A manual therapy specifically designed to address the deep tissues of the body that wrap our muscles, tendons, bones, nerves, blood vessels and organs. It is rooted in sound science as well as clinical experience. This technique system was developed by the Stecco family, active researchers in the field of fascia. The father, Luigi Stecco, an Italian Physiotherapist, began working with fascia almost 40 years ago. Read an interview with Luigi Stecco that was published in 2003 and learn about fascia from his own words. Both of his children have continued with his work and brought even more understanding to his original theories and ideas. His daughter, Dr. Carla Stecco, an Orthopedic surgeon, has been instrumental in helping to provide indisputable evidence of the role that fascia plays in transmitting force between distant areas of the body. His son, Dr. Antonio Stecco is also bringing this system of working the body to light through his presentations and contributions to textbooks and peer reviewed articles. Together the Stecco family are teaching researchers, physicians and manual therapists alike the importance of this tissue.
What to expect from a session:
Each session will involve taking a thorough history and then performing an assessment of a primary area of complaint. Specific movements and precise palpation will be used to verify the appropriate course of treatment with consideration of the effects of past injuries. Please complete the health history form prior to your appointment as the history of your injuries and symptoms are very important to developing a treatment plan. Specific active movements or passive stretches are utilized to determine the most appropriate areas of treatment and then verified again after the session.
Pain, weakness, and lack of coordination are some signs that the fascia in a region is preventing normal motion from occurring. Precise palpation will determine areas of increased density and/or sensitivity that will be treated. Typically 3-5 areas would be manipulated in a single visit with each area receiving approximately 5 minutes of intense treatment. Self care will be discussed to maximize the effects of the treatment. 1 week should be allowed between sessions (if needed) to let the body adapt to the changes.
Come prepared and then take it easy.
Loose clothing should be worn or a gown and shorts will be provided. No oils or lotions are used as this is not a massage therapy session, but direct contact with the skin is required.
You will be asked to move around before, during and after the treatment.
Some discomfort is possible during the treatment and soreness for a day or two after as dense areas of this deep tissue is released and allowed to heal. Whenever possible, anti-inflammatory medications should be avoided for at least 24 hours after treatment.
Contraindications would include fever, open wounds in the area of treatment, easy bruising, and generalized weakness.
This system goes beyond obvious anatomical structures to appreciate the interconnected role of the fascia and how tensions in one area can affect a distant region. The simplest of spirals and diagonals that we find throughout the natural world are acknowledged while giving consideration to our developmental evolution as complex, bipedal organisms.
Dr. Ebling is among a very small group of doctors and physical therapists in the country to have completed the full US based training in this system of working with fascia. In 2010 she was fortunate enough to be taught by European Physiotherapists who averaged 15 years of clinical experience with the Stecco work. They each continue to work directly with the Stecco family to fine tune the technique through research and study while striving for consistency in training and practice.
In September of 2014 she traveled to Italy where she studied directly with Carla, Antonio and Luigi to learn how to use this scientifically sound method to treat internal disorders. While organs cannot be directly accessed, Fascial Manipulation strives to alter the space that each organ occupies as well as the autonomic input so that the body can restore homeostasis and correct itself before pathology sets in. This was only the third class ever to be offered in English and she is excited to put the expanded methodology into practice to treat a variety of musculoskeletal, lymphatic and visceral conditions.
How is Fascial Manipulation© different?
Reproduced with permission from Rezwan Razzaq
Many techniques that focus on deeper structures of the body also work with the fascia, FM is unique in that specific points have been identified through both clinical as well as scientific means. These points are not always necessarily within a muscle, but more importantly are found where the majority of forces converge through a muscle or group of muscles to coordinate or control the movements that we perform. After an injury or overuse, these regions often show deficiency in hyaluronic acid and become dehydrated, resulting in thickened areas that have less glide associated with them. The increased thickness then affects the force transmission required for strong and coordinated movements. Balanced force transmission, like the picture above shows, can result in incredibly strong yet flexible structures.
Fascial Manipulation© in the news!
Follow this link to read Dr. Marc Heller's review and explanation of this exciting technique in a recent edition of Dynamic Chiropractic.
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