Green Tea Conversations
Letting Your Body Speak for Healing with Barb Ryan
March 15, 2020
Meet Barb Ryan, a trained massage therapist, and certified spiritual director. Ryan talks about her background, the resources she used to navigate her everyday life, and the process that takes place in Sacred Listening. She also shares how spiritual connection has helped her to create connections for clients as well as herself. Learn how Ryan helps to heal emotional pain that manifests as physical pain and her work of Myofascial Release. For more information, visit

Letting Your Body Speak for Healing with Barb Ryan

[00:00:03.960] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share progressive ideas and the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host Candi Broeffle, publisher of the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, and I'm honored to bring these experts to you. Today in our studio, we have Barb Ryan, a trained massage therapist, and certified spiritual director. Welcome to the show, Barb. 
[00:00:34.450] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Thank you. It's good to be here. 
[00:00:36.200] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, I always start off when we have a guest in the studio. I always start off by asking them to kind of share their own personal journey. What brought them to the work that they do today? So, if you don't mind kind of giving us a little bit of background about yourself.
[00:00:53.580] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Sure. Happy to do it. I come to this work as a longtime client, many, many years as a corporate worker bee and a consultant in the world of business, I received a lot of alternative health services. I was in a car accident in the early 90s and the Western medicine system wasn't able to help restore my health. So, I began with acupuncture and herbalists and massage therapy and it was helpful and I relied on that over the course of my business career. And then I got sober in 2008. And that removed the veil in a way and enabled me, that enabled me to increase myself connection and also understand that my connection to the business world needed to shift a bit.
[00:01:52.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, as a business professional, what were some of the things that you were dealing with in your day to day life that you then used services to help you kind of overcome or help you deal with?

[00:02:06.720] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Oh, good question. There was a lot of travel which compromises your physical structure. And as a woman, I'm in heels, I'm shopping bags, I'm not sleeping in my own bed. I'm in airplanes and small chairs. And I found it challenging. There's also a high level of anxiety, new city, new direction, sales presentations, just a lot of stress. And coping with it with alcohol was not helpful. So, a lot of my providers were supportive, but it was difficult to achieve real change.
[00:02:43.860] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I think that's one of the interesting things I know for myself, having been in the business world and did a lot of travel as well. It's amazing how quickly your body gets depleted, especially just being on an airplane even, just having that time. And then, like you said, I guess I hadn't thought about it until you said it about the stress of being in a new city and you're trying to find your hotel and trying to get a cab or trying to get help with that.
[00:03:09.690] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Well, all of this was before smartphones. So, it's somewhat easier with smartphones.

[00:03:15.090] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You couldn't just Uber.
[00:03:16.290] - Barb Ryan, Guest
That's right. You could take a taxi, but you didn't have access to directions on a mobile device. It was it was challenging. But I also was having a lot of fun. I was enjoying the work I was doing. I just didn't realize the toll it was taking.
[00:03:30.420] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so you said some of the ways that you were trying to cope with it was drinking alcohol. And you said once you decided to become sober, it kind of removed the veil. And what do you mean by that? What do you mean by 'remove the veil'?
[00:03:45.360] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Well, alcohol has a way of smoothing over your rough edges where you're discontent, where you're not feeling well, where you're disconnected from yourself or from others. You have drinks and you feel better. And when you take the drinks away, you're facing your own reality and you have to make some changes to feel happy again.
[00:04:06.240] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so were you finding help with that, with the people who you were seeking out for services?
[00:04:12.840] - Barb Ryan, Guest
They provided the space for self-connection. They provided care for me because I wasn't caring for myself until I could find my own way. And I have to admit, it was a lot of years before I could find my own way.
[00:04:29.220] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so, then you decided to do some work yourself and you decided to take a look at how you could help other people in that journey as well?

[00:04:37.860] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Yes. And the first step I took was spiritual direction training. And that was, I studied in a two-year program in St. Paul. And the greatest win from that was learning how to really listen. And I would imagine my clients today would say that they can talk to me about anything. And it's a deep listening experience whether it's traditional bodywork they're getting for me or if it's just a spiritual direction session. Listening, in today's society, is an extraordinary gift.
[00:05:09.800] - Candi Broeffle, Host
It is. It is. And it's not something that we do well.
[00:05:14.900] - Barb Ryan, Guest
[00:05:15.440] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That most people do well.

