Myofascial Release, Structural Integration, Fascia Definition

Whatever Ever Happened to the
MYO in Myofascial Release?

This is a commentary on the role of Fascia in the structurally-related functions of the body.

[Originally written in the mid-1,990s, with additions in the early and late 2,000s as new research came out, recently re-edited for more clarity.]
John Barnes - Myofascial Release, Fascia, Connective Tissue

John Barnes, Founder of Myofascial Release

This article is not exhaustive, but meant to dispel some of the modern Myth-Conceptions in musculofascial therapy and related therapies that have a major focus on fascia. So far in the following article, I have mostly referred to John Barnes of Myofascial Release fame, and his point of view on fascia. Now, I don’t mean to deny the fact that John has done a lot of good for the Musculo-Fascial Therapy and Bodywork Communities.

NOTE: I tend to more recently prefer “musculofascial” instead of “myofascial” as the 2nd term has tended to become more associated with the fascial component alone rather than BOTH the fascia AND the muscle cells as an integrated unit. Yet it depends on who you’re reading or listening to. But as Tom Myers says, both terms should be considered synonymous. And both terms refer to the muscles and fascia as an integrated unit.

myofascial release, structural integration, fascia definition

Ida P. Rolf — Founder of Structural Integration (Rolfing®)

Even if the science as commonly presented is not correct, a lot of people have gotten excellent results from myofascial therapy treatment, even if it was not working for the reasons they thought. There are many others, such as Ida P. Rolf, founder of Rolf® Structural Integration, and Joseph Heller, as well. (Ida probably got the whole “ball of fascia” thing rolling well, and is most widely known for her work.) Joe Heller worked for the Rolf Institute for a number of years, then went off on his own to found Hellerwork, an offshoot of Rolfing. It is much the same work, with a few modifications and additions.

However, there are some long-standing points-of-view I consider to be very misleading when it comes to the nature of fascia. I address some of them here.

Muscle & Fascia fibers - Muscle Pain Relief and Stress Reduction - myofascial release, fascia definition

Muscle Fibers Embedded in Fascial Sheaths

In Short Summary, muscle cells and fascia are so closely related and integrated, I doubt that, except for the layer of superficial fascia just under the skin, directly perceiving significant differences between muscle fibers and fascial sheaths by way of manual palpation is highly unlikely.

Individual muscle cells are microscopic in size, and are fully contained within their respective fascial sheaths. Is it reasonable to think you can actually feel the differences between such highly integrated yet tiny tissues? …

I must state that I believe MOST of the changes in body tissues many manual therapists attribute to “changes in the fascia” are actually occurring primarily by way of in the changes in the neuro-musculo-fascial units in general and the muscle cells (actin-myosin units) in specific.

The hardness or tension people feel in the tissues is a product of the muscle cells, when in a contracted state, exerting outward hydrostatic (water pressure) forces, putting outward pressures on their fascial casings. The casings are indeed the fascial sheaths of every muscle cell and groups of muscle cells in the body.

My Hypothesis On Muscle Contraction:
Bulging, Hardening, Shortening

The hardness felt in normal “fascia” is, to a great degree, if not mostly, the outward hydrostatic (water) pressure increasing as the actin-myosin units are activated and pulled toward each other by nerve impulses. The shortening action of the actin-myosin cells redirects the water pressure within the cell, increasing the outward pressure within the cell. This contributes to the familiar “bulging” of a contracting muscle.

Increased pressure on the water within the cell, as that water pushes outward, causes the tissue texture to hardened. As soon as the actin-myosin unit relaxes, the outward water pressure reduces; the tissue feels less hard.

While the physical properties of fascia and muscle cells are very different, from a practical, treatment point-of-view, the muscle cells & fascia must be addressed as an integrated whole, not two different tissues that are addressed separately from each other.

Fortunately, there are ways of treating the neuro-musculo-fascial tissues, effectively & efficiently addressing unique properties of both muscle cells and fascia. … More on that later.

