Fascial Counterstrain

@ Lighthouse Physical Therapy Spokane Liberty Lake

What is Fascial Counterstrain?

To understand fascial counterstrain it is important to first understand the “ fascia.” Fascia is a strong form of connective tissue that is interwoven all through the body from head to toe. The fascia of the body contains receptors that receive input from both inside the body and the surrounding environment. When these receptors get activated by stresses that we experience every day through the process of life, they can trigger both nocifensive and autonomic reflexes. In the short term, these receptors act to protect us, however, if they do not return to baseline they can cause long term problems. A nocifensive reflex is defined as: “A muscle spasm that the body uses to protect inflamed or damaged tissue.” A Nociautonomic Reflex is defined as: “An autonomic response that results in nerve, artery, vein, respiratory, and digestive problems.” Fascial counterstain is utilized to return these receptors to normal function by normalizing fascial mobility and hydration, which allows the drainage of local inflammation, therefore, decreasing the pain.

What will a session look like?

The first thing our practitioners will do is perform a “Cranial Scan.” This cranial scan will be performed to determine what system of the body is malfunctioning as well as its location. During this cranial scan, the practitioner will place his/her hands on top of your skull while performing a gentle, manual assessment of the micromotion of the cranial sutures of the skull. This will help direct the treatment to the proper system of your body (musculoskeletal, lymphatic, visceral, arterial, veinous, and neural). Once a specific system and area of the body has been identified, our practitioners will identify “tender points” that when painful, identify the presence of specific dysfunction. The goal of fascial counterstain at this point will be to return the fascia to normal function and therefore decrease pain. To do this, our practitioner will use his/her hands or body positioning to provide “slack” to the involved tissue. Through this process, the practitioner will work to decrease the dysfunction and allow for normal function of the body part affected.

What dysfunctions can this be used for?

Fascial Counterstrain can be used for many dysfunctions! Recent research has shown that nearly all painful conditions are accompanied by inflammation of the fascia. As stated above, fascia is the connective tissue that is abundant throughout the entire body. Fascia can be visualized as saran wrap that encases all the tissues of the body. When the fascia loses its mobility, it can dehydrate segments of muscle leading to soft tissue injury (hamstring strains, etc). For this reason, almost every injury can be supplemented with fascial counterstrain. This treatment can be a sole treatment for some conditions, and a supplement for others. For example, with a hamstring strain, we will assess the facia, correct the dysfunction, and then retrain the hamstring and bring it back to full function.

Long story short, fascial counterstain can be used for all sorts of conditions and will likely help you! come on by and get screened by one of our practitioners!

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