Massage & Bodywork


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 137

C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 53 What Guimberteau has found is not simplistic in either its implications or its comprehension. "I have a lot of anatomic training, and I still struggle to understand Guimberteau's beautiful photography," writes noted fascia researcher Thomas Findley, MD, PhD, "particularly the dynamic nature of his video records as we see fibers moving, dividing, crossing, with consequent changes in the spaces these fibers define. My anatomically correct brain still resists the notion that these structures can change in front of our eyes. After all, I learned my anatomy from a cadaver and a book, and neither one moved while I was studying." 5 In a recent exchange with Guimberteau, he explains that what's exciting for him is the dichotomy of what fascia presents: efficiency and apparent chaos. "It is this observation of an apparent fibrillary chaos that is responsible for more efficient mobility that opens the spectrum of your thoughts and takes you out of your reassuring rationality," he says. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU? What does this all boil down to for massage therapists and bodyworkers? First, many believe a manual therapist's touch can't help but become more engaged and intuitive after witnessing Guimberteau's video imagery. But this new reality goes much deeper, literally and figuratively, than that. "It is clear that manipulation of the skin and underlying tissue influences a cell's shape and position, and the mobility of the fibrillar system responsible for our architecture," Guimberteau says. "The videotaped sequences leave no doubt. Any gesture of manual therapy has an impact at the cellular level. However, the nature of this mechanical consequence and its therapeutic effect, for now, cannot be demonstrated and appreciated quantitatively and qualitatively." When asked what's the most important thing manual therapists can take away from his book and research, Guimberteau answers: "The most important, for me, is that now we can say that the effect of manual therapy is mechanically observable, indubitable, and undeniable on both the extracellular fibrillar system, but also on mobility and cell shape." A LONG ROAD AHEAD Despite the last two decades of fascial inquiry, and a pinpointed focus on the topic since the inaugural International Fascia Research Congress in 2007 (in which Guimberteau was first broadly introduced to the fascia community), there is much we have left to learn about connective tissue. Guimberteau tells us that we are only at the start of this line of inquiry and that much work remains. "We are at the beginning of the exploration. With new digital and filmographic technologies, the following generations of surgeons and scientists will show in a clear way this tissue continuity up to the level of the cell nucleus and, therefore, chromosomes. It will certainly demonstrate the importance of epigenetics on the protein production and the different modes of adaptive responses. Epigenetics will take a major place without nevertheless evicting chromosomic reality. It will have, as a consequence, an influence on philosophical and metaphysical aspects." Sharing the work with others has been a guiding principle for this fascia guru. "To discover the beauty of the living body has been fundamental for me," Guimberteau says of his work. "The beauty imposes upon us its power and is combined with a surprising, unexpected mechanical behavior. How do I keep this to myself? How do I put all these images in a drawer and not share them? It would have been a real failure. The beauty must be shared." Notes 1. Leon Chaitow, Fascial Dysfunction: Manual Therapy Approaches (Edinburgh: Handspring Publishing, 2014): ix. 2. Jean-Claude Guimberteau, Architecture of Human Living Fascia (Edinburgh: Handspring Publishing, 2015): 57–58. 3. Ibid, 111. 4. Ibid, 140. 5. Ibid, ix–x. Karrie Osborn is senior editor at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. Contact her at FINDING FASCIA Fascia "All collagenous, fibrous connective tissues that can be seen as elements of a body- wide tensional force transmission network." Definition derived from participants at the first Fascia Research Congress.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Massage & Bodywork - SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2016