It is hard to explain fascial manipulation in just a few words. First of all, what is fascia.
There's a bit of confusion on what is and isn't fascia, so let's go with the latest definition formed during the 2015 International Fascia Research Congres: Anatomical fascia is a sheath, a sheet of any number of other dissectable aggregations of connective tissue that forms beneath the skin to attach, enclose, separate muscles and other internal organs. Functional fascia is the fascia that combines with many other elements and it could become difficult to distinguish its role from tendons and ligaments. All elements have to work together, interact, interrrelate, are independent but form a complete whole: the fascial system.
If that new definition throws you: try this one: fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It forms a whole-body continuous three-dimensional matrix of structural support. Fascia interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, creating a unique environment for body systems functioning.
Simply explained it's like this: a single muscle fibre is embedded in connective tissue. The single fibres are grouped together in fascicles, which are enclosed by connective tissue also. Put many fascicles together and you get a muscle, which is also surrounded by connective tissue. Fascia binds groups of muscles, blood vessels and nerves together like glad wrap around a sandwich, but at the same time separates muscles as well. It is a membrane which extends over the whole body just below the skin, coordinating and connecting one joint with another, playing an important role in joint stability, coordination, strength and proprioception. Recently neurophysiologists began to question how the brain alone was able to control all of the variables involved in movement. Through careful study it was observed that due to the tensioning of the fascia by the many muscular fibers that insert into it, it was likely that the fascia might coordinate many of these variables, but if the normally slippery membrane becomes rigid, stuck or densified, this could result in badly tuned movements, causing pain and dysfunction.
Fascia is the only body tissue that can modify and/or regain its elasticity/consistency when subjected to manipulation in the form of pressure, heat, or vibration.
Mr Luigi Stecco, an Italian Physiotherapist, has done extensive research on fascia and has come up with a method that doesn't focus on the painful joints itself, but on the mechanisms that move the joint; therapeutic points located in the fascia that coordinate with specific joint movements. When these therapeutic points become densified, they need to be manipulated by using pressure (Heat) to slowly dissolve the densification thereby improving the gliding between the layers and freeing up the joint/movement.
During your first fascial manipulation session, which may take up to two hours, we discuss your injury/pain, we locate the area of treatment through movement verification and palpation. Treatment means finding the densified points and then manipulate these by applying pressure until the pain has halved, often taking no longer than 3 minutes per point. Although painful, you should feel an immediate relieve, or increase in range of motion. Subsequent sessions, if necessary, may take 60 to 90 minutes.
Depending on the length of the session fees vary between $75 - $100.
I am registered with the Associazione Manipolazione Fasciale. (00543)
I have been trained by the Stecco family and have succesfully completed all 3 levels. I am currently the only Fascial Manipulation Practioner in New Zealand.
No particular hours set aside for Fascial Manipulation. Ring for available time.
If you would like to know more about fascia, please go to links to find 2 fascinating youtube videos about fascia. Or talk to me, once you get me started on fascia, there's no stopping me:-)!