Chiropractic students interested in expanding their knowledge of soft-tissue methods are forced to spend literally thousands of dollars in excess of their school tuition due to the paucity of soft-tissue education in our colleges, despite the existence of many valuable soft-tissue methods that could be added to the chiropractic curriculum.
A historic breakthrough has occurred in the world of soft tissue. The Fascial Manipulation (FM) Association, based in Padua, Italy and responsible for the dissemination of its research and courses around the world, has decided to have FM taught free of charge in all chiropractic colleges. The only cost will be for the honorarium and expenses of their certified instructors.
So far, about five colleges have expressed interest in this opportunity, and courses in FM have been accepted at the University of Bridgeport – College of Chiropractic (UBCC) and Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) – Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.
The first class at UBCC included 38 participants and two faculty members. Another class will be scheduled for the 40 students and four faculty who were not able to attend this initial seminar. It is anticipated that FM will become part of the core curriculum at UBCC and hopefully all chiropractic colleges.
FM happens to be the most evidenced-based soft-tissue method available today. Check out PubMed, among other reference sources, and enter "Stecco C., Stecco A., fascial manipulation," and you'll see approximately 150 peer-reviewed references.
A perennial question facing the chiropractic profession is how far its members are willing to deviate from the joint component as emphasized in the majority of chiropractic colleges. Research has proven the validity of the chiropractic adjustment / manipulation, but research has also described most of the conditions chiropractors treat as having multifactorial causes. After the joint, most of the etiologies remaining for the majority of musculoskeletal problems relate to tissues such as muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia.
How much of the core curriculum in our colleges devotes enough time to these subjects in relation to their specific and global treatment, and relationship to chiropractic? Could relying on our articular domination of chiropractic theory be partly responsible for our profession treating essentially the same percentage of the population we treated 80 years ago?
In order to convince colleges to accept FM, it is often necessary to present a one-day workshop explaining the anatomy and physiology of the fascial system, and that fascia is a sensory organ responsible for the kinetic function of muscles. Treatment based on its biomechanical model is explained and demonstrated. FM is taught over four three-day sessions spread out over the year.
Much thanks goes to NCMIC this year for offering to pay expenses for these one-day workshops, which will be presented to faculty and students before each college makes the decision to allow the courses to be taught. Adding FM to chiropractic curriculum is truly a win-win situation and necessary for the advancement of chiropractic.
Editor's Note: Although Dr. Hammer is a longtime Dynamic Chiropractic columnist, this article is submitted as a news piece outside of his regular column.
Click here for previous articles by Warren Hammer, MS, DC, DABCO.