About Dynamic Fascial Response

About Dynamic Fascial Response

Understanding Fascia and Dynamic Fascial Response®

Fascinating Fascia (Pronounced Fa (A as in apple)-shah).

Fascia, one fiber morphing into two
Fascia, one fiber morphing into two.
Photo clip from Jean Gimberteau’s impressive
“Strolling Under the Skin”. A must see for any bodyworker!

So, what is fascia? When I research ‘myofascia’ or ‘fascia’ I will often get an outdated definition describing it as that sinewy stuff that is covering over the muscle like a piece of meat at the butcher. Many articles will mislead that fascia is what “separates the muscles and organs”. They forget to tell you that…Fascia is one continuous structure. It’s web-like and although there is fascia found in between and around the cellular structures (e.g., muscles, organs, bones) it’s been discovered that it also interpenetrates the muscles, organs and bones spanning, without interruption, from head to toe. So far so amazing right?

Even more fascinating, the fascia has no fixed pattern or movement the way a web does. When a spider web expands by the force of the wind, it’s geometry simply stretches wider then returns back to its original form. The most impressive thing about the fascia is its morphing ability. This magical web of fibrous material, is hollow and filled with hydration and is ever-changing in movement. One fibrous segment of your fascia’s ‘web’ can morph into two segments during movement! Yes, the fascial fibers have the ability to morph! They slide in and out of themselves as our body moves!

The movements of fascia are purely chaotic yet completely organized. It has been poetically described by a group of Italian osteopaths “The fascial continuum is like a flock of birds flying together without a predetermined logic and maintaining their individuality at the same time” Leave it to the Italians to find such beautiful words to describe fascia!
See: Bordoni, Marelli, Morabito and Sacconi

Icosahedron vertices form three orthogonal golden rectangles

By Fropuff, Mysid

This magical web of fibrous material, filled with hydration, has a fractal, icosahedronal architecture. Ease of movement is achieved as long as the hollow fascial fibers are well hydrated and nourished by the ground substance in the extracellular matrix (the stuff around the cells that absorb water).

Many people are developing bodywork styles around fascial discoveries that involve charts and lines. It crucial to study anatomy and the maps of fascia but in contrast, my bodywork follows no charts but works within a broad intuitive map. I continue to resist any idea that I know what is going on and yet I trust what I feel. Following the constantly updated articles posted in medical journals on the fascial system has confirmed that I am spot on in this broad approach and perhaps why the results I get are consistent with pain resolve and increased ROM. “The most recent information on fascial tissue indicates that there are not fascial layers, but polyhedral microvacuoles of connective tissue, which connect the body systems and, by hosting specialized cells, permit several functions, such as motor, nervous, vascular and visceral. These microvacuoles (a repetition of polyhedral units of connective fibrils) under internal or external tension change shape and can manage the movement variations, regulating different body functions and ensuring the maintenance of efficiency of the body systems. Their plasticity is based on perfect functional chaos: it is not possible to determine the motion vectors of the different fibrils, which differ in behavior and orientation; this strategy confers to the fascial continuum the maximum level of adaptability in response to the changing internal and external conditions of the cell”. See: Bordoni, Marelli, Morabito and Sacconi

Dynamic Fascial Response®

This approach to bodywork that I developed over the last 20 years, is a blend of massage, somatic approach, structural therapies and foundational philosophy that produce a dialog of activation and response between the practitioner and the fascia. The response from the fascia releases holding patterns in the fascial body and, as a result, both physiological and emotional changes occur. This method resources and repurposes stuck patterns and can heal trauma, relieve pain, improve posture and health and above all promote peace.

DFR bodywork may be received passively or involve active client participation. At times, a DFR session includes Somatic NLP -a dialog process used to get into rapport with the holding pattern before actively releasing or more accurately put, resourcing it. This is why the DFR acronym stands for Dynamic Fascial Response and not release. I named my approach as such to promote and encourage practitioners to use a dialog and response approach when addressing fascial holding patterns, not an invasive goal oriented release of them which often bipasses why they are holding in the first place. This is not to say release does not happen but when it does it happens as a response from the fascia. DFR approach is highly effective for releasing unwanted behavioral patterns and for healing emotional trauma.

Certification in Dynamic Fascial Response

Practictioners may use the terminology "Dynamic Fascial Response™ to describe their sessions after they have exhibited proficiency through demonstration or video and hold a DFR certificate of completion.

