CORE Myofascial Therapy

CORE Myofascial Therapy by George Kousaleos, LMT
Every workshop that I have taught for the past 30 years has dealt with creating an appreciation for the fascial tissues that surround, support, connect, and in many ways, defend the other soft and osseous tissues of the human body. This concern stems from a myofascial approach to structural integration that forms the foundation of my work. Like most massage therapists, I was trained at the entry level to primarily consider that my palpatory skills were focused on the musculature of the body. While I was taught that my strokes would also improve lymphatic, venous return, and neurological issues, I still found myself thinking, ‘What muscle is this, and how can I improve its tonicity?’ It wasn’t until I began my advanced structural training that I was introduced to the importance of the fascia and its integrative role with other systems. My advanced training focused on techniques that improved the relationship between structure and function. The idea of taking the fascial tissues through a thixotropic phase change implied that these tissues were paramount in releasing muscle tension, improving both venous and lymphatic flow, reducing neurosensory excitability, and balancing structure and posture.
My experience tells me that chronic pain resides in these fascial tissues, especially in the deep fascia that surrounds the body and the epimysium that surrounds the extrinsic musculature. Over the years I have refined the foundational technique that I use to prepare the myofascial tissues for deeper and more specific work. This technique is called CORE Myofascial Spreading. It approaches the fascial tissues at a 45-degree angle and uses a minimum amount of lubrication to increase tissue temperature. The technique is applied slowly with the broad surfaces of the palm, finger pads, or fist. This technique has allowed me to more easily ‘feel’ the improvement of thickened or adhered fascial tissues. My experience seems to suggest that if more effort is made in working in a full-body approach with these two outer layers of myofascia, an improvement in related systems is achieved and more easily maintained. Application of any myofascial technique should take into consideration the layout of the sensory nervous system on the outermost layers of fascia. CORE Myofascial Spreading follows the primarily horizontal layout of Langer’s Lines, so that a minimum amount of nerve stimulation can be maintained during slow, but forceful strokes. This organization of stroke delivery is crucial to a balanced application of full-body sessions that promote fascial improvement.

"Spaltrichtungen" by C. Langer - Dr. Fr. Kopsch: Rauber's Lehrbuch der Anatomie des Menschen. p. 825. Georg Thieme Leipzig, 1908.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -
Langer’s Line. “Spaltrichtungen” by C. Langer – Dr. Fr. Kopsch: Rauber’s Lehrbuch der Anatomie des Menschen. p. 825. Georg Thieme Leipzig, 1908.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –