Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2019

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technique THE SOMATIC EDGE Brief Notes from the Fifth International Fascia Research Congress By Til Luchau As of this writing (November 2018), I'm just beginning to collate my notes and impressions after attending the Fifth International Fascia Research Congress (FRC5), held at the scientifically historic Urania Center in Berlin, Germany. There, my colleagues and I (Image 1) joined more than 1,000 diverse professionals from all over the world: manual therapy, movement, sports, and rehabilitation practitioners; academics and researchers; writers; teachers; and more. In standing-room-only crowds, and afterward in the surrounding cafes, river boats, and off-campus events, we listened, learned, socialized, debated, and digested several days of presentations, workshops, panels, art events, screenings, and talks. Since my deadline for this article is just after this whirlwind of events, I'll share my still-forming impressions from the stimulating, thought-provoking, and exhausting blizzard of information, as well as the questions I'm still thinking about. In later Massage & Bodywork columns, I'll write more about some of the most personally interesting aspects of what I learned (such as the interactions between inflammation, fluids, and the nervous system). But in the meantime, here are some brief, hot-off-the- press, incomplete, and somewhat random takeaways from my time at the FRC5. NOTES FROM THE CONGRESS Looking for explanations for why myofascial pain and fascial disorders are more common in women than men (and why they vary over women's lifespans), fascial researcher and orthopedic surgeon Carla Stecco, MD, presented her group's recent research into sex hormones' role in fascial remodeling. They see potential implications for better understanding of fascial properties, healing, and nociceptor sensitization. Stecco also presented the histological evidence behind her group's proposed redesignation of a class of round fibroblasts as fasciacytes. These "new" cells appear to regulate hyaluronic acid (or HA, which is involved in fascial gliding and elasticity), and in her analysis, have several key differences from other fibroblasts. 1 Stecco also shared evidence that endocannabinoid (CB2) receptors in fascia seem to inhibit collagen formation in inflammation, which suggests to me that when these receptors are activated, they may help regulate fibrosis in injury recovery and scarring, but may also imply slower tissue recovery and remodeling. The late Leon Chaitow, ND, DO, an influential author, teacher, and manual therapist (as well as the founding editor of Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies), was honored in a poignant talk by his daughter Sasha Chaitow (Image 2), in which she delivered a posthumous message from her father communicating his wish for Yo u r M & B i s w o r t h 2 C E s ! G o t o w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e t o l e a r n m o r e . 101 Sasha Chaitow, honoring her father Leon Chaitow (influential author, teacher, and manual therapist), who passed away in September 2018. Image courtesy Leslie Young. Several members of the Advanced-Trainings.com faculty attended the FRC5. From left: Larry Koliha, Bethany Ward, Til Luchau, Ramona Peoples, and Bibiana Badenes. Image courtesy Til Luchau. 1 2 Presentations from the Fifth International Fascia Congress are available from www.fasciacongress.org. The next Congress will be 2021 at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

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