[00:05:16.750] - Barb Ryan, Guest
[00:05:18.560] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And it's something that we all need. So, I think on your website, do you call it sacred listening?
[00:05:23.960] - Barb Ryan, Guest
[00:05:24.620] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so explain that process to us a little bit.
[00:05:28.010] - Barb Ryan, Guest
In a sacred listening session, the person, the client is able, of course, to talk about anything. And what I will do is ask questions that help them understand their experience better and to deepen their self-awareness about something or explore options. So, as a practitioner, my goal is to help them see their situation with fresh eyes or deeper eyes. And my story or any of my friends' stories stay on the sideline, out of the way.
[00:06:02.660] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So you don't bring that into... Well, this is what happened to me when I experienced the same thing.
[00:06:09.920] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Yes, oftentimes people feel like that helps the other. We're relating, we're showing they're not alone. And it really, if you are the speaker and someone offers that when you're deep in discernment or lamenting something, you'll discover if you tune in, it doesn't feel helpful. It is really helpful to have someone ask a question, something like, and what was the outcome of that experience? How are you feeling about that in this moment? Instead of, gee, my friend had that happen to her, too.
[00:06:46.520] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And this is what she did. And so we tend to try to... Well, I'm going to ask you that. Why do you think we tend to do that? We tend to bring in our own experience.
[00:06:58.320] - Barb Ryan, Guest
I think it's naiveté on the part of us that we think that that's helpful, mostly on the matter of feeling not alone. And here's a helpful strategy. When true change to understanding comes from that self-exploration. But you also can't do that alone. It is a lonely journey. You need companions to know that you're not alone, but you don't need them interfering with your journey. It's kind of a complex double edge.
[00:07:24.980] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And I think a lot of the times people feel uncomfortable when people are exploring that within themselves. If they're having an uncomfortable moment or they're really facing up against something that's painful to try to help them see that it's going to get better. And this is what happened to my friend, and this is how they overcame a problem. And this is what happened to me. It helps us to not feel uncomfortable, too. So, what a gift that you can sit with somebody in that pain or in that uncomfortable situation and just be there and provide that space for them. So, you did the workaround, when you first started it was around your spiritual guidance work. And then how has that kind of, changed throughout your journey?
[00:08:14.150] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Yeah. So, the spiritual direction not only creates connections for clients but also for myself. And I became more aware of the value that my service providers over the years provided to me and really felt inspired in a way to change everything, to stop working in the business world completely and change over to being a bodyworker. And I chose the path I chose because I was reading a book called Healing Ancient Wounds by John Barnes. And he's the trainer and teacher that I've studied under since getting my massage certificate. He teaches a bodywork practice called Myofascial Release, and it's designed to help people who have legitimate physical, structural limitations, as well as folks who are experiencing physical limitations or pain because of emotional trauma. Some quippy phrases are there's an issue in your tissue and this can be as simple as, it can be as complex as a sexual assault stuck in the body or a car accident stuck in the body. But it can also be when you're a small child and you're very open and vulnerable and your mother or father looks at you in a stern way and you misinterpret it and it can get stuck in your body, in the facial structure and then creates pain and restriction as you move.
[00:09:45.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I think it's so interesting. This keeps coming up in our conversations with different providers is what happens to us as a child.
[00:09:53.370] - Barb Ryan, Guest
[00:09:53.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And there's been a kind of more and more, over the years of people saying just get over it, it's not that big of a deal, you know, your parent didn't mean to do that or whatever the case might be, and we can think that way. We can rationalize it. But the emotional part of it is what is held in our body. And that's not something that you just get over. And so, for you to be able to provide people an opportunity to be able to go in and heal that emotional pain that is manifesting itself in a physical way as well. Correct?
[00:10:34.610] - Barb Ryan, Guest
 Yes. And sometimes the clients aren't aware they have processed through their history. And that process, in my experience, works very differently than when I'm in a training with all my peers and everyone's open and ready and they have the list of their issues they know they need to resolve. And they are, you know, moving and checking in a session. In my studio, it's a quieter it's a slower it's learning to connect with yourself so that you have the courage to face whatever it is and move through it physiologically as well as emotionally.
[00:11:12.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so when we come back from our break, from our first break here, we're going to get into what is the myofascial release method and how do you use that with your clients?

[00:11:23.360] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Sounds good.

