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Myofascial Release, FMT and Postural Restoration.

Julie Zapata has a personal and holistic approach, which she has developed over her professional PT career since year 2000.  She has done extensive training, in Myofascial Release, Functional Manual Therapy and with the Postural Restoration Institute. She is devoted to learning and refreshing her skills, and goes all over the country to seek out advanced training.  Julie is also trained in Pilates and rehab-certified through the Stott school in Toronto, ON.

Julie especially loves working with her hands. And finds Myofascial release, which focuses on the connective tissue, to be really effective, fun, and creates long lasting results.  Functional Manual therapy tends to be more active, but not traditional. Julie was born in New Jersey and has her Master’s Degree in PT from Rutgers University (formerly UMDNJ).  She lives in Hudson Heights, with her loves (including her husband and 2 British shorthair cats.)

On Myofascial Release:

(John F Barnes’ Method,

MFR is a 2 hands on technique.  The therapist uses her hands to sink deeply into the body, feel for tension or restriction and using therapeutic pressure or pulling, to wait for the release to occur in the affected soft tissue.  Soft tissue refers to any living tissue in the body, except bone. Fascia is known as connective tissue.  It integrates, separates, protects and provides structure for our blood vessels, nervous system, organs, muscles and bones.  Unless disrupted by surgery or significant trauma, it is continuous.  When applied, MFR is generally slow, steady and relaxing, but sometimes is more stimulating; and is always individualized. The patient is asked to quiet down and feel into his or her body for maximum therapeutic effect.  No oil or cream is used.  It is best skin on skin.


MFR tends to provide more lasting and meaningful results than traditional massage or stretching.  This is because pressure is sustained, and the therapist waits for the physical response of the body.  The therapist never forces anything to happen in the body.  Stretches (hamstring stretches, i.e.) are held for at least 2 minutes in MFR.

Functional Manual Therapy:

(Institute of Physical Art,


An approach integrating Manual therapy, Therapeutic exercise and Functional Movement as well as patient education.


Functional Movement is simple, yet complex.  It is our every-day type of motion; therapists call these ADLs.  Walking, squatting, kneeling, hands and knees, transitioning from lying to sitting.  Some times due to injury or illness or pain, our body develops inefficient ways of moving or compensating. This is especially common after a back injury or sciatica.  Our deep abdominal muscles, which should fire automatically before we even move, need to be reawakened. After knee or hip surgery, our quadriceps atrophy very quickly, and need help to regain not just full strength, but coordination and control.


With manual therapy, including Myofascial release, we free up restrictions not allowing the muscles to contract and our tendons to glide.  Once we have that moving, we work on using the new range of motion and teaching our body to move in-to it again.  Gains made with passive stretching (although can relieve pain temporarily) do not last and are not functional.


The therapist and the patient are a team, and our therapists wish to empower their patients to maintain their gains long after their therapy session.  Active participation in therapy is a requirement, and will lead to long term gains.


Postural Restoration:

This is Higher Physical Therapy's newest skill set.

PRI is an integrated approach which views the body as a whole.  It is innovative and science based.  

We are conditioned to thinking of our bodies as symmetrical.  And they are not.

It may take a while for your perception to change, but starting in our internal organs, such as our heart, liver, lungs and diaphragm, we are different on the right side and on the left side.  We are all one sided dominant.  So, we use and live in our bodies in a patterned way.  Sometimes, when we cannot reverse the pattern and we get stuck, we have pain.  

PRI is a system of recognition of our patterns, weaknesses and strength and learning to balance our two sides, by doing what is called, reciprocal motion.

This technique on its own is wonderful.  Combined with our other approaches is amazing. 

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