Researchers have examined many possible sources of pain, focusing mainly on muscles, tendons and ligaments when the pain disrupts normal physical motion. However, a new stream of research has identified and proposed a treatment system for pain arising from the connective tissue that pervades the human body. This new area of focus is promising for patients who have not responded to more routine treatments.

This connective tissue, called the fascia, may be responsible for a considerable amount of pain in muscles and joints when the various elements of fascia do not move against one another as they should. New Canaan resident Warren Hammer, a Norwalk Chiropractor who has always had an interest in soft tissue methods, has recently introduced a method of treatment called "Fascial Manipulation". Although new to the United States, this method of treatment has been taught in Europe for the past 15 years and the developer of the method, Luigi Stecco, PT has just completed his seventh textbook on the subject. Stecco's books have been translated into English, Polish, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese and they are spreading the method all over the world.

Hammer spent two weeks taking the English version of the course in Italy last year and has spent time with the method's developer in his clinic. Stecco's method of deep massage first pinpoints the problem using a specialized analysis of the fascial system and testing of the patient for pain and limited motion. Fascial Manipulation has brought together both the Eastern and Western approach to healing because Stecco's detailed dissection research has revealed that the fascial system's connection lines parallel those in use for centuries by acupuncturists. The treatment is applicable to most musculoskeletal and joint problems.

The Fascial Manipulation course was first taught in the U.S. to chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, structural integrationists (Rolfers), and massage therapists in early 2010. Hammer taught the course with Luigi Stecco's son, Antonio Stecco, MD, who has been in the U.S. for the past year doing ultrasound and histological studies on the fascial system. To learn more about Fascial Manipulation visit www.fascialmanipulationworkshops.com. For those interested in some of the research behind this method visit the National Library of Medicine at www.pubmed.com and search Stecco, fascia.

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