[00:11:24.320] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, to learn more about the services that Barb provides and to schedule an appointment, visit or call 612-922-2389 again that number is 612-922-2389. When we come back, we're going to continue our conversation with Barb and learn more about how she supports her clients. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota.

[00:12:02.210] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you, I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're talking with Barb Ryan, a trained massage therapist, and certified spiritual director who practices out of the Bhakti Wellness Cooperative in Edina. So, just before the break, we were starting to talk about that we were going to come back and talk about Myofascial Release. But one of the things that I want to do and I just kind of noticed this, as I said this we didn't really talk about what the Bhakti Cooperative is. And so, for people who may not be aware, Bhakti Wellness Cooperative is located in Edina. And how is this kind of made up? Because I think it's such an interesting concept.
[00:12:51.890] - Barb Ryan, Guest
It is indeed a brilliant structure. The concept was created by the cooperative owner, Guy Odishaw, and he believes so much in the alternative healing therapies. He wants to support the providers of the therapies and their ability to be effective for patients and clients. And he does that in several different ways, the Bhakti Wellness Center being one of them. So, he has a space that is like a medical clinic, any other medical clinic you would see. And he avails that to us as providers under contract and employment relationships and then cultivates collaborative relationships across the whole team so we can refer to each other, we can collaborate on cases with patients. We can be a one-stop shop for people seeking alternative health care remedies for their health and wellness.

[00:13:48.860] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you have everything in there. I mean, the work that you do with the Myofascial Release, that's a very unique type of massage therapy. But you also have massage therapists and acupuncturists and chiropractors and medical doctors and psychologists. And I mean, just kind of it runs the gamut. So, if somebody comes in and there may be another service that's needed or that would help to support them, you're able to actually be able to kind of recommend somebody right within that same structure.

[00:14:25.580] - Barb Ryan, Guest
That's right. That's right. And we actively do that just to avail options to folks to explore so they feel better.
[00:14:32.360] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes. And the interesting thing is, is you're each your own, pretty much you're each your own business owners.
[00:14:39.830] - Barb Ryan, Guest
We're able to run our practices pretty independently indeed.

