Neurofascial release was discovered in 1987 by Stephen Myles Davidson, D.O., C-SPOMM. It is part of the family of techniques which are practiced by osteopathic physicians and commonly referred to as Osteopathic Manipulation. Neurofascial release may be the youngest member of this growing family. It is based on the same fundamental treatment concepts established by A.T. Still, the founder of the osteopathic profession.
Neurofascial release works essentially at the level of one type of connective tissue which is called the “fascia”. The connective tissue is the glue which holds us together by connecting one part of the body to another. In addition, it makes up the compartments and coverings of other tissues and organs, and it is even connected to itself, all in a very complex and organized way. Therefore, the connective tissue structurally unifies the body, giving it much of its strength and support. This is a unique function which is not performed by any of the other body tissues.
Experts tell us that we “live in our fascia” as though it was a body suit. One indication of the quality of our health is how well this “body suit” functions. Injuries can affect many of our tissues, but especially our fascia. The site of the injury usually causes a local problem, but there is a great deal of truth to the expression, “When my toe hurts, my whole body hurts”. A pull or twist in the fascia can also be transmitted along all of its connections, making it possible to produce distant problems as well. When our “body suit” fails to function properly, we can experience pain, headaches, restricted range of motion, and many other problems affecting our general health.
Neurofascial release is detective work. It attempts to identify strain patterns in the fascia and their effects on body function, both locally and as a whole. Treatment is made by use of light touch, which helps the body identify the problem, focus on the area, and make its own correction. The fascial strain is often relieved, and the body will function more normally.
Excerpted from the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, Vol. XI, No. 2, by Barry D. Malina, D.O.
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by Stephen Myles Davidson, D.O., C-SPOMM