Rather than attending the Fascia Research Congress in Vancouver earlier his year, I opted for the smaller and more intimate Fascia Research Summer School. The gathering was organised by the Fascia Research Group at the University of Ulm. The week consisted of lectures, anatomy sessions and small group workshops. In summary:
Carla Stecco explored the compression and tensions functions of superficial fascia and the historical disregard of this tissue in the pursuit of topographical anatomy.
Robert Schleip of integrated research on load bearing and the mechanical properties of fascia including strain-hardening and viscoelasticity and gel-sol phenomena.
Adjo Zorn included fascial slings in a computational model of human gait. This model of human gait seems likely to super-cede the conventional pendular model.
Werner Klinger presented research on the effects of pH and temperature on the physical properties of fascia.
Paul Hodges wove fascia into the picture of motor control and the interplay of pelvic floor dysfunction, low back pain and respiration.
Andry Vleeming drew heavily on his 2012 Journal of Anatomy collaborative review of the thoracolumbar fascia to elaborate a rich clinical picture.
Jonas Tesarz revealed the complex sensory and autonomic innervation of the thoracolumbar fascia and explored its role in the generation low back pain.
Daniele Martin had workshop participants construct and explore the properties and qualities simple tensegrity structures consisting of wooden dowels (compression elements) and elastic (tension elements). These elements are considered analogous to bones and the fascia in biotensegrity.
Gerald Pollack’s work on muscle contraction and motility is seminal. His theories relating to phase-transition phenomenon in cell function have recently been integrated into observed biophysical properties of fascia like strain-hardening. His work is conceptually inspiring and heretical.
Leon Chaitow is the author of numerous osteopathic textbooks and current editor in chief of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. His presentation was a grand fascial synthesis of clinical models, theories and evidence.
Jean-Claude Guimberteau closed proceedings with a partial screening and discussion of his new DVD ‘Skin, Scars and Stiffness’.
I have been digesting and assimilating this massive dose of research, clinical and technical material – some of which will be shared with inaugural participants in an upcoming MESHWORK workshop – RECOIL & RELAX.