FIVE Underlying Principles of DFR

  • All parts are intrinsically equal.
  • All parts have positive intentions.
  • The positive intention and method are two separate things.
  • Make no assumptions
  • Have no agenda

Have no agenda, hold the intention close.

All parts have positive intentions. All parts have methods they use to carry out their intentions. The methods and intentions are separate and often very different things. These wrapped points have a positive intention. The DFR™ practitioner will reframe by thanking these points for holding on so tight for the client and in some cases, guide their client to reframe the pain as well. Who’s to say what might have happened at the time the wrapped point chose to constrict or atrophy? They may have fallen apart, be it emotionally or physically. The injury may have gone even deeper. It is unknown. So first we thank the wrapped point for working so hard for the client. Then as we unwind the fascia we invite the wrapped point to use the breath as a new resource to carry out it’s positive intention instead of holding on so tight in an unhealthy postural pattern.

DFR Philosophy

When the DFR™ practitioner visually assesses their client’s body, their eyes are seeing way beyond the problem area or area of complaint. They are looking at the way everything is attached from head to toe, knowing that all along now, there is this fibrous, collagen-filled web of life running through this spirit-filled client in a body that already has everything it needs to heal. It just needs the right environment to do so.

The 10 Modalities Used in DFR

  • Slow fascial release stroke with little to no oil.
  • Pin and stretch (MET, Muscle Energy Techniques) with little to no oil to increase range of motion.
  • Resistance and release for active muscle release at full ROM (Range of Motion)
  • Slow and safe compression and traction to encourage circulation and mobility of joints.
  • Cross fiber friction to tonify muscles
  • Deep tissue to release shortened muscle
  • Acupressure to encourage gastric motility.
  • Oil effleurage to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Lymphatic drainage to help the heath of overall tissue
  • Energy work to activate the parasympathetic nervous system

Dynamic Fascial Response is perfect for any client, including pregnant clients.

DFR is deep but not painful

Generally speaking, a bodyworker can always turn to DFR™ when your client wants something deep but not painful. When pain is experienced through any other approach, you might be using to treat your client DFR™ could be the answer. DFR™ treats all of the surrounding areas of the injury and the injury will respond to this noninvasive but still very powerful treatment without the deep tissue, trigger point approach of other types of massage that could be painful or uncomfortable.

DFR incorporates (but is not limited to) slow, no-oil runs.

Slow, fascial, no-oil bodywork can open restricted and compromised areas in a non invasive and safe way whereas deep tissue therapy could damage the scoliosis client simply because the skeleton is so changed. One side of the thoracic cage has often developed closer to the surface and the therapist often mistakes underlying fascia and bone for scar tissue and/or muscle spasm. Too much pressure is put on the skeleton, fascia and nerves and as a result, there is a lot of pain and possibly even further damage to the client. DFR™ still offers a deep release via a more gentle and mindful approach.

DFR uses cross-fiber friction techniques

Cross-fiber, when properly applied can tonify muscles that are over stretched. Using short strokes against the fiber of the muscle works wonders! It has been proven that friction massage increases fibroblastic proliferation, which synthesizes and maintains collagen, fibronectin, proteoglycans and other proteins of the connective tissue matrix.

DFR bodywork enables space through a method we call accommodating.

This allows the spine to find a more balanced position in the body for better functionality. In the case of scoliosis, we first treat the concave side (the shortened muscles) to first help lengthen them to accommodate for the muscles of the convex side (the lengthened, stretched out and weakened muscles) to have new space to land themselves. In the case of neck tension; Before tending to the neck itself, we first perform anterior unwinding to release the fascia in the front body that is pulling the head forward.

DFR incorporates DYNAMIC bodywork in a massage session

DFR recruits a full body experience for movement. It has been proven that prolonged immobilization can adversely affect normal tissue and that mobilization will stimulate collagen synthesis, increase strength, and help align the repair of fascial cells and collagen fibers. Traction and Compression, Resistance and Release, Pin and Stretch and Cross Fiber all can help rebuild and re-recruit muscles and increase ROM (Range of Motion) Note: Pin and stretch is never taken farther then the resistance point with scoliosis, and in more severe cases the convex side (the lengthened, stretched out and weakened muscles) is not treated with pin and stretch at all.

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