A Description of ISTR/IFR for Clients and Interested Persons
Most clients who come to me are referrals, either through my practice or from my teaching of IFR) Integrative Fascial Release. One of the obvious questions I get, or people ask, is what does this fellow do, and how would you describe it, and is he ONLY a Remedial Massage Therapist?
To answer this is pretty straight forward…I hold a Bachelor of Health Science in Musculoskeletal Therapy (2007) with a degree in Education (1984) which qualifies me as a clinical therapist, remedial status in Australia, and more highly educated, which moves more towards Osteopathy. I am not an Osteopath, but I do employ Osteopathic principles, in that I work with more than the muscular system to address soft-tissue dysfunction.
I target the connective tissue of the body, primarily myofasica, ligaments and joints, and I do so in a manner than is ever mindful of the autonomic nervous system. The nervous system is the primary focus in regards to releasing soft-tissue. the nervous system is the ”horse”, soft-tissue is the ”cart”.
How this is achieved is through lighter application of touch, to facilitate sensory receptor response in all the various soft-tissue…so I do treat the muscles, but unlike massage therapists who primarily focus on muscle, muscle is my last ”port of call”. I treat the musculature at the very end of a session, not the beginning.
Another aspect that distinguished my work from others in the field, is that I assess and treat ””globally””before I address the local or regional concerns. This is accomplished by blending the assessment and release of global lines of myofascial tension (Myers) (Schleip) (Paoletti), with articular receptor facilitation to unwrap and unwind soft-tissue with little or no force.
I”ve drawn from the work of Micheal Shea for Autonomic Nervous System approach and expression as the foundation of any soft-tissue work, and Craniosacral therapy to facilitate change to transverse planes.
The Articular or ”joint” treatment I employ is Osteopathic in principle. I discovered how to treat joints independent of any Osteopathic training. However I was t rained as a massage therapist in Washington state with the now famous Brian Utting School in Seattle in 1985-86. With 25 years of clinical experience, and having taught in massage education since 1992, the parameters of joint treatment were very clear. No Manipulation. We can as remedial therapists, mobilize a joint, but we cannot and will not use any forceful or ”thrust”maneuver, as that is outside my ”scope of practice”.
Techniques include the ‘Two Point’ , which is the placement of both hands on the body in a light manner to connect with the client’’s nervous system, ascertain the ”energetic state” of their system and to evaluate the myofascial tensional releationship aong global lines. The ‘Fulcrum’, Static & Leverage Compressions techniques which are introduced simply are one dimensionally, then combined by ‘osteopathic stacking’ , I introduce more complex releasing patterns with constant autonomic nervous system awareness, expression and response. Sound structural underpinning knowledge with an indirect approach, allows the practitioner to work more quietly and effectively.
I tend to ””unwrap”’’soft-tissue, use compressive ”frictioning” sparingly, utilize the autonomic response akin to how kinesiology utlilizes the ”neurology” of the body before change occurs to the physical tissue.
Conditions that ISTR/IFR Addresses
- There are a number of clinical complaints I address routinely, these include, but are not an exhaustive list:
- Systemic conditions including Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Pain
- Regional dysfunctions, including Frozen Shoulder, Shoulder impingement, Rotator Cuff dysfunction
- Lower back pain
- Joint Pain
- Cervical, Jaw and Neck pain and dysfunction
Emotional and Somatic Bodywork
The work can through the release of soft-tissue allow for ”emotional content” to release from the tissue. These possible ”emotional storms” are handled in the most professional and compassionate manner therapeutically speaking. that is, no ”counselling” or ”therapising” is done. As an IFR practtioner, I am not interested in your ””content”” only how you can make sense of it in relationship to your body. Where the ”feelings” arise in your body, and what memory, meaning or emotion you attach to it in relationship to the area it arose from.
Many of my clients are meditators, yoga practitioners and teachers, receive treatment from ””Network chiropractors, and see many other practioners of various modalities. IFR is very compatible with other modalities, as it is non-intrusive, respectful and gentle.
This does not mean that i don””t on occasion go deeper, or that pain sensations aren””t navigated…I do not buy into the old axiom “no pain, no gain”. However, negotiated and strategic application can be utilized, provided I maintain constant awareness of your pain threshold and how you are responding to the application of technique.
Ive been specializing in Fibromyalgia for about five years and instruct manual therapists and treat clients with Fibromyalgia about the nature of the systemic dysregulation of the central nervous system that fosters the fibromyalgia symptoms.
The gentle approach of IFR is perfect for the soft-tissue aspect of the presenting symptoms of Fibromyalgia, but will not completely relieve, unless utilized in conjunction with other health care providers, including allopaths, naturopaths, neurologists and psychologists.
The practitioner must be part of a health care team to successfully address and treat sufferers of Fibromyalgia.