I am currently enrolled in Universal College of Healing Arts Associate degree program. As a part of that program I get to attend a multitude of advanced class on a variety of bodywork subjects. The one I am currently attending is call fascial alignment.
What is Fascia? It is the underlying connective tissue that holds out whole body together. It is mostly jelly like collagen that forms 3 dimensional triangles that wrap every muscle, every fiber, every organ , joint and bone.
By addressing this tissue in bodywork, often the restrictions held within the body can be released.
Fascial alignment is all about putting the body back into its optimal alignment. MANY people are out of alignment in their pelvis or shoulders which in turn leads to being out of alignment in many, many other places.
I was assessed today- not exactly what I thought I was going to do when I volunteered, but assessed I was. In short, I have a rotated pelvis that comes from my feet being turned outward- severely. My pelvis is also thrust forward on the left (from an injury 14 years ago).
So the idea is that by releasing the cause of the situation, the issue will go away. The cause is the things out of alignment. The issues is the low back pain I suffer from that I call my Butt/Leg issue.
So. The by correcting my feet to be overly inward and holding that for a bit, when I stood normal- my feet were more in alignment than they had been, and the pain in my butt/leg was less.
Then the treatment continued on to bodywork. My leg lengths were asses- one was longer than the other and so the quads (rectus femoris etc) on the shorter leg were worked. This released my tissues and my legs were then the same length. Bringing my tissues- my fascia- into alignment and easing more of the low back pain. other bits of me were addressed in a similar manner until i was pain free.
The difference with this kind of technique is that the therapist works WITH the client in isolating the restrictions and having the client move as the strokes are being allied AND in movement education for the client so they can help themselves. There is almost nothing passive about this kind of treatment.
Those fully trained in this kind of treatment would be people who are Hellerworkers, Rolfers and other trained Structural Integration Therapists.
For more information on connective tissue: