Manual therapy – an ongoing training and learning process

So the last two days have been spent in a village 20 minutes outside of Glasgow called Milgavie (pronounced Mil Guy). My regular clients are aware of my passion for ongoing training and development. When it comes to the manual therapy field there are nearly too many options. Some therapists like to mix and match their continuous professional development but over three years ago when I first came to the UK for further training, I made the decision to choose one area and become specialised and hopefully an expert in that field. That field is myofascial release. For those that are unaware myo is latin for muscle and fascia means tight band. Makes complete sense now right? Release tight bands of fascia and muscles. How many of you feel like you suffer from tight bands and muscles?

So in a nutshell I am training to complete an advanced clinical diploma in myofascial release. I’m pretty confident saying that no other therapist will have the same qualification when completed.  Up to now I’ve done this training from 2 day workshops and one day workshops with the most recent to now a day in London with specialist techniques to treat the spine and sacrum.

The first two days of my five days here in Milgavie feel like I have gone back to my more formal training and stripping it right back to the basics – Assessment and Integration. I might be guilty of scaling back my assessments in favour of more treatment time and finding the soft tissue restrictions during the treatment. With experience comes an ability to narrow the problem area but when it comes to treating the connective tissue, fascia, a restriction in one part of the body can lead to problems in another part of the body – hence the need to take the time to assess and reassess and ensure that all restrictions and adhesions are addressed. I have been thoroughly assessed by my fellow therapists on my first two days training  and I’ve been really surprised in where some my own restrictions are. When we put all the findings together it makes complete sense to my own level of dysfunction.

The first image below is layers of fascia covering muscle and the second image is an example of the fascial web with one area of dysfunction or restriction leading to restrictions elsewhere

fascia covering muscle fibres


fascia web

This may seem blatantly obvious to any therapist reading this but believe me, the more experienced therapists become, the less time they feel they have to spend time assessing and reassessing. For any therapist that does not take into consideration the ‘fascia web’ and full body assessment, the long term musculoskeletal health of their clients will suffer and re-occurrences of old injuries will occur. We have to stop thinking of muscles and levers and look at the bigger picture – the fascial web. With all the recent research ploughed into the role of fascia it now appears that muscles are responsible for only 50% of joint movement. So if your therapist is trying to fix your limited range of motion they may only be addressing half of the problem!

I’m on a day off today to spread the ‘Fascia Gospel’ 🙂 – my next post will be an update on my Friday, Saturday and Sunday workshops. A one day course on ‘Abdominal Scarring’ and the roles scars play in pain and dysfunction. Saturday and Sunday brings Fascia Rehabilitation. This will be great for those of you that have the discipline of self treating and injury prevention techniques at home such as foam rolling. Hopefully there’ something new there for everyone just like these last few days have been for me.


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