Now, on to the Near-Myth-Conceptions of Fascia … in Myofascial Release, Rolfing® and Other Similar Systems

Back in the mid-1990s, I was sitting on an airplane with Linda J. Calandro (one of THE top neuromuscular therapists and teachers at the time), flying across the country to teach a workshop. I was reading an article in Massage Magazine written by John Barnes, founder of the very well-known MyoFascial Release Technique.

In the article, he stated, there is really no such thing as muscle, that there is only fascia, or connective tissue. This, after previously in the very same article, his lengthy attempt at a philosophical discussion on the dangers of “reductionism” in modern science. He bemoaned the artificial breaking down (reduction) of the body into separate parts by medical science and he attempted to pontificate on this topic as a “wholistic philosopher.”

SPECIAL NOTE: It is instructive to note that the 37th Edition of Gray’s Anatomy, Elsevier: Churchill Livingston, stated that the word fascia had become so over-used as to become nearly meaningless. Yet that critical phrase has been removed since the new editorial team revised the 39th Edition of the book. But the term fascia has become quite ambiguous, as there are so many tissues that can rightly be considered to be “fascia.”

This is especially true when fascia is considered synonymous with “connective tissue,” which can also refer to blood and lymph, which are fluids.

Barnes is by all means correct to point out that modern medical science has gone way too far in treating every system and component of the human body as significantly or even at times completely separate and denying the all to obvious and important, intimate relationships between them. This destructive characteristic is present in much of so-called science (and described well by Candace Pert in her excellent book Molecules of Emotion).

(I should say that one chapter in Pert’s book goes, in my view, too far. Her philosophical point-of-view borders on “mind creates everything” (solipsism). But if so, why did she spend so much time using physical sciences to explain why molecules in the blood cause so many phenomena? However, I do believe most of her book is indeed excellent, and well describes quite valid physiological research. ~DSL)

On Specialization: This is a great and necessary thing for humans to progress with. Yet when one has gotten SO specialized they lose sight of the interrelations between various phenomena and things, and nearly everything else, then perspective narrows and all we see is a tree, and don’t notice there’s a forest nearby….

A Healthy Focus Runs the Risk of Becoming Pathological Obsession.

So a healthy balance between The Big Picture and Hyper-Specificity & Focus is necessary.

So then, after warning us of the dangers of reductionism, Mr. Barnes then turns around and reduces all the many different muscles and connective tissues of the body down to the single name of fascia!

He, therefore, does the same thing he accuses others of, but in the opposite extreme.

Fascially Induced Reductionism:
Pros & Cons

To deny the unique, individual characteristics of various components and systems is itself reductionist in the opposite direction, and is equally misleading at best, intellectually destructive at worst. It is such thinking that gives science a bad name.

Worse, in more extreme therapeutic challenges, such thinking can lead to misevaluation and/or mistreatment.

Generally speaking, the average client or patient with mild to average aches, pains or dysfunction is going to get better just by the fact of being manually treated in a more-or-less conscious & competent way. In many cases, it matters not where you touch them at all.

ANY “conscious touch” is beneficial, and can relax their entire bodymind system.

That’s because even general therapeutic touch is very systemically healing in and of itself, even if the specific evaluation of the therapist is not correct.


Many times, a Client has been amazed at how much their entire body relaxes when I’m working on just ONE tiny spot on their body. I must admit I’m still amazed by that sometimes too, though not surprised. So, in some cases, it doesn’t really matter where you or your therapist works. All that matters is proper contact is applied.

HOWEVER, in more extreme cases, the errors developing from incorrect understandings of the structural relationships of “what does what” in the human body can be either non-effectual, or at times, make clients or patients even worse.

Given what we are often told by Barnes and others about fascia and how it wraps around every structure of the body, this “fascia is everything” model of reality is the equivalent of saying that since all the food (muscle cells) in my refrigerator is wrapped in plastic food wrap (fascia, such as Saran Wrap), then, there is no such thing as food, there is only Saran Wrap.

