From fascia to the fascial system : Issues and contributions to manual therapy.

Courraud C. Revue Mains Libres. Vol.1, March 2019 ; pages 31-38.




Introduction : Manual therapies such as osteopathy, Rolfing or Fasciatherapy have included the term fascia as the key element in their therapeutic approach for a long period of time. Yet the knowledge of the exact role of the fasciae in the proper functioning of the body, remains limited if not neglected by physiotherapists.

Development : Several authors consider the fascia as a new « organ », distinguished by its pervasiveness within the whole body. Others view it as the missing link enabling the understanding of manual therapy’s efficiency. This article, based on a scholar publication, reviews the evolution of the definition of fascia and displays this new organ’s functions: continuity, contractility and sensitivity.

Discussion: Latest scientific data casts a new light on the part played by fascia in the human body and has aroused interest within conventional medical professions. It also takes a critical look at the principles and theoretical concepts underlying manual therapies such as fasciatherapy and osteopathy (functional dynamic unity, elastic and contractile dynamics of fascia and body-mind tuning)

Conclusion: This research offers new opportunities to manual therapists who are reflecting on the mechanisms of action in their practice and wish to develop new manual therapy patterns rooted in scientific data. Yet the assimilation of this field of knowledge into that of physiotherapy and manual therapy remains a challenge.


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