Reporting from the British Fascia Symposium – a pleasure to be joining my French Fasciatherapy colleagues from TMG Concepts, for this event

TMGThis is the translation of the report prepared by TMG Concepts, one of the sponsors of the event.

You can download the original French text from the blog of the Symposium:



The 2nd British Fascia Symposium was very well attended by 200 participants, mostly healhcare professionals from European countries, but also from North America and as far as Australia.BFS4

There was an atmosphere of curiosity, learning, professionalism and warm welcome during the keynote speeches, the workshops and the poster sessions. Interactions between the presenters and the attendees were easy and insructive. It clearly showed how passionate a growing number of practitioners and researchers are about the fascia.

A fundraising gala was organised which allowed the participants to meet and share their experiences around a dinner followed by a show.

1. The keynote speeches

We had two very different and complementary presentations given by two anatomists of international repute, Carla Stecco and Gil Hedley, on the fascia and the locomotor system and their differences. They showed the links and the differences between the superficial fascia and the deep fascia, and highlighted the epimysial fascia (perifascial membranes) for its role of connection between these two particular types of fascial tissues.

BFS5The superficial fascia provides an envelope for the whole body and the mimic muscles, as well as a vast lymphatic, vascular and nervous network. It also plays an essential role in thermoregulation (only 1/5 of blood vessels are in fact dedicated to nutrition), in the regulation of the neuro-vegetative system and fluid drainage (oedemas). Generally speaking, superficial fascia is considered to have an exteroceptive role. G Hedley compared this fascia to a sponge and showed how, contrary to popular belief, it is very resistant to traction and distortion.

Deep fascia is made of 1% of elastic fibres and plays a major role in movement. For C. Stecco, the muscles have two insertions, one to the bone and one to the aponeurosis. The bone insertion transmits local movement and the fascial one organises the wider movement. The transmission of part of the muscular force and the creation of lines of forces in the whole myiofascial system is what allows this wider organisation. The deep fascia is very propriocepive and, for Stecco, the therapeutic approach of this tissue requires not only manual techniques but also movement to recreate the lines of forces. She also notes that when the correct tension is restored in this tissue, proprioception is immediately restored in the area concerned.

Gil Hedly showed us how epimysial fascia is organised in fine layers (filmy fascia), that ensure continuity (strappy fascia) and gliding (slippery fascia) between the superficial fascia and the deep fascia during movement. C. Stecco reminded us that there is a specific fascia for each muscle and that it is responsible for transmitting 30% to 40% of muscular force. She also noted its fundamental role in coordinating the contraction of the various motor units during a movement. This fascia adapts its tonus to the slightest internal and external tensions and distributes these tensions harmoniously throughout the whole myofascial system.

Stecco also made a link between some pathologies and the different types of fascia and posited that each type of fascia may need a specific therapeutic approach.

Two other speakers also talked to us specifically about the fascia :

  • Earls showed the role of the fascia in the evolution of man towards walking upright. He associated in his talk notions of the fascia, paleoanthropology and functional anatomy.
  • In his talk, J. Baker explored the role of the fascia in the structure and the compartmentalization of the human body.

The remaining conferences were centred on specific methods and practices that take the fascia into consideration in their protocoles (stress management, chronic pain management, motor and postural rehabilitation, sports training). Through the variety of the presentations, these authors demonstrated the range of possible applications of research conducted on the fascia in the fields of therapy, prevention and physical activities.

2. The workshops

Each participant was able to select two workshops amongst the 19 on offer. The workshops we attended confirmed how the fascia is increasingly being taken into consideration in understanding, analysing and developing various therapeutic and educative practices and approaches.BFS3

Concepts such as tissular continuity, tensegrity and tissular fluidity are being integrated into areas as diverse as massage and cancer, ligament and joint treatments, neurodynamic and paediatrics. The participants were also able to attend early-bird workshops centred on movement, relaxation, yoga and stretching.

3. The Poster sessions

It was the first time that the BFS were organising poster sessions. Eighteen posters of various kinds were presented (case studies, clinical studies and pilot studies) covering subjects ranging from studies on lumbago, research on self-treating fascia and the impact of fascia-focused techniques on the danse experience and on bodily experiencing.

Amongst those, four were presented by French researchers :

  • Courraud, PhD, PT, presented two studies from his doctoral research that showed the impact of DBM Fasciatherapy on the treatment of pain and on the professional practice of French physiotherapists ;
  • Delval, DO MROF, presented a literature analysis on the role of the fascia in understanding the efficacy of Toggle-Recoil techniques and how they work;
  • Dupuis, PT, MSc, presented a mixed quantitative/qualitative study showing the effects of DBM Fasciatherapy on the bodily experiencing of patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

Out of all the presentations, five posters were selected, giving their authors the opportunity to present their work in a dedicated workshop.



BFS 2016 also offered the opportunity to meet again and continue conversations with people who also attended the 4th International Fascia Research Congress in the US last Autumn.

Again it showed that the fascia is a tissue that is getting much interest and unites a variety of people from the fields of health, movement and wellbeing as well as sport and danse. It made us aware that, though research in France is growing, there is a lot more to do to have a place on the international stage.


You can download the original French text from the blog of the Symposium:

BFS6Article and photography : C. Courraud, C.Dupuis et I. Bertrand – TMG Concept

Text and photographs copyrighted to the authors. Reproduction without authorisation is prohibited.

Translation from the French : Hélène Pennel