But if you treat Saran Wrap as if it were food, making no distinctions between them, you will, in more extreme therapeutic challenges, get a more inferior result than if you treat Saran Wrap as Saran Wrap and food as food. If for no other reason, I do not expect that Saran Wrap is very tasty, nor nutritious, compared to actual food. …

Although, to be honest, I’ve not conducted actual experiments on that issue.

What this description by Barnes actually was is a great example of Reductionism in Reverse. This is a very common occurrence in the so-called “wholistic” or “alternative” fields of thought & therapy and the incessant quest for oneness at all cost. The bias against analytical or linear thought, which requires varying levels and aspects of “reductionist” thinking in order to understand certain specific and unique problems, shows up in many ways.

In this case, Barnes attacks reductionism, praises wholism, then turns around and engages in the ultimate reductionism by calling ALL the tissues in question by one name: fascia.

Since the characteristics of fascia and muscle are almost completely different, neither can be effectively addressed or even thought about when their individual realities are obscured or denied by a linguistic or semantic sleight-of-hand. (Even the various kinds of fascia are considerably different in nature, even though with some fundamental, structural similarities.)

Giving Fascia Its Due Attention

In the tradition of Ida Rolf — founder of Rolfing®, also known as Structural Integration — John Barnes correctly puts a lot of attention onto fascia that was formerly lacking. Fascia is a very important organ of metabolism and structural support with important implications for the health of the human bodymind. Until Rolf and Barnes, fascia was probably very understated in its importance.

Its wide range of important functions are well described, with great scientific precision, in Deane Juhan’s exceedingly great book:

Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork.

Then there’s James Oschman. His book, Energy Medicine, goes pretty far out on the limb of scientific credibility. Yet it is very interesting and in some ways useful, especially in the realm of expanding one’s thinking.

Fascia is, however, quite distinct from muscle and must be thought of and treated with a significantly different set of considerations and understandings.

This is one reason I developed my system of therapy so as to embrace the realities of muscle fibers and fascial sheaths simultaneously. My basic neuro-musculo-fascial release technique accounts for MOST of the properties of BOTH muscle cells and fascia at the same time. In some more extreme or unique cases, other techniques are required. But most of the time, the basic release technique addresses both muscle cells and fascial sheaths simultaneously.

It is clear that Barnes is (or was at the time of writing his article) psychologically biased toward the idea of fascia being the prime tissue of postural & structural support (like Ida Rolf, his professional reputation is in large part based upon this idea). His possibly (hopefully?) unconscious bias prevents his philosophical viewpoints from being complete or fully accurate.

Ida Rolf was also biased toward fascia being the prime factor in postural distortion, as was Joseph Heller, founder of Hellerwork, an offshoot of Rolfing. (Heller was the president of the Rolf Institute for several years, and is fully open with the fact that Hellerwork is quite a bit based on Rolfing, with some modifications and additions.)

I think it’s pretty clear much of Ida Rolf’s points-of-view were greatly influenced by Alfred Korzybski(author of Manhood of Humanity and Science & Sanity). I think Korzybski was a pioneering genius, but I also think some of his conjectures were taken a bit too far or too narrowly by his followers. But that’s a whole other article in itself. …

Please See HERE My Article on Korzybski
and other influences about fascia

And of course, there was Andrew Taylor Still, MD, who was an early 20th Century osteopath and advocate of focusing on fascia.

In an article in the Journal of Bodywork, published by Leon Chaitow in England, the issue of fascia was discussed along the same lines that Barnes, Rolf, and Heller appear to think. Interestingly, the article sites, as references in support of the ideas in the article, the writings of Rolf, Barnes, etc. They do not quote outside sources, they merely quote each other.

Some would say that’s a bit intellectually incestuous, to say the least. That does NOT mean they are necessarily wrong, only that they were not providing much in the way of outside, scientific or clinical corroboration of their ideas.

Yet scholarly, academic discussions of fascia and related tissues that are widely accepted in the medical community are hard to come by. That’s because the medical establishment has not invested significant resources into such questions.

