Course Description

The Foundations/Autonomic Manipulations course that is presented is designed to integrate the importance of how autonomic response is at the core of all soft-tissue release.

In the past with IFR, myofascial release was at the 'heart' of most of the instruction emphasis.  These days this has been modified to emphasis the importance of ALL soft-tissue and the interplay between systems. Muscle dysfunction is effected by a variety of factors. With this the initial empahsis is upon 'flight & flight' response as it leads to 'high sympathetic tone'. In other words muscle tension can be ameloriated by simple laying of hands at key locations.  The cranial osteopaths call this 'coordinating the eight diaphragms'. The techniques used to achieve this elegantly simple technique is called the 'Two Point'. The first morning/early afternoon are devoted to the 'potency' of lighter touch application to the 'eight' diaphragms and the reultant autonomic phenomena observed and experienced.

The second primary emphasis in Foundations is to employ indirect blended with direct technique. To this extent the osteopathic concept of 'ease' and 'bind' is taught for assessment, palpation & technique application.  Again a simple technique can be quite complex when applied with a three dimensional intent. This emphasis also addresses distinctions of Tissue Loading as presented by Lederman (2005). Lederman states there are two primarly froms of manual therapy application; compression loading and tension loading. massage therapy 'friction' or 'longitudinal stripping' is compression loading, fascial 'grasps', skin rolling, or 'cross-hand' myofascial stretches are tension loading. The combination of compression and tension loading is named 'tensegrity technique'. 

Third emphasis is myofascial. Utlizing the 'gold standard' these days in following myofascial lines of tension, we will address three cardinal lines as they relate to Thomas Myer's Anatomy Trains. The cardinal lines are sagittal & coronal.  These correspond to Myers Superficial Front & Back Lines along with Laterla Line. We will look at other authors lines of myofascial tension such as Serge Paoletti's 'Chains' and Schultz's Body 'Straps".

These lines can have technique intervention at any point along the line which allows for a 'global perspective'.  However the effective of change and release is by a knowledge of myofascial anatomy by either application of technique with mindfulness of the direction of application or 'high leverage points'.  Myers names these 'stations', Paoletti calls these 'transfer points' and Schleip derived the term 'high leverage point' which we utilize in ISTR/IFR.

The fourth emphasis is accessory motion applied to joints. The use of joint play through either compression or tension will facilitate painless indirect technique that will quickly change soft-tissue surrounding the capsule in neighboring regions.  Joint treatment with ligament techniques are crucial to changing myofascia and muscle contracture associated with soft-tissue dysfunction. The main joint technique instructed is known as 'Levering'. Intially 'Levering' is taught through the application of compression, later in Fascial Articulations class this is combined as paired levering technique using compression and tension or a 'push-pull' application of paired levering, i.e., one leg 'pulled' whilst one leg is 'pushed' or crowded through compression.

The Fascial Articulations/Intermediate Course class combines myofascial line awareness, including more complex line arrangement (spiral line, deep front line), joint mobilization with modified Muscle Energy Technique MET.  Because MET orginated with Osteopathy, i.e., Ruddy & Mitchell, it was based on joint directional restrictions, not necessarily muscular tension as it seems to indicate by its' name.  Because MET is a misnomer, I began calling it JET- Joint Energy Technique.

Muscle energy implies the 'energy' used by the client through muscular contraction. Ruddy D.O. (1874-1964) & Mitchell Sr.D.O. (1909-1974) sought to distinguish a differentiate tightness of large groups of mus­cles, or muscle fibers, and uses near-maximum contraction force to treat the tightness. this was considered PIR Post-Isometric Relaxation as developed by Karl Lewit. Mitchell's METMET focuses on joint range­ of motion limitation, and uses light (grams or ounces) to moderate force contractions precisely controlled to affect a specific joint, to restore normal joint motion.  The Muscle Energy concept considers the function of muscles as flex­ors, extenders, rotators, and sidebenders of joints as well as restrictors of joint movements. Mitchell began by devel­oping techniques that used the patient's muscles to restore physiologic movement to the joints of the pelvis. His basic principles are the same for all passive joints: voluntary mus­cle contractions are exerted against a precisely executed coun­terforce to loosen the specifically localized joints for passive articulation during postcontraction relaxation.

The Articulations class utilizes more complex patterning and arrangement to identify and relieve soft-tissue dysfunction.