The Skinny on Fascia and RFST

Resistance Flexibility (RF) is a technique where the myofascial tissues are stretched while the person tenses and resists the elongation.

  • The tensegrity matrix of the fascia requires that the resistance flexibility movements be three dimensional. There are 16 kinetic patterns used in RF, three-dimensional movement patterns are utilized for 8 lower body and 8 upper body muscle groups. Flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, inward/outward rotation combinations are utilized. Individual muscle groups or whole groups of muscles can be stretched at the same time. Balancing muscle groups must always be included during the stretch of the target muscle group. These three dimensional kinematic patterns are concomitant with meridian-muscle groups and meridian pathways in TCM.
  • Once the tissues are warmed up, maximal tension and resistance are generated by the client while they are stretching or being stretched. It often requires 2-6 people to assist someone during resistance flexibility, especially to remove scar tissue within the myofascial structures.
  • Characteristically, fascia damage located in one area always affects areas of the body far away from the original site. Compensatory bone rotational substitutions are forced to occur because the accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue (ADFST) prevent movement at one or more joints thus requesting that adjacent joints make the movements they cannot make.
  • Damaged fascia is concomitant with increases in lack of wakefulness, consciousness, aliveness, and mental clarity.
  • Static movements create more dense fascia and scar tissue than dynamic movements. For example, a flute player usually has more damaged tissue than an athlete. The prolonged static isometric holding of the instrument creates intense scar tissue which often times leads to cartilage damage.
  • The forces that the person's tension and resistance creates during the stretch greatly exceeds the forces that could ever be tolerated if administered from outside the person such as during deep tissue massage or rolfing. RF is a way to generate the extreme forces necessary to remove accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue.
  • Assisted Stretching
  • Immediate and obvious decreases in excessive fascia and scar tissue masses occurs using this technology especially compared to all other myofascial techniques used anywhere in the world.

The amount of force necessary to break up the fascia cannot be tolerated
if administered from outside the person in deep massage or rolfing.

There is ZERO PAIN during resistance flexibility training
and absolutely no discomfort in the joint structures.

  • Accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue usually exists on the lateral and posterior aspects of the person - what in TCM are called the yang muscles. Muscles on the front and medial aspects of the person rarely have accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue but do characteristically house chronic increased tenseness unless these myofascial tissues have been damaged through trauma.
  • There is always a characteristic depersonalization concomitant with damaged tissue. Where the person feels pain is rarely the area of damaged tissue. The pain area is usually referred pain that is being caused by damaged tissue sometimes quite a distance from the symptom. There is a pervasive and suspicious lack of feeling of one's body in those areas of ADFST.
  • Damaged tissue characteristically has dramatic reduction in circulation and lymphatic flow which both starve the myofascial structures and greatly prolong recovery.
  • There is almost no feeling whatsoever during the fascia stripping and thinning nor awareness of the tremendous amounts of resistive force the person is creating while being RF trained. This lack of awareness of the forces that the person is generating during RF is mind boggling for the person being stretched because they see the assisters using tremendous strength to move them but they themselves feel almost no effort of their part. The reason is because the resistive force that the person being stretched creates is mostly from the resistance force of the fascia while it is being elongated and not from muscular contraction! Fascia and scar tissue have tremendous tensile strength compared to muscular contraction strength, 2-8 X's the strength of muscular contraction.
  • Trauma creates this accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue. Trauma can occur physically through repetitive dynamic movements, isometric postures, accidents, emotional abuse, intellectual abuse, or through spiritual abuse (interfering with the course of the person life in negative ways). Predictable personality impairment occurs based on the location of the damage as well as concomitant physiological dysfunction.
  • Damaged tissue is experienced by the person as an inability to consciously tense those areas of their body, an inability to physically "put everything they've got into what they are doing." These damaged tissues place a 'ceiling' on athletic/artistic success and longevity.
  • Strolling Under the Skin

    Fascinating images of living fascia caught by Dr. Jean Claude Guimberteau
  • Highly skilled professionals trained in RFST are necessary to produce success in the use of these techniques.
  • Damaged tissue once removed creates immediate changes in one's understanding of space and time. Damaged tissue literally holds that part of the person back at the time that the damage occurred.
  • Freeing the person from this damage results in a significant amnesia affect as that part of the person begins to 'catch up' to present time. For example, if a person has been involved in a traumatic event and is then released from this event through RF by removing considerable amounts of accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue, then they experience a reorientation in space and time.
  • If their attention is on those parts of themselves that have been freed, they often do not know where they are and what year it is, while simultaneously knowing their present place and time. They may ask what the objects are in the room they are in that have been created since those parts of themselves were damaged (new technology, cell phones, etc.). They may ask what year it is, wonder where they have been during the time that passed, and what has happened to them since their accident. When the damaged tissue is removed, the person has a simultaneous dramatic increase in memories from their past.
  • Damaged tissue holds the person at the time and place where the damage occured. Once that damage is released, those parts of the person catch up to current time and locations by traveling faster than the current pace of time. This is the warping effect of time and space associated with damaged tissue.
  • The elimination of overly dense fascia and scar tissue within the myofascial structures becomes a freeing agent psychologically. Areas of the body map into specific personality trait development. Thus when specific parts of a person are freed from RF, specific personality traits are freed and encouraged to develop. For example, increasing the flexibility of the central hamstrings brings increases in trust, responsibility, and desire for mastery.
  • Elimination of overly dense accumulated fascia and scar tissue in the the anterior torso, posterior neck, and shoulders creates significant improvements in looks and attractiveness. Increased feelings of self-liking, self-worth, self-esteem, and self-affirmation occur.

