How Does Clear Passage® Therapy Compare to Myofascial Release and Visceral Mobilization?

comparing myofascial release and visceral manipulation

People looking for relief from chronic pain or dysfunction associated with adhesions often do not know where to turn for answers, especially if they are trying to avoid medications and surgery or are trying to achieve a natural solution with physical therapy. Here, we hope to clear away misconceptions and confusion about three types of techniques: Myofascial release (MFR/), visceral manipulation (VM), and Clear Passage® (CP). Although each method has its own history, merits, and individual traits, the specific techniques, standards, and outcomes of Clear Passage® set it apart as the preferred technique for treating adhesions wherever they form in the body, especially when it comes to specific women’s health conditions, female infertility, and life-threatening small bowel obstructions. Here are the details.

Myofascial Release 

Myofascial release is generally a deep structural manual therapy developed by John F. Barnes, P.T. This method is meant to treat restrictions in the human body’s muscles (myo) and fascia (fascial). A PubMed (NIH) literature search found several case studies that report MFR for treating musculoskeletal pain (e.g., low back and ankle pain)/ No literature examined its use for abdominal or pelvic conditions patients. Many providers claim to do a myofascial release technique. We at Clear Passage are most comfortable recommending an expert-level Barnes-trained therapist for chronic musculoskeletal pain. 

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation is generally a very light manual therapy initially developed to treat viscera (organs) in the body. Its founder, Jean Pierre Barral, D.O., often suggests conducting a single 60-minute VM session every three weeks. He feels that a site-specific application of VM can be “the pebble that starts the avalanche” in healing the body of physical restrictions. A PubMed (NIH) literature search conducted in May 2022 revealed five studies of VM, most for neck and back pain. We could find no study that examines VM for treating organs in humans.

The Clear Passage Approach® 

Clear Passage, or the Clear Passage Approach, is a therapy developed over 30+ years to decrease specific internal scars called adhesions wherever they form in the body. Belinda Wurn, P.T and Larry Wurn, L.M.T. initially developed the Clear Passage Approach to treat chronic pain and dysfunction in patients with problems caused or exacerbated by adhesions (internal scarring). This pain was often labeled ‘unexplained’ because adhesions do not appear on diagnostic tests. Over time, the therapy has expanded to treat several women’s health conditions, female infertility, and life-threatening small bowel obstructions.

The Clear Passage Approach is a very site-specific soft tissue therapy. It is often quite deep, sometimes lighter, but always focused on decreasing adhesions – a significant problem for many patients and their doctors. Because adhesions are ubiquitous in diagnosis, the fact that CP is non-surgical and yields better results is an aspect of the therapy considered pioneering by some physicians. Furthermore, CP helps decrease the risks of anesthesia and post-surgical adhesions.

Women’s Health Triumphs

While treating pelvic pain in women in 1990, the Wurns learned they were opening totally blocked fallopian tubes – a feat previously thought impossible without surgery. The group was joined by physicians and researchers interested in examining the surprising results the therapists were witnessing. 

Following the scientific method, they progressed from case studies to pilot studies and recently completed a 10-year retrospective of 1,392 women diagnosed infertile from various causes. The results found that the Clear Passage Approach decreased period, endometriosis, and intercourse pain. It also improved sexual function and increased IVF pregnancy rates were published. To date, over 1,000 babies have been born to women diagnosed as infertile but received treatment at Clear Passage.

Small Bowel Obstruction Triumphs

Adhesions (internal scarring) are the primary cause of life-threatening small bowel obstruction (SBO), a condition that tends to recur. As a non-surgical treatment, CP is considered lifesaving by some physicians for several reasons. JAMA Surgery Journal reports that SBO is the 2nd most common emergency surgery in the USA and carries the highest complication rate (47%). Nearly one in five (18%) of patients are re-hospitalized within the month after SBO surgery. Because surgery is regarded as the primary cause of SBO, the treatment that saves a person’s life can become the cause of their subsequent obstruction.

After showing success in clearing fallopian tubes of adhesions in 2009, researchers began documenting and publishing studies on the use of CP to decrease adhesions tubes much larger than fallopian tubes: the intestine. 

Several pilot studies noted significant patient improvement, including the use of CP to replace a planned surgery or surgical series. Another point of focus was to decrease or stop repeat obstructions. In a large, controlled study authored by doctors from Harvard, Stanford, Washington and U of Florida medical schools, CP therapy decreased recurring SBO by 15 times the norm (p=0.0003).

Of the three physical therapy techniques mentioned here, Clear Passage® has a proven track record of treating chronic pain or dysfunction associated with adhesions. 

What Sets the Clear Passage Approach Apart From Other Forms of Bodywork?

Strict Certification Processes

CP has a strict certification process requiring our physical therapists to have many years of experience in bodywork before being accepted for training. As of May 2022, CP has certified 17 therapists worldwide to perform their work. Clear Passage therapists have an average of 30 years of experience.

Rigorous Patient Monitoring

CP monitors results from each therapist they have trained on an ongoing basis. Respecting the complexity of processes involved in reproductive and digestive organs, CP screens every patient for “cautions and contraindications” before accepting them for therapy to assure safety and assess likely outcomes.

Clinical Research Backing

CP is dedicated to clinical research to validate results. Numerous studies in respected medical journals examine the safety and effectiveness of CP therapy in decreasing adhesions in the abdomen and pelvis. Studies on CP are indexed by Google Scholar and PubMed (National Institutes of Health) and housed in the US National Library of Medicine.

A search of PubMed (NIH – National Library of Medicine) reveals numerous studies that examine the safety and efficacy of CP in respected medical journals. 

Published data on CP treating women’s health conditions are found in:

  • Fertility and Sterility
  • The Journal of Endometriosis
  • Contemporary Ob/Gyn 
  • WebMD’s Medscape General Medicine

Studies reporting CP treatment of digestive, post-surgical and trauma-induced adhesions appear in:

  • Gastroenterology
  • The World Journal of Gastroenterology
  • The Journal of Clinical Medicine
  • Pediatric Reports
  • The Journal of Palliative Medicine

Are you ready to heal and go on your highly researched, non-surgical, pain-free and all-natural treatment journey with us at Clear Passage/?

Contact us to set up your free consultation today!

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