Sunday, 31 March 2013

Brandon Barr: F.U.E.L. Fitness and Massage

‘Raising the Barr’: Myofascial Release Therapist & Personal Trainer

By: Candice Marshall

There are a myriad of Massage and Fitness studios in the Edmonton area, but not many have the same expertise and knowledge on Myofascial Release Therapy (MRT) quite like Brandon Barr does. To his knowledge, there are only three in Western Canada trained on this specific method of massage therapy (two in the Edmonton area and one in Canmore, Alberta).  His technique is Postural Correction, a method designed to eliminate the patterns of restriction (within the body) and realign the body to its proper posture. This is a method he has incorporated in his business F.U.E.L. Fitness & Massage since 2010. MRT is a form of ‘soft tissue’ therapy that focuses on treating the pain associated with the restrictive motion, dysfunction, and hardening of the Fascia – the outer covering of the body that covers all muscles (ligaments, fibers and filaments). (see photo below)

Barr points out what "fascia' looks like in a photo description

“Its (Fascia) construction is similar to a spider web, a spider web being fully integrated into the function of the body. So as muscles contract and relax, twist, turn, rotate, flex and extend, they deteriorate. The body then gets into patterns of restriction. There will be areas (of the body) that are more powerful or dominant than others. Myofascial Release is ‘Removal of Patterns of Restriction’ on larger areas of restrictive tissue that is preventing full range movement of the body,” said Barr.
“Restrictive fascia also prevents muscles from getting adequate blood supply, adequate nervous function, and that (restricted) area is removed from sensation to the brain. The brain forgets that it exists. Try sitting at a desk for nine hours and then sit up and get your shoulders to drop. You can’t. Why? That area has been completely compromised due to repetitive stress. Our treatment is there to remove the classic pain syndromes: Lower back issues, mid-back issues, upper neck and shoulders that are stiff and achy, numbness and tingling down the arms, disc issues, knee pain and chronic headaches. By removing restrictions, the adhesion of fascia is removed to restore optimal function. This is all fixed by re-posturing,” said Barr.
It’s easy to see that after only spending a few minutes with Barr he genuinely understands how to properly care for his clients and for their overall fitness goals and health through MRT. This stems from his own experience when he was faced with surgery after tearing a rotator cuff during a college baseball game. “I chose to heal through a method of massage therapy and physiotherapy. I recovered in six weeks and was able to return to my (baseball) career. (Barr played with the ‘Central Christian College’ in Kansas, USA, and the ‘Prairie Dogs’ in Lethbridge, AB) Not long after, I decided to pursue an interest in Massage Therapy,” he said.
Because of his quick recovery, and out of curiosity, Barr made the decision to switch careers and begin studying Massage Therapy in the fall of 2002 at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, AB. “The moment I got in (to the program), I knew I didn’t want to go in (learning) the traditional ‘Eastern’  mode of massage therapy. I wanted to focus on the effective treatment and prevention of injury. That was my main drive and my main focus and I knew that from day one. My knowledge of the human body expanded and I grasped a ‘visual’ (hands on) understanding with the patients I was treating through my course studies in school. It was there that I met with a colleague who spoke to me about the concept of Myofascial Release Therapy,” he said.
With MRT being a large part of what Barr specializes in, the prevention of injury is also in his field of expertise. He helps clients through fitness training, another aspect of his business. He has cleverly organized his studio not only for the massage practice, but also for clients who wish to achieve long-term success in fitness and overall health through specific strength training exercises that can be carried over into the ‘daily living demands’ placed on a person’s body.
“Once you remove the restrictions on the body through MRT, people can come back with the same problems. Why? The problems are a result of weakness in the body. This is where the fitness (offered in his program) comes in. I focus on functional retraining and re-patterning movements to help make my clients strong from the inside out. I work with them on core stability and restoring range of motion so that they can be dynamically functional. I’ll incorporate Pilates methods, stretching, resistance, and strength training all integrated into a program to help those areas of weakness,” he said.
In terms of weight loss, Barr said, “People lose weight and what are you going to fill that empty space with? In order for you to lose more weight, you have to increase the density of your lean muscle in order to continue to lose at a steady pace. We help people by stabilizing their core, strength training, and the stretches they need to help combat repetitive pains and manage weight. It empowers clients as to a better understanding of what their body is capable of through these treatments.”
I thank Barr for the opportunity to educate our Weigh to Goal (Coaches Corner) readers and at the end of our meeting; he smiled cleverly and said, “Want to know what the F.U.E.L. (Business name) stands for? Function Uniting Energy and Life.”
I saw what you did there Brandon…very clever, but true indeed! Keep on keeping on!


Those interested in booking an appointment with Barr may contact him at:


Brandon Barr RMT, PTS
F.U.E.L Fitness & Massage
Ph: (780)7181231
Edmonton, AB

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