[00:14:44.450] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, I think that's such a great opportunity for people. So, I highly encourage people to check out the Bhakti Wellness Cooperative, in Edina, which is where you're practicing out of. So, now let's talk about Myofascial Release. So, we say you're a trained massage therapist, but you don't do typical massage.
[00:15:06.020] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Right. So, in order to study under John Barnes, and he's somewhat famous in the world of Myofascial Release. So, I share his name because I think it matters. And I'll explain that in just a couple of minutes. But you need to have a license to touch patients in order to train with him. So that means massage therapy reflexologist, It can be a dentist, a doctor, a physical therapist, occupational therapist, nurses. Those are all my classmates when I'm in training there. And that's fascinating to me to see those different disciplines come together. The practice is not traditional massage because it's it has different component parts and the touch is different. So, on our first meeting, I'll encourage you to wear loose shorts and a sports bra.
[00:15:57.620] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I'm sorry to interrupt you with this. I just, I think that we're missing a really cool component of what your training was.
[00:16:04.850] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Oh, okay.
[00:16:06.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
 ... which was when you decided to become a massage therapist so that you could practice under Mr. Barnes, Dr. Barnes, you chose to do your training how?
[00:16:18.320] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Well, I was reading John's book, Healing Ancient Wounds, and longing to practice this method, to experience it and practice. So, off I go from my business career start. I'm going to go to massage school and I start looking and it's hard to hold down a full-time career and go to massage school with the structure of the classes that I was looking at here in Minnesota. And in the upper corner of the Google search was the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. It's a five-month program. Off you go. It's an immersion teaching in the jungle, English speaking right on the Pacific Coast.
[00:16:56.450] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Now, how cool is that!
[00:16:57.590] - Barb Ryan, Guest
That is cool. And that gets better because it's just the power of intention, make the decision and the universe follows because not only was I able to get enrolled in a class starting in two months, I got frequent flyer mile trips down there. I had friends who were demolishing their house and building a new one. So, they needed a place to live. And they just moved into mine and took over all the payments and everything just truly lined up for me to go. And off I go. I'm the oldest person in the class with all my 20-year-old classmates.
[00:17:32.190] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But again and you said this, and I think it's so important for people, you know, we can have all the intentions that we want. But until you take an action, yeah, nothing really tends to happen. So, once you take that action, it's really amazing what all can transpire through that as well. So, I'm sorry. I just think that that's a really cool story to be able to tell people. So, you practice for five months in Costa Rica, got your massage therapist certification so that you could practice under John Barnes, and then where did you do that workout?
[00:18:04.920] - Barb Ryan, Guest
So, I actually did start as a massage therapist here in town I was working for a clinic and then studying under John, and he is based in Arizona and Pennsylvania. He has a couple of onsite clinics there and then trains all over the United States. My initial training was in Kansas City. I've been to some training sessions here. I'm in a mentoring group with other women also here. I'm planning on a session in Chicago this summer. So I'm as whenever he's in town, I'm in his class when and whenever he's near I try to be registered for his coursework. And it's the kind of instruction that you take over and over. You never really master. You continue to practice and collaborate with your peers, which is a really nice feature of the discipline.
[00:18:51.750] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes. So, you said that you have a group of women mentors who you work with as well. That's really interesting. So give us an idea of what Myofascial release is.
[00:19:05.160] - Barb Ryan, Guest
The body is covered with a facial structure. It's the connective tissue in the body and it's woven throughout the entire body. You'll find it everywhere. And about two years ago, there was this revelation about the facial structure being this whole system regarding health and wellness. But John's been practicing working on the facial structure since 1975 or maybe before. So, he's been aware of it. And he's been perceived as a bit of a renegade because, no, it wasn't common medical practice to attend to the facial structures. There's a really nice analogy of how fascia works in the system, and it's how an orange comes together. When you peel an orange, there's an outer layer and you see all the white around the orange that's like fascia, under the skin. Then each section of the orange is wrapped in some tissue if you will. That's like fascia around the bones, around the organs. And then those little vesicles, they also have fascia. So, inside the bones on every cell, you'll find facial structures and they're all connected.
[00:20:14.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, when we come back from this break, we're going to really get into how you use this with your clients. So, for people who want to learn more about the services Barb provides and to schedule an appointment, visit or call 612-922-2389. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine visit You can find a podcast of this show on, on Apple and Google Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations and AM950. We will be right back.
[00:21:01.010] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you, I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're talking with Barb Ryan, a trained massage therapist, and certified spiritual director who practices out of the Bhakti Wellness Cooperative in Edina. So, Barb, just before the break, you were explaining to us what myofascial tissue is and you likened it to some of the tissue around an orange. So, the different parts of an orange, once you peel it off, that outside white layer is part of what would be considered like the myofascial tissue. And then each segment has tissue around it and then each of the strands within there. So, it's really, it's many layers deep. And you also mentioned that it was like a couple of years ago. It was only maybe two years ago or less than that where this has gotten to be recognized by medical science now as actually a structure that exists. And you actually did an article in Natural Awakenings about it. 

[00:22:09.880] - Barb Ryan, Guest
I did.

[00:22:09.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, you shared that discovery, if you will, that you that your mentor and your trainer had been already practicing for nearly 30 years or over 30 years. And that's not unusual in natural health, that we have things that people know and have practiced sometimes for eons before it actually gets recognized in the medical community. So, it's kind of big news and now we're seeing it more and more in our communities where people are starting to really be able to understand this. But you use Myofascial Release. So, myofascial is a tissue. And tell us a little bit about how the release works or what the massage is that causes that release.
[00:23:03.540] - Barb Ryan, Guest
There is a lot of science behind it and the science pieces I don't keep top of mind. So, I will encourage anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about it to go to, which is John's website. And you'll get the discussion of the receptors and piezoelectricity and all of those. There are important things but as a practitioner, I set them aside and my hands are on you and it's an intuitive process. So, I don't really keep those top of mind. What you're creating when the facial tissue is restricted and causing some sort of pain in the body or restriction of motion, it is like hard candy stuck when it's connective tissue. So, it's supposed to be moving like an elastic, all around the body, not just on one dimension, but three-dimensionally. So, when it gets traumatized by a car accident or an emotional wound of some sort or surgeries often, the scar tissue around a surgical incision will create restrictions. And so, you're working with that science I just mentioned to soften those hard spots and it's all connected. So, you might come into my office with a headache and I'll work on your pelvis and your headache will be released and you'll gain more range of motion in your pelvis. It's like when you have a clock drain and suddenly the water moves through and it's like a gush of freshness. With that said, sometimes it hurts more first as the body adjusts to all this toxin release.
[00:24:48.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay, so, I suppose it's really important and I'm sure that you recommend for all of your clients to really hydrate, well, before and after the procedure to help release those toxins. So, what are some of the, you mentioned like car accidents or trauma of some sort? Give us an idea of how this might show up for somebody who's been in a car accident and maybe you know, have some whiplash.

[00:25:19.080] - Barb Ryan, Guest
So, interestingly, in a whiplash situation, if you can imagine what's happening with your head and if you can see it coming, it's almost worse because you're bracing your body. If someone's coming from behind and you can see them coming to hit your car. But your whole head is moving forward with the force of the momentum of the car, your seat belts, holding your back, holding you back, and your neck muscles are trying to keep your head on your body. It's a very violent experience for the musculature and the structure. And the fascia is connective tissue working with both of those. So it gets locked down, traumatized, and then you can't turn your head.

So there is a muscle issue that the muscle gets drained, but also the facial tissue is drained, too. So, the work when you're out of the acute phase, you begin to work with those structures in a very soft and gentle way, creating almost a cross friction to help encourage them to release, if you will. They're stuck together and you want them to relax and release. So, the touch is somewhat soft. It moves very deep and it can be painful. But it's not like deep tissue massage, for example.

[00:26:36.450] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay, so, let's get into that a little bit now because it's...

[00:26:40.650] - Barb Ryan, Guest
 Hard to imagine on the radio. 

[00:26:44.610] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Not an easy thing to explain, I imagine. So, it's a gentle procedure, but yet it can be somewhat painful because you're releasing that tissue.

[00:26:56.100] - Barb Ryan, Guest
[00:26:56.970] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And any of the toxins that are in there as well. And so, is this something that most people find relief from right away, or does it take time?

[00:27:07.620] - Barb Ryan, Guest
That's an interesting question. I have almost every person who presents in my studio with long-time pain or a long-time condition, anxiety, insomnia, incontinence. They will, they're usually at their wits' end and they're longing for some remedy and they want to know how many sessions. And what I say to them is, you'll know within the first two if you feel like it's working. But it may take 20 or it may take 5. It's hard to know, it's your body, how quickly will you respond to the approach, and then how long your body needs to release?
[00:27:50.690] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So what kind of things happen? What might people recognize within a couple of sessions to know whether they are seeing that it's something that could work?

[00:28:00.740] - Barb Ryan, Guest
So, of course, in the case of an insomniac person, they might be sleeping more. Someone with incontinence might feel like they have more control, but not consistently. Right. Like, for the first three days after my pain was gone and I could walk normal, and then it came back. And I do a lot to help my clients do self-treatment. The goal is really to help them care well for themselves. I'm more a facilitator than a longtime practitioner. But that said, I do have some clients that come in and have been seeing me for a couple of years just because they like the practice and they have options to do on their own, but they prefer coming in to see me.
[00:28:41.960] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so what are some of the different conditions that you can treat?

[00:28:47.060] - Barb Ryan, Guest
The way that I position it in my advertisement and Natural Awakenings is chronic pain and mysteries of the body. So, I have a number of clients who have been through the Western medicine system with no outcome that they like. The doctors don't understand what's going on or they're recommending surgery and the person doesn't really want surgery. So, they'll come and try the Myofascial Release approach to see if they can experience some relief. And I would say in 80 percent of the cases where people stay with the practice of myofascial release, they get a shift that feels better.
[00:29:23.960] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so you're, when you're talking about, you know, sometimes it can take time, I suppose it's dependent upon what the actual injury or the condition is that you're treating how long it's been there or maybe how deep the injury is that determines how long it's going to take to treat it. I mean, your body is going to tell you.

[00:29:49.790] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Yes. Plus, there's a willingness factor on the part of the patient or client. Sometimes we get stuck in what I would call our narrative. And that might be I'm so anxious. I'm so anxious. I'm so anxious. If that is the tape in your head, then it will be hard to overcome what is going on mentally for you. So, there is a part of the myofascial practice where we call it changing channels here, I'm so anxious channel and the world, you know, our world today is very anxiety-ridden because of the virus and things. We call that Channel Five. And what we really want is you to find Channel Three, which is a connection to your energetic body, the greater beings, whatever your faith, there's a place for it. It's a different connection and it avails more healing energies to the body in the practice of Myofascial Release.
[00:30:50.090] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, it really is about whatever we think, we start to feel the emotion around that. And that emotion then manifests itself in a physical way as well. So, you're really working with people not only on the physical level but on the emotional and the mental levels as well. 
[00:31:08.940] - Barb Ryan, Guest

[00:31:09.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so determining how long it takes is going to be determinant on that person. And like you said, what that mental loop is that they're continuing to tell themselves.