(And unless “they” figure out a way to generate substantial derivative profits from the practice of massage, of treating muscle or fascia such as we do, it is unlikely they ever will spend much on real research.)

It bears repeating, the 37th Edition of the well-respected, English publication of Gray’s Anatomy (the $200 version, not the more common version you can buy at the local bookstore) stated that the term fascia has been so widely and loosely used to have lost much or most of its meaning. (And again, that statement was removed in the 39th Edition by a new editorial staff, and replaced with a far more neutral statement.)

For research studies to be conducted, very specific and narrow parameters must be produced and accounted for. Massage & bodywork, and yoga have many factors and variables difficult to control for. Therefore, producing such “scientifically acceptable” studies is unlikely anytime soon.

Facts & Fallacies of Fascial Function

A lot is known about fascia, but not all of it is necessary to know from the point-of-view of a manual bodyworker or yoga therapist.

Like bone, fascia is structurally passive.* It has no ability to execute or generate an action on its own. Although it has many functions and participates in structural function and action, fascia cannot DO anything in the sense that the actin-myosin cells (the primary elements of muscle fibers) can produce movement.

Muscle can execute an action because it has highly contractile fibers (made of the actin-myosin cells) that, according to well-established medical science, functions similar to “ratchets” that shorten and lengthen to achieve movement. Fascia, on the other hand, has NO significantly contractile fiber.**

Fascia, therefore, cannot “contract” or “shorten” in the same way, or anywhere near the degree, actin-myosin units can.

* A structural engineer once took me to task for using the word “passive” when referring to structural components. From a strictly engineering point-of-view, I think I know what she meant. Even apparently “passive” elements have a kind of “active contribution” to the structure. This is where certain valid concepts or realities can get way overdone, and I think she was overdoing her point. I am here, however, referring to the ability of an entity to actually internally produce its own movement or action.

** 2009 UPDATE: Recent research has found contractile fibers in the fascia, yet these turn out to be tiny numbers of contractile muscle fibers that have grown in after some kind of an injury. It is hypothesized that these new fibers help hold the surrounding, injured tissues together as they heal. … Yet these are smooth muscle fibers, which cannot produce anywhere near the degree of pulling power the striated muscle fibers can. And they are also not under conscious control.

It has also been suggested that certain ligaments have a rudimentary form of contractile fiber, but this appears to actually be striated muscle fibers embedded within the ligaments. For example, the deepest layers of gluteus maximus are embedded in the sacrotuberous ligament (connecting the sacrum with the lower aspects of the pelvis).

Therefore, the ability of fascia itself to create significant, overt movement or substantial functional change in length or structural relationships is quite limited. Any change in shape or size is reliant on changes of plasticity within its fibers (colloidal fibers) through chemical change (heat, motion, etc.).

Levels of hydration, or lack of it, probably play a big part, as well. (I think the dehydration of muscle cells and potential negative consequences are vastly overlooked, by-the-way.)

With many sensory, but few or no motor, nerves apparent in the fascial structures, there is no way for a human to consciously — or even unconsciously, for that matter — produce a change in length of their fascia the way or degree they can a muscle. Such changes that feel or appear to be in the fascia are actually produced by the shortening or lengthening of the actin-myosin cells.

Fascia, like bone, only goes along for the ride when it comes to actual mobility or movement.

But, and a critical but, fascia is THE tissue (in the form of tendons) by which the pulling power of a muscle is delivered to the bones. And, it is the LACK of elasticity making fascia so useful in this critical function. Fascia’s minimal extensibility (length-ability), only 4 to 7%, makes it very efficient at transferring force from muscle fibers to bones.

If fascia was very length-able (stretchy), muscles would have to work much harder to deliver the same or even much less force to the bones.

Therefore, fascia IS, for this and many other reasons, vitally important, but NOT because it can (allegedly) “contract.” When it comes to significant amounts of overt movement & action, muscle without fascia is pretty useless, and vice versa.

