Need For a New Medical Model
The primary medical model of disease is from a pathological perspective: diseased tissue. Treatment typically consists of surgery and pharmaceutical agents, the latter of which largely treat the symptoms, and not the underlying causes of dysfunction. Physical Therapists are specialists who treat movement dysfunction, due to weakness, muscle imbalance, faulty posture, shortened musculature, etc. Ida P. Rolf introduced this concept several years ago, emphasizing that intermuscular fascia (the dense connective tissue that separates muscle groups, organs, etc) tends to adapt to the stereotypical forces placed upon the body during work and recreational activities. Within any given subject, there are typically groups of fascia that are shortened, and other sections of fascia that are excessively elongated or "over-stretched". In the first case, the restrictions will limit movement; in the latter, there will be a mechanical failure due to inadequate ability to support the body. Expensive CAT and MRI scans measure the body at rest, and so fail to assess the vital effects of faulty fascial components upon human locomotion and movement.
Rolf provided a new clinical perspective and approach: New emphasis at the macro level was placed upon local and overall body posture. The body was divided into segmental units that were inter-dependent upon each other in effecting normal movement. Any disruption of these spatial relationships would inherently result in the excessive stresses upon the internal organs, joint surfaces and spinal column, in addition to increasing stress upon delicate neurovascular structures and the musculature. Posture was the underestimated factor that could now be cited as the source of most muscle and joint pain syndromes.
Pain-Free At Last! performs two vital functions: 1) it provides a sound reference to safe and effective stretching techniques; and 2) through the combination of select strengthening (abdominal, upper back, hip musculature) and stretching techniques, muscle balance and thereby overall posture are spontaneously restored.
site last updated on February 11, 2010 by Paul J. Fransen, P.T.