[00:31:21.860] - Barb Ryan, Guest
And it might manifest Candi like just some of the conditions that walk through the door, low back pain, hip pain; any joint pain, especially jaw pain, headaches, like I mentioned earlier, incontinence, or insomnia. I also work a lot with people in recovery because I'm on that journey as well, and that journey needs some support because drinking, as the folks in the 12 step program say, is but a symptom.
[00:31:52.670] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes. And I think that's also the important thing is when when you're using Western medicine, you're getting treated for the symptoms that you have. And hopefully, along the way, you're also, you know, kind of finding with that underlying causes. But generally speaking, we're going to treat those symptoms. So, it might be a pain reliever or something to help in order to alleviate that whatever it is that you're feeling. What you're doing with people is actually going deeper and really trying to find what the source of that pain is and how that can be helped or hopefully taking care of right, cure it in some way. So, I imagine you're using both your knowledge as a trained therapist, as well as your spiritual guidance work that you do as well.
[00:32:44.990] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Indeed, it's a combination.
[00:32:48.140] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, do you have any, like, examples of, without giving away anything about any of your clients, but just an example of something that somebody might have come in with and how that how you help to treat that?
[00:33:03.080] - Barb Ryan, Guest
One example would be someone who worked in traditional Western medicine and was in an orthopedic office as a nurse. And she had a hip pain, deep hip pain that they couldn't understand. And she's trained in physiology and anatomy. She knows it all. And she came in and was surprised at the approach again because it's somewhat like touch and it seems it seems incongruent with traditional massage. But the pain went away and it stayed away for the first two weeks, and then she called and came back in. And I see her now every quarter, once a quarter, and for the most part, the pain has subsided.
[00:33:49.480] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Very cool. So when we come back, we want to learn even more about how you're using myofascial release with your clients. So, to learn more about the services Barb provides and to schedule an appointment, visit or call 612-922-2389. You can find a podcast of this show on, on Apple and Google Podcast, Spotify, and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations and we will be right back.
[00:34:30.800] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise and natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're talking with Barb Ryan, trained massage therapist, and certified spiritual director who practices out of the Bhakti Wellness Cooperative in Edina. So, Barb, we have been talking about Myofascial Release and how you use it with your clients, and you've kind of given us some ideas of what types of conditions might be treated with that. But why don't you help us to understand what would if I decided to come to you for myofascial release, what might that session look like?
[00:35:17.170] - Barb Ryan, Guest
One of the things I've noted is it's different than massage, so you'll wear clothing, loose-fitting sport, clothing so I have access to your body, but you are covered just because the bodywork can cause motion in your own body. And it's easier for all of us if we can access your body and you can move with ease and without worry about being uncovered. Most practitioners will make sure to keep you covered. It's just for your own modesty and our preference as well. But when folks wear a sports bra or loose-fitting shorts, it's easier all the way around. So, it usually begins with the postural assessment. And while that's very structural, the body will tell a story. And so we're looking as a practitioner, I'm looking for where your posture is off. A hip might be hiked up, your pelvis might be tilted forward, your shoulders might be out of alignment, your head might be forward. So many of us are working on computers. Heads are forward. And that really helps to identify a starting point. So, then you're on the table. And we begin with a particular area based on the postural assessment in the interview. What issues are bringing you in today?
[00:36:35.870] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Can I just ask you how is the postural assessment done? Is that something do you do an x-ray or is it something that's visual?
[00:36:43.870] - Barb Ryan, Guest
It's a visual.
[00:36:44.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:36:45.130] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Thanks for clarifying. So, you'll stand in my office in your sports clothes, and I will just have you do a 360 and we'll take a look at what's going on. I'll let you know what I see. If you're interested or some people aren't, then you'll get on the table and we'll start to work and your body will speak. It will guide the session will start in one place and then the body will let us know where to go next. You might verbalize something, but also the body will, there's a vasodilation response as the tissue is releasing. So, I might be working on your pelvis and your neck is on fire. It's red and it's hot. That tells me we're going to the neck next.
[00:37:26.080] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, very interesting.