UPDATE: I DO, however, believe that fascia can, POSSIBLY, via its (maybe) potential piezo-electric characteristics (if this is indeed an accurate discovery by alleged recent research), create certain kinds of micro-movements causing it to slightly “contract” or harden with certain biochemical or electrical stimulus. It can also shrink a small percentage with dehydration. But this “contraction” is similar to a sponge “contacting” when it dries out (dehydrates).

And some research indicates it might even have a capacity of some kind of basic memory.

Energy Medicine by James Oschman

This memory is proposed to be performed by tiny “microtubules,” with molecules capable of rearranging themselves in something along the lines of a series of binary, plus or minus charges or positionings able to store certain levels of very basic information. This could have minor to major implications for the structure and function of the fascia at the microscopic level, and remains elusive at this time, especially relative to the macro levels of structure and overt movement of the gross structure.

But just as quantum physics (at the micro-level) did NOT replace or overturn Newtonian physics (the macro-level), but added to physics understandings of physics in general, so too, highly subtle fascial contraction or movement at the microscopic level does not necessarily nor directly translate into macroscopic actions.

They are, of course, related. Yet science has not progressed sufficiently to fully understand the relationship between micro and macro as of yet. In fact, it is not really well understood at all, except by a few who take a very practical approach. Unfortunately, many speculations as to the nature of this relationship have been described, often masquerading as “fact.”

Since so many advocates of Fascial Therapy also are advocates of the more mystical interpretation of Quantum Physics, here is an excellent article on Quantum Physics in practical application. Carver Meade actually builds useful, real-world inventions, highly useful “stuff,” with quantum physics, and knows a thing or two about it:

Carver Meade on Quantum Physics

And here is Lewis Little and his alternative Theory of Elemental Waves:

Theory of Elemental Waves by Lewis Little

Bend-ability (flexible) versus
Extensibility (stretchable)

As well, one of the primary features of fascia is that it is VERY flexible (bendable) but also VERY resistant to lengthening out. It does not actually “stretch” very much at all. This is one of the things making it very useful.

The most common estimates I’ve seen in recent and common physiology textbooks are that connective tissues — muscle sheaths, tendons, ligaments, and fascia — have a maximum of 4 to 7 percent of extensibility, meaning the capacity to lengthen without tearing or permanently distorting.

One error in pseudo-science is to interpret that elasticity of tissues is necessarily all-inclusive in meaning. In reality, elasticity can mean bend-ability (flexibility), OR length-ability (extensibility), OR resilience (absorbing of forces) OR all of them together. A particular tissue might well be called “elastic” yet only have one or two of those characteristics, and not necessarily all three.

It has also been pointed out* that when a person, even a very aged one, with significant postural distortion, such as scoliosis or a hunch-back (kyphosis), receives full-body anesthesia for surgery, their postural distortions significantly disappear as the muscles relax and lengthen out. Then, as the anesthesia wears off and the person becomes more conscious, the postural distortions return as the muscles tighten back up and shorten again.

* Deane Juhan explains this in his excellent book Job’s Body.

Since fascia has little or no neurological motor inputs or contractile fiber that is reactive to anesthesia, it is unlikely (impossible?) to independently “relax” dramatically and in such a short period of time, the way muscle cells do. Nor can it return to a contracted state as the anesthesia wears off. With no neuro-motor inputs, fascia would not respond to anesthesia in a way allowing postural distortions to quickly dissolve and then return.

For one thing, fascia does not actually change that fast, and not much at all. It’s “speedy” changes are from its ability to quickly “armor” itself against an intruding force and then soften again, almost instantly. But that is only a momentary reaction at the molecular level.

The microscopic colloidal molecules can instantly produce a microscopic “barrier” action. Yet that is VERY different from a muscle cell, an actin-myosin produced, contraction.

muscle ratchets in yogaMuscle cells do have such significant contractile characteristics — to relax or contract based on how much nerve charge arrives, or not, at the motor endplate in the muscle — making it perfectly fit those circumstances.

That is the prime function of the actin-myosin muscle cells, allowing them to lengthen or contract as much as 150% of their neutral length, rather than the 4 to 7% of connective tissues.