Comparing Resistance Flexibility Technology to Other Stretching or Fascial Release Techniques

  • Rolfing, deep tissue massage, myofascial techniques of Barnes, Lewit and Leahy, Roth, Weiselfish-Giammatteo, Greenman and others never utilize resistance flexibility in their practices, and especially do not involve the tremendous forces utilized in RF. The increases in flexibility, strength, as well as the concomitant benefits from RF do not occur from their techniques.
  • Resistance Flexibility techniques have been proven to:
    • remove accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue
    • create immediate increases in degrees of freedom at the surrounding joints
    • increase flexibility as well as the muscle's ability to contract and shorten
    • decrease recovery time
    • increase circulation, lymphatic flow, and elasticity
    • help a person move with great ease and grace
    • morph static and dynamic posture
    • create significant increases in motor skill level, adaptability, responsiveness, in grappling with any new physical demand
  • Most remarkable with the RF technique is the healing, regenerative, recuperative benefits — a youth-ification of the person. The person can not only move better than they ever have in their entire life, but their looks also improve and they appear younger. Specific physiological upgrades occur resulting in a regeneration of myofascial tissues that become much younger in all ways compared to the person's age. Increases occur in elasticity, strength, suppleness, lightness, and ranges of motion — youth-anizing the person, creating a reversal of aging, and building longevity.

Fascial Science - 'The Cinderella of Orthopedic Medicine'

From the International Fascia Research Congress...

About Fascia

Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It forms a whole-body continuous three-dimensional matrix of structural support. Fascia interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, creating a unique environment for body systems functioning. The scope of our definition of and interest in fascia extends to all fibrous connective tissues, including aponeuroses, ligaments, tendons, retinaculae, joint capsules, organ and vessel tunics, the epineurium, the meninges, the periostea, and all the endomysial and intermuscular fibers of the myofasciae.

There is a substantial body of research on connective tissue generally focused on specialized genetic and molecular aspects of the extracellular matrix. However, the study of fascia and its function as an organ of support has been largely neglected and overlooked for many years. Since fascia serves both global, generalized functions and local, specialized functions, it is a substrate that crosses several scientific, medical, and therapeutic disciplines, both in conventional and complementary/alternative modalities.

Among the different kinds of tissues that are involved in musculoskeletal dynamics, fascia has received comparatively little scientific attention. Fascia, or dense fibrous connective tissues, nevertheless potentially plays a major and still poorly understood role in joint stability, in general movement coordination, as well as in back pain and many other pathologies. One reason why fascia has not received adequate scientific attention in the past decades is that this tissue is so pervasive and interconnected that it easily frustrates the common ambition of researchers to divide it into a discrete number of subunits which can be classified and separately described. In anatomic displays the fascia is generally removed, so the viewer can see the organs nerves and vessels but fails to appreciate the fascia which connects, and separates, these structures.

Clinician Perspective on Fascia

There is increasing interest in certain therapeutic communities in the role that fascia plays in musculoskeletal strain disorders such as low-back instability and postural strain patterns of all types, fibromyalgia, pelvic pain, and respiratory dysfunction, chronic stress injures, as well as in wound healing, trauma recovery and repair. The Fascia Research Congress seeks to present recent findings that advance knowledge of biomechanical and adaptive properties of fascia that may account for clinical observations in health and dysfunction.

The expanding worldwide scientific research on the human fascial tissues forms a body of knowledge pertinent to a wide range of professionals engaged in conventional and CAM modalities who serve individuals afflicted with specific pathologies or injuries of fascial tissue. The latest research will further the mechanistic understanding of many manual therapies and CAM modalities which contact, mechanically manipulate, penetrate, or otherwise involve fascial tissues.

Andrew Taylor Still, MD

"I know of no part of the body that equals the fascia as a hunting ground."

"All... nerves go to and terminate in that great system, the fascia."

"This connecting substance must be free at all parts to receive and discharge all fluids, and use them in sustaining animal life, and eject all impurities, that health may not be impaired by dead and poisonous fluids."

"By its action we live and by its failure we die."

"The soul of man, with all the streams of pure living water, seems to dwell in the fascia of his body."

Nothing is a substitute for stretching.