What is so innovative about all this?
“Up until now, this role of synchronisation of movement was exclusively attributed to the nervous system components. However, at a certain point, neurophysiologists began to question how the brain alone was able to control all of the variables involved in a motor gestures. The control of movements in the periphery had to be more complex than initially thought. Through careful study, it was observed that due to the tensioning of the fascia by many muscular fibres that insert into it, it was likely that the fascia might coordinate many of these variables. If this normally very slippery membrane becomes rigid, stuck or densified then the inevitable
loss of a valuable coordinating element could result in inappropriate, badly tuned movements. Due to traumas, overuse (such as tennis elbow or repetitive stress injuries), heavy work, and bad eating habits, a lack of sliding within the fascia can occur. In fact, we can say that the densification of this membrane depends principally on three factors: mechanical (overuse), chemical (alimentation) and physical factors such as cold and wind, which reduce the fluidity of the membrane and the circulation of blood”.
What do you mean exactly by “densification”?
“Densification forms where there is an excess of new collagen fibres, which are produced by the fascia itself in an attempt to repair a lesion caused by, as I said before, excessive mechanical, chemical or traumatic irritation of some kind. However, this type of repair provides a rather precarious equilibrium for the body because it is not like the normal physiological condition, and this causes functional and structural changes and pain often ensues.
In other words, what are the consequences of fascial “densification”?
“I suggest that when the fascial membrane is less elastic and less slippery, it loses its ability to coordinate muscles efficiently so movements are less free, more rigid. You get up one morning feeling unusually stiff. Why? Probably the day before a joint has been used in a nonphysiological manner, unnaturally, so at first you feel the stiffness, and then a little later the pain starts. I need to repeat myself here, just to emphasise that I think the cause is not to be sought in the joint itself, but in the fascia. This of course is an advantage from a therapeutic point of view because the fascia can be manipulated whereas bone, muscle, or nerve does not
have the same degree of malleability as the fascia.
Do you think you could call this approach “a new paradigm in physiotherapy”?
“Yes. The originality of this method lies in the fact that the focus is not on the joint itself but on the mechanisms that move the joint, in which the fascia has an important coordinating role. This is why, in this technique, therapeutic points located within the fascia have been called Centres of Coordination, because I suggest that they coordinate those muscle fibres involved in a specific movement, or a specific action”.
Can you be a bit clearer?
“In the fascia, there are different Centres of Coordination that, incidentally, often coincide with acupuncture points. These centres are probably involved in the coordination of joint movements. When, or if, they become “densified”, pain results in the associated joint. In order to re-balance the various body structures the densifications need to be slowly dissolved. Not by chance, manipulation of the fascia can play a role in preventing dysfunction”.
Therefore, that means you can have treatment even when you are feeling fine….
“Not exactly. Treatment is effectuated when the body sends out an indication of distress. We need to have a minimum of distress, which could be stiffness or pain, indicating that something is awry. Often pain is the alarm bell. It is not wise to take analgesics, just to cover up the symptom, as this can be an obstacle to the healing process, obscuring the body’s cry for help. In the end, if no effective therapy is performed then one can end up on the operating table. Let’s say, if the pain signal from a hip, knee, or