Taking care of the person, not only the muscle, the organ or the articulation as separate entities; listening to the body. The goal is to set up a tailored treatment to allow the body to fulfil its potential while accepting its limits. These are the prerequisites of Fascial Manipulation, an innovative recovery method created by Luigi Stecco.
What does Fascial Manipulation mean?
Fascial Manipulation refocuses the therapeutic attention from the treatment of the consequences to the the treatment of the cause. This is quite different from traditional medicine which, if, for example, an organ is symptomatic, examines that organ only. While if a specific musculoskeletal area is symptomatic, examines only that isolated site (often not even touching the area). Our approach recognizes the importance of the physiologic balance of the entire system, focusing on the interconnection of the entire musculoskeletal system, the entire visceral system and the interconnection of the two systems, correcting the causes of the imbalance in order to return the system to its physiologic balance. With the aim of improving the quality of the patient’s life, we use an open mind and a multi-causal approach, seeing the value in listening to the patient and to signals of the patient’s body. Often, a minimal amount of focused sessions is enough to solve a problem that has been dragging on for years.
What is new?
The strength of Fascial Manipulation lies in its recognition of the fascia as the conductor of movement. This divergences from the classic therapeutic approaches. The fascia is indeed the membrane capable of coordinating all the variables involved with the act of movement but, for a long time, this role was not recognized. The nervous system was considered the only controller of the muscular action. The result of this incomplete analysis of the controllers of movement leads, during the clinical practice, to an exclusive attention on the consequences, on the pain as disease, which has to be overcome with pain-controlling medications. Fascial Manipulation instead embraces the pain and uses it to understand how to find–and act on–the cause of the dysfunction. Fascia is the connector of the entire organ system to the musculoskeletal system both anatomically and, more importantly, physiologically. This allows us to examine the connections between the different pathologies within the patient, setting up a global personalized treatment that returns the whole system to its physiologic balance. The medical concept of the separation of the internal organ from the locomotor system physiologically does not exist in Fascial Manipulation.
Why promote a non-pharmacologic approach?
Pain is an important signal and an advantage from the therapeutic point of view: through the pain the system informs us about the limits of our body, allowing the body to protect its integrity. By covering the pain with the analgesics–the “help yell” our body send us–the harmful movement will continue and the resultant articular dys-coordination increases the risk of injury to the related joint. The fascia therapist uses the pain as a diagnostic instrument and, once understanding its fascia-based cause, works on the fascia to prevent the injury and normalize the muscular functional, alleviating the painful symptom and preventing its return.
How is the treatment set up?
The therapeutic approach of Fascial Manipulation recognizes the presence of particular points capable of causing the pain and imbalances . These points are termed “Centers of Coordination”. These Centers of Coordination–distant from the site of pain– are the sites of convergence of the normal (or “physiological”) fascial tensions. These tensions, when they become non–physiological (‘densifications”), may be the cause of the pain symptoms. As such, they are the center of the fascio-therapeutic treatment. The sessions are generally weekly and proceed according to the following steps:
– Data collection – active listening to the patient including to his clinical history, plotting out the evolution of his current pathologies; decrease of the painful symptom during the treatment and evolution of the symptomatology from one session to another.
– Hypothesis of a work plan – with precise objective, the fascial therapist decides the treatment to follow, including on what points to focus. Communication of this to the patient to establishes a useful collaboration.
– Motor examination – orthopedic clinical test to identify possible muscular deficits.
– Palpatory examination – to identify and define the “densifications” within the Centers of Coordination.
In a situation of hypersensitivity, the manual therapy will at first be locally painful, easing at the end.
Just after the session, the pain at the symptom site often decreases considerably and the range of motion of the associated articulation — along with the muscle strength — will usually increase. After a few minutes the reactive inflammatory phase starts which potentiates the correct remodeling of the fascia. This phase, necessary to the final goal of the rebalancing of the system, can last up to 48 hours. The number of the sessions is based on the complexity of the problem and the patient’s ability to heal.
What are the imbalances that Fascial Manipulation can alleviate?
Different kinds of imbalances can be addressed with Fascial Manipulation. We deal with dysfunction of locomotor system such as headache, intercostal pain, radiculitis, arthralgia, Morton’s neuroma, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinopathy. We deal also with internal dysfunctions, again, searching for the causes and the solution to numerous diseases historically not associated to the manipulative therapy such as difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia), the sensation of tightness of the chest, tachycardia, asthma , gastritis and esophagitis, constipation, bloating, cystitis, vaginismus and dysmenorrhea, circulatory disease, edemas, dermatitis and many others. We suggest you read our blog to for updates and to further investigate this technique.