Dr. Leon Chaitow, Leading Expert in Manual Therapy & author of 70+ books, in a unique 2-day Seminar – May 6-7, 2017, Astoria NYC


Positional Release & Myofascial Mobilization Management of Fascial Pain and Dysfunction

An Evidence-based Experiential Workshop

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Course Objectives:

The objectives of this intensive evidence-based, hands-on course, is to explore the clinical application of effective non-invasive osteopathic soft-tissue methods – mainly but not exclusively, involving positional release and myofascial induction/mobilisation methods. (Zein-Hamoud 2015, Chaitow 2014)

Clinical objectives to be explored include the improvement of the manual practitioner/therapist’s ability to encourage pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory effects; enhance tissue repair; reduce levels of fibrosis/adhesions/scar formation; improve circulation, drainage, posture, balance, mobility and function. (Schleip et al 2013)

Above all the course aims to allow the clinician to work more effectively with fascial function and dysfunction, by taking account of, and engaging, the newly-described self-regulatory functions of collagen. (Dittmore et al 2016, Chaitow 2016)

  • Chaitow, L  ed. 2014 Fascial Dysfunction: Manual Therapy Approaches. Handspring
  • Chaitow, L  2016 New evidence of a dynamic fascial maintenance and self-repair process.Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
  • Dittmore, A  et al. 2016  “Internal strain drives spontaneous periodic buckling in collagen and regulates remodeling.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences : 201523228.
  • Schleip, R., Findley, T. W., Chaitow, L., & Huijing, P. (Eds.). 2013. Fascia: the tensional network of the human body: the science and clinical applications in manual and movement therapy. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  • Zein-Hammoud, M, Standley P 2015. Modeled Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments: A Review of Their in Vitro Effects on Fibroblast Tissue Preparations. The Journal 115.8:490

Evidence strongly suggests that physical manipulation of fascia:

  • Changes cell-matrix tension states
  • Modulates structural, functional and mechanical interactions between fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix
  • Influences the production of endogenous compounds – including cellular growth factors, that promote homeostasis and healing
  • Enhances force transmission, load transfer and gliding functions of fascial layers.

27The objective of this course is the exploration of the clinical relevance for manual therapists of all schools, of translation of current (and recent) clinical and basic science fascial research -.

The aim is to arrive at a greater understanding of manual methods that safely encourage analgesic, anti-inflammatory effects; enhance tissue repair; reduce levels of fibrosis/adhesions/scar formation; improve circulation, drainage, posture, balance, mobility and function.15

Studies have shown that the frequency, degree, depth, duration, direction and frequency, of applied biomechanical load (shear force, stretch, compression etc) have contrasting (sometimes opposite) effects on tissues – with outcomes also depending on unique individual characteristics including age/health/ ‘resilience’/pain/tissue status etc.

At it’s most basic the course aims to allow the clinician to work more effectively with fascial dysfunction by having a deeper understanding of evidence from clinical and basic science fascial studies.

In order to understand the clinical relevance of the studies that support the evidence (see abbreviated citation list), the course is divided into two major segments, involving:

1/ Fascial function/dysfunction (including assessment methods):

  • Connective-tissue self-regulation (Dittmore)
  • Durometer usage (Barnes)
  • Elastography imaging (Martínez Rodríguez)
  • Endocannabinoid effects (McPartland; Fade)
  • Hydration effects (Masic)
  • Inflammation (fasciitis) (Rompe)
  • Load transfer (Franklyn-Miller; Willard)
  • Mechanotransduction (Standley; Grinnell: Zein-Hamoud)
  • Sliding/gliding layers (Langevin; Stecco; Ercole)
  • Tendon repair (Wang & Guo)

2/ The potential clinical significance of optimal therapeutic dosage – based on current fascia-related research includes:

  • Exercise (Schleip & Muller)
  • Friction/Fascial manipulation  (Stecco, Ercole)
  • Muscle Energy Techniques –
  • Standard MET : Direct/Indirect.(Goodridge, Kappler)
  • Pulsed (rhythmic) MET (Ruddy)
  • Isotonic eccentric (Kuchera, Parmar)
  • Myofascial Release/Induction (Pilat)
  • Positional Release Techniques (Chaitow)
  • Facilitated PRT  (Schiowitz)
  • Counterstrain  (Wong et al)
  • Post-surgical: (Parmar; O’Yurvati)
  • Scar-release (Martínez Rodríguez)
  • Lymphatic techniques (Zink & Lawson, Pope)


