A Multi-Therapist Myofascial Release Cash-Based Practice for Over 25 Years

The CashPT Lunch Hour #15: John F. Barnes

john f barnes casht lunch hour 15 mfr myofascial releaseA few weeks ago I spent 4 days in Myrtle Beach, SC taking a continuing education seminar, Myofascial Release 1 (MFR1), with John Barnes. Actually, I was repeating this seminar, as it is by far one of the best series of continuing education courses focusing on soft-tissue treatment that I’ve taken and used successfully with my patients in my 16 years as a therapist. Bonus: this course also counts towards my massage therapy license renewal at the end of this year.

While at the seminar I had the opportunity to interview John F. Barnes, PT. I was honored and super excited when he said yes. John has been one of my earliest mentors and teachers, writing me a glowing recommendation for PT school, even after trying to convince me that I really didn’t need to go back to grad school to be a successful therapist. He was also one of the 1st people to introduce the idea of a cash-based physical therapy practice to me (he also encouraged me to start one myself) and empowered me to do what I thought was best for my patients.

John has been treating patients since 1960 and is the owner, director and chief physical therapist of the “Sanctuary” in Malvern, Pennsylvania and “Therapy on the Rocks” in Sedona, Arizona. In addition to treating patients from around the world, John also manages a successful educational company, Myofascial Release Seminars. He began developing his Myofascial Release Approach and teaching seminars in the 1970’s.

sedona mfr treatment centerJohn was named one of the most influential persons in the therapeutic profession in the last century, in the national Massage Magazine’s featured article titled “Stars of the Century.” He has been the featured speaker at the American Back Society symposiums for over 25 years. The American Back Society is comprised of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, psychiatrists, therapists and TMJ specialists whose focus has been the most important advances in healthcare in the last century.

A Multi-Therapist MFR Cash Practice for Over 25 Years!

malvern mfr treatment centerWho said CashPT is not scalable? John is unique in many ways, not only for his treatment techniques, but the fact that he has been in the physical therapy business for over 50 years, has been the director of in-network clinics and has owned two cash-based practices, with multiple therapists in each location, for well over 25 years.

Talk about staying power, I don’t know many other “out-of-network” or “cash-based” practices that have been around nearly that long or therapists still in private practice who have seen the rise and fall of insurance, reimbursements and… Diathermy. Even back in the “good ‘ol days” of reimbursement, that was often mentioned to me in my DPT program and by wiser and older PTs, John was operating a cash-based clinic because it made the most sense and was best for his patients.

In this episode we discuss:

His personal journey from injury into physical therapy and discovering his myofascial release approach.

Why he decided to start a cash-only practice.

How he built a successful multi-therapist cash-based practice in Malvern, PA and then successfully opened a second location across country in Sedona, AZ.

How he creates a valuable patient experience using his Myofascial Release techniques.

How he “convinces” patients to come see him and pay much more than a co-pay for physical therapy.

What his evaluation and treatment programs include.

How empowering patients and therapists to treat themselves at home enhances the value of his treatment.

His successful marketing strategies…and his “silly” marketing strategy that works!

His advice for hiring additional therapists.

His best recommendations for someone who wants to start a cash-based practice.

John’s thoughts on his 5 year plan and retirement.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Myofascial Release Treatment Centers & Seminars

John’s Myofascial Release Facebook Page

MFR Insight

Johns Blog at Massage Magazine


About The Author

Aaron LeBauer

Aaron LeBauer PT, DPT, LMBT started a 100% cash based physical therapy practice right after graduation. He enjoys sharing his experiences in private practice and helping other therapists find freedom in practice.

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