Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 1 - Fascia Congress 2012

I love having concepts and theories that I haven't quite yet figured out float around the back on my head. Sometimes its more viewpoints that anything else, but I love the feeling of working through, and slowly gaining a understanding of something complex. In the few weeks and even months leading up to the congress I was feeling as though there wasn't much information like this in my head. I was either hearing information that I already knew or information that didn't interest me. It was making me feel stale and stagnant and I didn't like it. I was really hoping that attending this congress would help fill up this depleted spot in my head-space, akin to topping up a glass of water. Needless to say, by the end of the second day I felt like I was standing next to this when all I asked for was to have my glass topped up....

Day one, in my opinion, didn't compare to the second and third day. It started off with Mary Francis Barbe presenting her research on repetitive motion disorders and how it affects fascia. It was interesting, but not that exciting or applicable in my world. The most interesting finding of her research was when she flew her rats (that had already done countless hours of a repetitive grab and pull task) to a lab in Europe and they did imaging scans to see how the motor control of the paw had lost a huge amount of dexterity. This linked in with her finding that the fascial matrix of their paw had become thick and more fibrous. Just interesting how the hardware and software had both adapted.

Michael Kjaer followed up with a talk on how tendinous connective tissue adapts to exercise. I thought this would be the most interesting talk of the congress, it wasn't. If you use one leg more, the tendons in that leg will be thinker, wow. The one interesting thing from his research was how little exercise is needed to stimulate the tendinous tissue. Just one set of 10 reps at 75% was enough to get the same response as a 36 km run. I know which one I'd pick!!

Then came the most over the top, way more complex than it needed to be, presentation on cellular biochemistry in relation to fascia....I think. Albert J. Banes, if you ever come across this, tone it down buddy!! You're smart, we get it. It wasn't until the question and answers section that I found a point I could take away from this genius: cells like cyclic loading. It made me think of the "working in" exercises this video by Paul Chek (at the 2.05, 4.50 and 8.45 mark) and confirmed my desire to learn some of the eastern forms of low level exercise/almost meditation.

This was followed by the highlight of the day, the scars and adhesion panel. Jean Claude Guimberteau premiered his latest video which did nothing short of blow my mind. He took the audience on trip under the skin and showcased what it looks like before, during and after a scar. No computer imaging, just real video. I've never seen anything like it, and neither had the crowd, as this became evident during a well-deserved standing ovation for his work.

Michael Diamond brought some light to the world of adhesion's post op. Basically stuff under the skin getting stuck together in the healing process that shouldn't. The percentages are shocking (75% +) but he didn't offer any real solutions. Just emphasized the importance of getting a good manual therapist as soon a possible, really has to be under 5 days post op

Dr. Hal Brown then gave a presentation showcasing a handful of his clients who had amazing results as a result of prolotherapy.... some really jaw-dropping stuff. For me though, it wasn't the results that impressed, it was the man himself. He clearly studied both eastern and western medicine extensively and had a very interesting view on the human body. During his talk he effortlessly brought both worlds together has he talked about this very interesting from of treatment.

The best presentation then wrapped things up. Susan Chapelle gave a great talk about her work in Squamish, showcasing the beauty of the town and the high level of activity of its inhabitants. She really gets to work with some crazy athletes, suffering from some crazy injuries. An example you ask?!?! One of her clients got his whole arm and shoulder blown off by a log that came flying out of a lake while they were boating/racing (??). Anyway, the log hit him directly in the shoulder and basically took it clean off. She explained that the only reason he survived was because his friend was a fireman and knew to quickly grab the severed artery within the gaping hole that was once the front of his shoulder. And if her stories weren't good enough to hold your attention, her slides definitely were. All round, just a great presentation.

Day one then finished with a coupon for a free drink and a chance to shake hands with all that were in attendance. All the big names had people lining up around the corner to have a chance say their bit, so I drank my drink and decided to go home. I was nothing short of exhausted.

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