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“Fascial release” is not emotional

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on PainScience.com are updated regularly over the years.

Fascia apologists are forever trying to convince me that their fetish for this tissue is evidence-based, clinically relevant, and intellectually mature, and yet I just keep hearing stories like this (paraphrased anecdote from a reader, who was horrified):

I nearly broke my hand, and I’ve been recovering from that injury. My physiotherapist was treating it with some massage. She described the technique as ‘fascial release,’ and warned me about a possible side effect: ‘You might feel sad, or even start to cry,’ she said.

Any health care may involve sadness and crying, but “fascial release” is not emotional: being cared for, touched, and manipulated is emotional. Occasionally. But it’s probably not emotional for 99% of patients who just want some rehab help after a wrist sprain. Emphasizing sadness as “side effect” of fascial release in that scenario requires a bizarre meltdown of clinical communication priorities. It wasn’t said because it mattered to the patient — it was pure marketing, a bullet point about the potency and specialness of fascial release.

Yep, weird ideas about fascia are out there in a big way.

I’ve added this anecdote to my featured fascia article, which explores fascia hype in ridiculous detail.

This is the MICROBLOG: small posts about interesting stuff that comes up while I’m updating & upgrading dozens of featured articles on PainScience.com. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. Sorry, no email subscription option at this time, but it’s in the works.