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... The aim of the Fascial Manipulation therapy is to restore gliding between the intrafascial fibers. Raising the temperature of selected areas of the fascia (corresponding to the CC points), via manual pressure, could allow for transformation of the ground substance, transforming it from a pathological status of GEL (dense fascia) to a physiological status of SOL (fluid fascia). This variation in density probably allows for two events. Firstly, during the application of manual pressure, the connective tissue adapts and the intrafascial free nerve endings may slide within the fascia more freely, which could explain the sudden decrease in pain during massage in the treated area. The second event could evolve over the following days: with enhanced fluidity of the ground substance, physiological tensioning of the fibers within the fascia during muscular contraction could allow for correct deposition of new collagen and elastic fibers according to the lines of applied force. Subsequent restoration of gliding between connective tissue layers of the fascia would enable tensional adjustments during muscular contraction, resulting in appropriate tensioning of periarticular structures such as tendons and capsules. This restitution of elasticity to the fascia could also explain the satisfactory results maintained over time.

Interview of Luigi Stecco by Massimo Ilari

For disturbances ranging from headache to post-traumatic recovery in athletes, the secret may lay in the treatment of a membrane that connects all parts of the body. One of the pioneers of this method explains just how in this interview.

“Manus sapiens potens est: only a knowledgeable hand is powerful. The more knowledge one has the easier it is to localise and identify the causes of pain and joint dysfunction. “It has nothing to do with magic", says Luigi Stecco a physiotherapist from Vicenza, Italy (Diploma in Physiotherapy, scholar of articular mobilisation, connective tissue massage, acupuncture and author of “Manipulation of the Fascia” (Piccin, Nuova Libraria). In this book, Stecco highlights the importance of fascia in the treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Through having treated thousands of patients in his 30+-year career, initially in the hospital of

Arzignano (VI) in Italy, and subsequently in private practice, as well as conducting training sessions for physiotherapists and physicians, Stecco has developed the technical foundations of a new rehabilitative method. The essence of this method lies in the fascia which, when treated appropriately, can resolve many common disturbances such as headaches, joint and muscular dysfunctions such as lumbalgia, in post-operative cases, post-traumatic recovery in athletes, and some visceral disorders. The interview with “Vita & Salute” (Life and Health) proceeded as follows.

Can you give us a simple explanation of exactly what fascia is?

“I’ll try. It is an extensive, membranous continuum composed of connective tissue, which connects all parts of the body, enclosing yet at the same time separating muscles. It is a membrane, which extends over the whole body just below the skin. While our skin is a perceptive organ that repairs and protects, the fascia has the function of connecting, coordinating one joint with another, as well as the body in its entirety. It is possible that the fascia synchronises the activity of each part of the body with the whole. Fascia is that whitish elastic membrane that surrounds muscles, easily identifiable in the meat one buys at the butchers. This membrane is made of white, collagen fibres. It is sometimes known as the investing fascia because it surrounds muscle.

What role does it have in our bodies?

“In medicine, it has always been considered to have a mere function, or role, of containment or restraint, a type of packing material. In recent times, this view has changed somewhat. Fascia actually extends within the muscle, via the perimysium and the endomysium. This continuity means that the contraction of each single muscle fibre transmits to the deep fascia, or the outer most layer of muscle compartments. It is now thought that the fascia could be considered as a conductor of an orchestra playing a symphony of movement, where it synchronises the crescendo of some muscles and the diminuendo of others. The result is harmonious

motion.

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