, but long-term benefit.”

“She’s given me wonderful exercises to do at home and shown me different postures. She’s really been caring, knowledgeable, and patient. She’s never caused me pain. With her training, she has the skills to really help me.”

Mareea says that she “had been going for deep tissue massage, and it helped a little bit, but it hurt a lot. Kristen works until we hit a block, and doesn’t cause me pain.”

She recommends taking a class with Kristen, because, “She’s wonderful! She tells us, ‘Do what you feel you need to do. If you need to go slower, go slower.’ She always gave us permission to customize to our own needs. She told us to pay attention to our bodies, and look after ourselves while reaching our goals.”

After the first time she saw Kristen, she said she was pain-free for five days – the first time in five years (since the 2013 flood in High River).

She recently popped into the office to show her that she wasn’t just walking, but dancing!

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Fascia is a connective tissue that spreads throughout the body like a 3D spider web. It is a continuous system with no beginning and no end, which holds inside of it all of your muscles, bones, organs, nerves and blood vessels, providing shape and structure to the body.

The John F. Barnes technique for myofascial release works by placing a light pressure into the body, using either a therapist’s hands, small therapy balls, or a gentle stretch, over an extended period of time.

The light pressure is important. Fascia is designed to resist suddenly applied forces, and too much force into the system can cause an increase in inflammation. Too much pressure also triggers alarm bells in the nervous system, causing the body to tense up and protect itself against the intense pressure.

The light pressure allows the nervous system to relax and the body to feel safe, leading to a true release in the tissues. It also stimulates an anti-inflammatory response, helping reduce, rather than increase, inflammation.