Does The Human Body Look or Act  Like A Sweater?

fascia definition, myofascial release

Partial Illusion of Threads Pulling Throughout the Body

Another favorite idea of the fascia crowd is the illustration of a sweater.

They point out that if one pulls on a thread in one corner of a sweater, that thread will pull all the way through the whole sweater, creating some degree of distortion. Of course, only some sweaters are knitted in such a fashion that this will happen, but it does neatly illustrate a potentially valid concept.

You also admit that you can pull on the corner of a sheet or blanket on your bed, and the other corner will move too. That’s nothing special there.

The question is, does this concept, valid for certain kinds of sweaters, apply to ANY of the fascial structures of the human body … at all?

This is, again, reminiscent of a New Age or pseudo-wholistic physics concept saying that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it could start a hurricane in some other part of the world. Even the originator of this idea said the idea is purely theoretical and is more about mathematics & probability than actual hurricane creation.

The “theory” (more accurately an explanatory story) leaves out important factors, such as localized friction in the atmosphere, that would limit the ability of air pressure from vibrations generated by butterfly wings to travel through the atmosphere with sufficient force to move a nearby tree-leaf anywhere at all … let alone start a hurricane at a long distance half-way across the world.

But this, like the also mythical Hundredth Monkey Theory, does not stop the fuzzy thinkers of the world who will ignore much in order to prove a little. (With the little often masquerading as an answer to everything.)

The Importance Of Fascia
NOT Being “Stretchy?

Anyway, the dense construction, the toughness, the very structure of fascia, as well as the functions it has to do, are such that it’s very usefulness requires that it NOT be very much extensible or “stretchy,” and the way it’s attached to various other structures and other factors also indicates that it performs no such actions as often ascribed, be it monkeys, hurricanes or sweater threads.

UPDATE: Dr. Robert Schleip, Ph.D., was one of the Key Organizers of the first Fascia Research Congress and is a highly respected researcher. Although among the proponents of the fascial theories of postural distortion, he has gone on record:

 In his two-part article, “Fascial Plasticity: a new neurobiological explanation,” published in 2003 in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, [published by the late Leon Chaitow, D.O.] Schleip points to studies which contradict the notion that we can safely change the shape of fascia with our hands. Or anything, for that matter. One study found that collagen fibers would only begin to stretch shortly before they reached the breaking point, something that would not be desirable in a living human being.

In other studies, Schleip, Trager, and others have done Rolfing under anesthesia and found that it produced no results. If the application of manual pressure had the ability to “stretch” fascia, there should have been a change in spite of anesthesia blocking any neural response. Why, then, was there no change when anesthesia took the nervous system out of the picture?

I think that quote well summarizes some of the points I’ve made above. And the same principles apply to those who believe in stretching or yoga somehow “changes the fascia.”

The reason it feels like “the fascia is stretching out” or “releasing” is because of the changes in the hydrostatic pressures being internally generated upon the fascial sheaths by the actin-myosin units. It is a change in the synergistic relationships between the actin-myosin muscle cells and the fascial sheaths that’s producing the effects we feel under our fingers or in a stretch.

Yes, there ARE unique effects of fascia, but not what we’re usually told they are.

The Big Question Is, in my mind anyway, why cannot the Pro-Fascia people accept that fascia has some unique and VERY important characteristics while not doing everythingthey think it could or should remotely do?

Anyway, the chemical and non-contractile properties of fascia have led me to believe quite strongly that the primary source of postural distortion is the actin-myosin muscle cells, not the fascia.

Yet, rather than talking about the muscle system OR the fascial system, I prefer to discuss the:

Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial & Joint System

You can read all about that on my various websites and in my e-books and e-courses.


Short Story:
The Hellerworkers in L.A.

I was teaching, with Linda J. Calandro, a 3 Hour introductory seminar on what I now call DSL EdgeWork in the Greater Los Angeles area (I think it was in Venice Beach) in the early 1990’s, with a couple of Hellerwork practitioners in attendance.