[00:37:27.530] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Yeah. So the body does give clues in a host of ways. Vasodilation is one example. Someone might lift their arm or wrench it in some way, which then says we're going to the arm next.
[00:37:39.220] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay, so that's interesting because I know, you know, I can almost feel it where you feel like, oh, it would be something in your shoulder would start to feel uncomfortable and you'd move. So, that would be an indication for you, that that's something that needs to be addressed.
[00:37:56.830] - Barb Ryan, Guest
Right. And so releasing facial tissue in the pelvis is working its way up the facial structure into the shoulder, where there may also be a restriction that is needed in order for the whole; the facial tissue looks like a full body. And you can do some look on YouTube and they'll show you how the facial structures move. There's a physician in France who's done beautiful live image videos of the facial structures in the body with microscopes that, you know, are just amazing. Once again, science, that I don't really keep the details on, but they're beautiful pictures.
[00:38:32.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so it shows how everything is connected and how it all works. So, how long are the sessions generally?
[00:38:39.250] - Barb Ryan, Guest
They're sixty minutes, sometimes ninety, depending on client budget, client preference, and what we're working on. So, there are a couple of components of the initial interview each time. How are you feeling? What's going on? Where pain today or where have you felt relief, postural assessment, hands-on work. And then, sometimes I'll take a look again before they wrap up. And sometimes, the work has been so deep that it feels disruptive to turn on the light, pull them off the table and look again. So, it's sort of a judgment call on my part whether or not we do a final posture assessment.
[00:39:16.030] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, sometimes people just need time to kind of relax into it and come back from it, much like when you're getting massaged, you take some time in order before you start to move around. So, what types of things would somebody experience who's getting it? What are some of the things I always like to know, like, you know, am I going to cry on the table? Am I going to you know, what can I expect to happen?
[00:39:45.850] - Barb Ryan, Guest
 Anything is possible? What's most common, of course, is you'll feel the sense of releasing; you can feel the tissue releasing in your body. Sometimes it does cause a lot of emotional release. So, you'll have crying. You might even want to scrunch your body up into more like a fetal position and sob through. This is tissue recall. You're just processing through some energy that got stuck back when you might move; if it's a car accident, you might relive that whole whiplash scene, we call that unwinding. A lot of folks who have been in accidents, following accidents and things will do the actual fall again. And that's part of the process. Make sure to tell clients you don't have to lay still. You can do whatever works with me. You can move your arms, legs, turn, scream, cry, whatever you need to do.
[00:40:41.520] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And that's all a part of that healing process, which I think is so important. You know, it's one of the things that we keep hearing so much more in the work that we do is you really need to feel it in order to be able to heal it. And so that might be actually having to relive in some ways the actual trauma that you've gone through. But it's always good to kind of know ahead of time what it is that I might experience so that you don't feel uncomfortable when it happens.
[00:41:11.490] - Barb Ryan, Guest
And some people feel unsteady at the end of the session. So, they'll stay in the waiting room for a little while longer, have a cup of tea while they find their center again, and find their feet, because the release was significant and it has altered their orientation and they need a reset.
[00:41:29.430] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So, what do you think is something you know, you said that you continue to learn, you continue to get more education with your trainer. What are some of the things that you're seeing, that you're learning now that maybe you didn't see at the beginning?

[00:41:47.970] - Barb Ryan, Guest
The (41:47) for sure, mind and the body, as well as the energy field and how well you manage your interactions with the world, all of that, initially, it was very structural for me, but there are so many levels of a being and healing. A person involves working and all of those levels. And sometimes your client has awareness of them and sometimes they don't. But attending to all the levels is how you really help them achieve true healing. And that takes some study and some understanding and some education for your clients.
[00:42:27.300] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, thank you so much for the work that you do and for how you are helping clients every day. To learn more about the services Barb provides and to schedule an appointment, visit or call 612-922-2389. To read the online edition of Natural Awakenings magazine or to check out our complete online calendar of events, visit You can find a podcast of this show on, Apple and Google Podcast, Spotify, and anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you for joining our conversation today as we awaken to natural health. You've been listening to Green Tea Conversations and I'm wishing for you a lovely day!