  • Barnes P et al. A comparative study of cervical hysteresis characteristics after various osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) modalities. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies 17.1 (2013): 89-94.
  • Dittmore, A et al.  2016  Internal strain drives spontaneous periodic buckling in collagen and regulates remodeling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  113: 30:8436–8441
  • Ercole,  B  2010 How much time is required to modify a fascial fibrosis? Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies   14, 318-325
  • ·      Fede, C., et al. Expression of the endocannabinoid receptors in human fascial tissue. European Journal of Histochemistry: EJH 60.2 (2016).
  • ·      Franklyn-Miller A et al 2009  IN: Fascial Research II: Basic Science and Implications for Conventional and Complementary Health Care Munich: Elsevier GmbH
  • Goodridge J 1961 Muscle energy technique: Definition, explanation, methods of procedure. American Academy of Osteopathy
  • Grinnell F Fibroblast mechanics in three-dimensional collagen matrices Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (2008) 12, 191–19
  • Kappler R 2961 Direct action techniques. American Academy of Osteopathy
  • Langevin H et al 2009 Ultrasound evidence of altered lumbar connective tissue structure in human subjects with chronic low back pain. Presentation 2nd Fascia Research Congress, Amsterdam.
  • McPartland, John M. “The endocannabinoid system: an osteopathic perspective.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 108.10 (2008): 586-600.
  • Martínez Rodríguez, R. & Galán del Río, F. (2013) Mechanistic basis of manual therapy in myofascial injuries. Sonoelastographic evolution control. J Bodyw Mov Ther.17(2): 221–234
  • Masic A et al  Osmotic pressure induced tensile forces in tendon collagen. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS  6:5942 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6942 |www.nature.com/naturecommunications
  • O-Yurvati A et al. Hemodynamic effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment immediately after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 105.10 (2005): 475-481.
  •      Parmar S et al 2011 Effect of isolytic contraction and passive manual stretching on pain and knee range of motion after hip surgery. Hong Kong Physiotherapy Journal 29:25-30
  • Pope, Ross E. “The common compensatory pattern: its origin and relationship to the postural model.” Am Acad Osteopath J 14.4 (2003): 19-40.
  • Rompe, Jan D., et al. “Radial shock wave treatment alone is less efficient than radial shock wave treatment combined with tissue-specific plantar fascia-stretching in patients with chronic plantar heel pain.” International Journal of Surgery 24 (2015): 135-142.
  • Ruddy, T. J. 1961 Osteopathic rhythmic resistive duction therapy.” AAO Yearbook58 :23.
  • Schiowitz, S. 1990  Facilitated positional release. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 90.2 :145-6.
  • Standley P Meltzer K 2008 In Vitro Modelling of Repetitive Motion Strain and Manual Medicine Treatments: Potential Roles for Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines. Jnl.Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 12(3):201-203
  • Stecco C Stecco A  2012 Deep fascia of the lower limbs  IN: Schleip/Findley/Chaitow/ Huijing (EDS) Fascia: The Tensional Network of the Human Body. Elsevier, Edinburgh
  • Wang & Guo 2012 Tendon Biomechanics & Mechanobiology—A Mini-review of Basic Concepts and Recent Advancements.Hand Therapy pp133-140
  • Wong, C.K., Abraham, T., Karimi, P., et al., 2014. Strain counterstrain technique to decrease tender point palpation pain compared to a control condition: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of Bodywork Movement Therapies 18, 165–173.
  • Willard F et al , 2012 The thoracolumbar fascia: anatomy, function and clinical considerations Jnl. Anatomical Society 221( 6):507–536
  •   Yates, Herbert A., Kuchera M. Effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment and concentric and eccentric maximal-effort exercise on women with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association102.5 (2002): 267-275.
  •     Zein-Hamoud M Standley P  2015   Modeled Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments. Jnl. American Osteopathic Association 115(8):490-502
  • Zink J  Lawson W 1978 The Role of Pectoral Traction in the Treatment of Lymphatic Flow Disturbances OSTEOPATHIC ANNALS 6: 11
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