WHAT IS COUNTERSTRAIN?
Counterstrain was developed by Dr. Lawrence Jones DO, FAAO starting in 1955 and the technique continues to grow through the work of Randall Kusunose PT, OCS, JSCCI and Brian Tuckey PT, OCS, JSCCI. Today, Counterstrain has over 1,000 different techniques, named after specific anatomical structures. We use to alleviate dysfunction in the body’s deep fascia.
Fascia is simply connective tissue that surrounds all of our muscles, bones, internal organs, arteries, veins, and nerves and is the largest sensory organ in the body. Counterstain is necessary to treat not only the muscle fascia (myofascial), but all the fascia of the body. Additionally, this tissue can contract and spasm, and contains special receptors that sense movement and pain.
When these receptors inflame when normal stresses that we experience in everyday life, trigger nocifensive and noci autonomic reflexes. Although originally protective in nature, these reflexes can cause long term problems if they don’t turn off.
Nocifensive Reflex: A muscle spasm that the body uses to protect inflamed or damaged tissue
Noci Autonomic Reflex: An autonomic response that results in nerve, artery, vein, respiratory, and digestive problems
During a Counterstrain treatment, our skilled and gentle technique turns off the nocifensive and noci autonomic reflexes by slackening the involved tissue which takes tension off the receptors, drains inflammation out of the area, and decreases pain.
In Fascial Counterstrain, the main tool we use to diagnose your problems is called the Cranial Scan. The cranial scan is a gentle, assessment of all 22 bones of your head that tells us what to treat and where to treat . Once a specific system or area of the body has been identified, we will find tender points in your muscles or on bone that identify the presence of dysfunction. In any case, our goal of each technique is to make the painful tender point not painful. Subsequently, our clinicians slacken the involved tissue through gentle body positioning and tissue gliding. Once the tender point is gone, holding that treatment position for a short amount of time is necessary before the clinician moves on to the next bad dysfunction and repeats…ultimately knocking out tender point after tender point.
Fascial Counterstrain now recognizes 6 fascial systems: Neural, Venous and Lymphatic, Arterial, Musculoskeletal, and Visceral. All things considered, when you experience symptoms, They are multi-system. Consequently, dysfunctions in multiple systems need to be address for you to experience complete pain relief.
The most common question we get asked, “How do these dysfunctions get started?” in short, my answer is”
Causes of dysfunctions
- Trauma: falls, car accidents, childbirth, equally emotional traumas like deaths of loved ones, divorces, work or family stress
- Poor posture causing postural strain
- Repetitive strain such as; running, cycling, overhead athletes that are always swinging or throwing
- Structural strain like leg length differences and flat feet
- Inflammatory diseases such as Lyme and Crohn’s disease
- Food sensitivities that lead to chronic pains
Effects of Counterstrain:
- Decrease pain
- Drains inflammation
- Normalizes inappropriate reflexes
- Increases mobility
- Improves proprioception
- Eliminates inhibition which improves strength
- Improves function of the immune system
- Creates an ideal healing environment
“The osteopath who is well versed in the anatomy of the region, its blood supply, drainage, and the functioning processes of the nervous system… sees the cause which has produced this condition”
— A.T. Still