(Joe Heller, NOT in attendance, was president of the Rolf Institute for 12 years before going off on his own, and openly admits that his work, Hellerwork, is heavily based on, and very similar to, Rolfing, with some modifications and innovations.)

One of the Hellerworkers in attendance had a relatively small degree of single curve scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) for a number of years. Several Hellerworkers had tried to straighten it, including Joseph Heller himself. When I described in the seminar how I worked on scoliosis, the Hellerworker was intrigued because, since the Hellerwork model is (or at least was at the time) based on the idea of fascia as the primary cause of postural distortion, they had always worked on the opposite side than I would have.

So he came in for a session the next day. If I remember correctly, he only had a little less than an hour available, which is an awfully short time to straighten a scoliosis. But his was not severe. So I worked on the side with the shortened muscles, opposite of the side they had previously been working on and, sure enough, it began to straighten right then and there.

Previous Hellerworkers, including Joe Heller, had treated him on the basis that the fascia on the convex side of the spine was pulling the spine laterally toward the convex side. I, on the other hand, used the idea that the over-shortened muscles on the concave side were pulling and bending the spine over.

It’s important to note I did not say over-TIGHT muscles (although they were indeed “tight” to the touch). Because you can have very tight muscles that are actually not over-shortened at all, but over-lengthened.

Assessing muscular imbalances based on “muscle tightness” (how they feel to the sense of touch) is a very unreliable means of strategic assessment. AFTER you’ve determined which muscles are more likely the culprits, THEN looking for the “tight spots” becomes appropriate. This is why we perform structural analysis before determining which muscle to work on.

And focusing on the area of pain as a primary indicator is not very reliable, either.

In fact, paradoxically, in scoliosis (or any structural imbalance, for that matter), the over-lengthened muscles are usually much tighter to the touch, and more painful, than the over-shortened muscles. That’s because the over-lengthened muscles are working much harder. They are also more bulked up and bulging out, so they get everyone’s attention.

And where the attention goes, the therapy tends to go. … That’s NOT always the best plan.

Now, the Hellerworker with scoliosis happened to be the head instructor of a well-known, local massage school (in Santa Monica), and he participated in a local Hellerwork study group. As a result, I was subsequently asked to come lecture to the local Hellerwork support group on my system of structural analysis & postural evaluation. But, because I was living and working mostly in the Southeastern United States (Atlanta), I could not at the time. And, unfortunately, most of my contact numbers from that time were lost, so I never recovered the opportunity again.

Last I heard, though, they were paying a lot more attention to those over-shortened muscles, and had moved somewhat away from the alleged “shortened fascia” strategies!!! …

I think practitioners of Myofascial Release, and lots of other fascia oriented modalities, should pay attention to this.

If the above kind of in-depth analysis is of interest to you, here is a REVIEW of one of my e-books from a very successful physician in California:

Dr. Michael Koplen was a very successful Massage Therapist who went on to chiropractic school. He became Chiropractor of the Year in his management organization in the 1990s. After reviewing David Scott Lynn’s e-book, Dr. Koplen said:

“WOW! – Just skimmed thru David’s book on yoga and it could easily be a recommended nuts and bolts myofascial physiology book for Massage Therapists! It’s loaded with super clear understandings about neuromuscular interaction, the truth about stretching versus elongating myofascia, how to properly work with over-facilitated and weak muscle groups, and lots of other juicy info. It would have saved me lots of time trying to piece much of this together thru lengthy, time consuming and often tortuous discussions. Okay, I’m starting to sound like paid advertising agent (I’m not!).”

Front cover for Simple Steps to Let-Go Yoga e-book

CLICK HERE to Read About My New e-Book on How To GET CONTROL by LETTING GO of Tension, Stress & Habit Patterns with the Simple Steps to Let-Go Yoga

Thanks for Reading about myofascial release, structural integration and fascia definition.

Take Care,
David Scott Lynn (DSL*)
* DSL: Your Hi-Touch Up-Link to the Inner-Net
Inner-Net: Your Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial System
Yoga for the WEST of US!