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First International Fascia Research Congress
2007 Program FRC Books & DVDs FRC Home Page

Who Should Attend 

The Fascia Research Congress proposes to gather together scientists involved in the research of the body's connective tissue matrix (fascia) with professionals involved in the therapeutic manipulation of this bodywide structural fabric. The information presented at the Fascia Research Congress will also be of interest to all who labor in the vineyard of 'Spatial Medicine' - healing the body through changing mechanical relationships (and their proprioception).

Bringing together the most recent solid research on the properties of the fascial fabric with those who observe its workings daily in the clinic will inform and energize both groups toward further comprehensive developments and applications in this growing field. It is hoped that this will also serve to advance understanding of structure and function so as lead to answering ongoing questions with scientific rigor.

Thus the primary audiences are:

Scientists who are either engaged or interested in –

Biomechanics of ligaments and other dense fibrous connective tissues · Biomedical Researchers · Connective tissue research · Gait & postural dynamics · Matrix biology · Musculoskeletal dynamics · Orthopaedics · Rehabilitation · Rheumatology · Sports medicine

The emphasis and centerpiece of this conference will be the presentation of the latest and best scientific fascia research from around the world. The Fascia Research Congress will be a valuable resource of data, new ideas, and networking for researchers working in many areas of study involving the human fasciae.

Clinicians who should attend –

Acupuncturists · Athletic Trainers · Chiropractors (DC's) · Energetic, hands-on healers (Therapeutic Touch) · Exercise Teachers · Massage Therapists · Naprapaths · Nutritionists · Osteopaths · Personal Trainers · Physiatrists and other physicians practicing neuromusculoskeletal medicine or manual medicine · Physical Therapists (PT's) · Practitioners of Structural Integration (e.g., Rolfers®) · Prolotherapists (Sclerotherapy) · Rehabilitation Specialists

Implications for Clinicians

Given the increasing interest in the therapeutic communities for the fascial role in musculoskeletal strain disorders such as low-back instability, fibromyalgia, pelvic pain, and respiratory dysfunction, as well as in wound healing, trauma recovery and repair, and postural strain patterns of all types, the FRC seeks to present new findings that point to fascia's biomechanical and adaptive properties that can 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 be valuable to further practical understanding and support validation of the therapeutic mechanisms hypothesized to be operating factors in those many manual therapies and CAM modalities which contact, mechanically manipulate, penetrate, or otherwise involve fascial tissues.

The clinician's interest in fascia extends to new scientific findings in the following categories:

  • The presence of contractile cells (myofibroblasts) within the fascial fabric. Clinicians are interested in their role in creating contractile tonus in the fascial fabric, how they form, what 'turns them on', and their influence on passive muscle tonus.
  • Biomechanical properties of fascial tissues: creep, relaxation, histeresis, effect of sustained spinal flexion on lumbar tissues, strain induced hydration changes, myofascial release manipulation and fascial viscoelastic deformation, etc.
  • Mechanotransduction between the cytoskeletal structure within the cell and the extracellular matrix, and its implications for health and disease.
  • Forms of communication within the fascial matrix, such as the tugging in the ucopolysaccharides created by twisting acupuncture needles.
  • How fascia is innervated, and how proprioception and pain are created, detected and modulated by the spinal cord and the rest of the nervous system.
  • Other new findings and significant hypotheses in the realms of biochemistry and biomechanics of fascial deformation and reformation.

An Unprecedented Event

While presentations of some of this research and theory have occurred in conferences sponsored by organizations and federal agencies, there has been no previous conference 1) devoted entirely to this specific topic, or 2) which includes and reaches across several of the major manual medicine and CAM modalities. Also, scientific conferences on connective tissue in general do not focus particularly on the theory, therapeutic mechanisms or clinical concerns of manual medicine or CAM practitioners.

The Fascia Research Congress provides a unique opportunity to unite our efforts. The field of fascia research has been expanding internationally, generating a large body of knowledge important to both researchers and a diverse audience of health care professionals. It is an appropriate time to bring together all the latest and best scientific research findings on the human fasciae from around the world and to present this important work in a conference forum in which professionals from various perspectives and practices related to fascia can come to learn and exchange. It is anticipated that such a gathering will also generate a network of scientists, practitioners, and students who will inform and support future conferences on the same theme.

This project was made possible by Grant Number 1 R13 AT004146-01 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCCAM, NIAMS, or the National Institutes of Health.

©2006-2007 Fascia Research Congress. All Rights Reserved. Photos: Greater Boston Convention & Visitor's Bureau.
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The Conference Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA