5th International Fascial Research Congress – Berlin



The role our fascia plays in inflammation control, pain relief, and our optimal health is only now being truly appreciated. Research on fascia has exploded since the first International Fascia Research Congress in Boston, 2007. This year fascia hit the mainstream media with stories of a “newly discovered organ in the body, the fascia!”

The effect that the latest research will have on how clinicians work with their clients to affect positive outcomes for health is exciting to be a part of. This Congress brings together researchers, and clinicians (doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors,  osteopaths, massage therapists, manual therapists, exercise therapists, and more) to share the research and it’s effect on how we work with our clients.

I have always believed that the experience of touch is a dialogue, a way of connecting and being in relationship as we play with our limitations and freedoms. On the mat or on the table, client and practitioner explore rhythms and stillness that support our capacity for adaptation. Through touch we build systemic resilience integrating our body, mind, and spirit supporting our health, happiness, and the meaning in our life.

Attending this conference excites me for the possibilities it brings to inform my work with clients, and how it may affect my life as I explore ways of keeping my own aging body and mind in top shape.

In 2012 I had attended the 3rd International Fascial Research Congress in Vancouver which fundamentally changed how I viewed the body and treated my clients. Directly after this Congress I had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Robert Schleip during his three day workshop in Edmonton through the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada. Dr. Schleip is a Fascial Researcher at Germany’s Ulm University and founding member of these Research Congresses and the Fascial Research Society.

Almost two years ago I began planning to attend this latest research congress on fascia in Berlin. My excitement and anticipation has grown exponentially as the date draws near. Now only a few days away I wanted to share with you why this is such a big deal for me, and what it means for you as my client.

I’ll keep this brief, engaging (hopefully), and relevant to you. I am in Germany from November 8-18. I plan to do a blog once I return from the conference to share the knowledge and experiences that will inform my practice and add to the way we engage together in our treatments.

Key Points of Excitement and Learning…

Thermal Spa and Bindegewebsmassage

The trip begins with a day at the Bad Saarow Thermal Spa one hour east of Berlin by train. Here I plan to have a Bindegewebsmassage treatment and do some research to find if there are more training opportunities in Europe. Bindegewebsmassage is one of the most popular treatments in Europe providing pain relief, and improving nervous system functioning. It has been used to treat conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • Digestive and Urinary Tract issues
  • Joint pain/Osteoarthritis
  • Migraines/Headaches
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Cardiac Disease
  • Neurological Dysfunction
  • Rheumatoid Disease
  • Sciatica
  • Nerve Root Pain
  • Neuralgia

This spring I learned the technique from Brian Utting, former owner of the Pacific Northwest School of Massage in Seattle. I have been offering these treatments through the summer with some very good results, enough to inspire me to want to learn more.

Pre-Conference Dissection Workshop with Dr. Carla Stecco


I will attend a three day pre-conference workshop at the Plastinarium (where the bodies for the Body Worlds Exhibits are prepared) two hours east of Berlin. Here I join 25 others for a three-day full-body fascial dissection by Carla Stecco, Fascial Researcher and Orthopedic Surgeon at the University of Padua in Italy.

For the first time in human medical history Dr. Stecco has systematically documented the entire fascial system of the human body and published her work this spring in the “Functional Atlas of the Human Fascial System.”

She has been described as an accomplished and admired author, researcher, teacher, and anatomist, as well as a world-class dissection expert. I can’t even begin to fathom what I may discover on this journey through the body over three days with one of the world’s most accomplished experts in fascia.


Two Day Research Conference

Just this afternoon I downloaded the Fascia Congress app with all the speaker bios and descriptions of the plenaries, poster presentations, exhibits, discussions, and concurrent sessions that make up this conference. I have a lot of pre-reading to do!

In my next blog I will share my experiences of the people, research, and experiences that animate this gathering, along with photos and stories of the city of Berlin.