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I was recently listening to a radio show from a local NPR affiliate. The interview was with the director of a dance company that pioneer an innovative form of dance done while dangling from ropes on the sides of buildings. She described their work as a “cross pollination of various dance forms”. That term resonated with me and where I am attempting to evolve my Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminars.

These of you who have been following my posts for the past few months may see a pattern. Change, growth, and knowledge are all good things to strive for, at least I believe so. But, I think I’ve left myself sitting on a bridge alone. The bridge is between traditional myofascial release and newer models of neuroscience-based therapy. Many in the myofascial release community have branded me a traitor for speaking against the “fascia is king” tribal mentality, while those ensconced in the neuro world feel I’ve not abandoned the concepts of the mesodermal world that they abhor. Oh well, I’m kinda happy sitting right on the bridge, looking at what both worlds have to contribute. I do understand that many of my new acquaintances have paved a path through much of what I still hold on to. They have already determined form themselves that fascia is nothing more than a placeholder in the body and have little patience for those who still heap praise on fascia. I am grateful for what they have taught me thus far and what I hope they continue to teach. But I ask for patience, as their pace is not mine. As for those who feel betrayed…get over it! You are still on your private chatline spreading your lies.

The therapy world is such a polarized place at times. My profession of physical therapy has immersed themselves in an evidence-based mindset that confuses me every day. Many of the patients that I see have been to “traditional” physical therapy, where pain was treated as a result of weakness. Strengthening did little and made many of them worse. True, I do not see the people who were helped by this therapy, but since when does weakness hurt? But PT’s continue to strengthen with no real regard for tightness. Is this evidence-based practice? I do appreciate looking at therapy from a science based perspective, though. Does what you are saying and doing make sense? That is where I am trying to go.

I have had some pretty interesting changes in my clients over the past few weeks since incorporating new neuromodulatory techniques, as well as novel uses for kinesiotape. I shared these with the therapists at my last seminar in Rochester last weekend and the feedback was great. How does this fit in with MFR? Pretty well, so far. I do believe that at some point I will drop MFR as a name for what I do and teach, but not yet…the pollen is still crossing!

For now,

Walt Fritz, PT

Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminars

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Comment by Chris on November 11, 2012 at 9:16pm

Fritz, you raise a lot of interesting points, and if I am reading you accurately it posses some exciting possibility which I was trying to point out elsewhere. Some of your concerns, I come to understand in terms of Talcott Parsons’ idea of glosses. Parsons’ notes the gloss is a total system of perception and language. For instance, if we look about the room we are sitting in, we interpret a gloss based on cultural conditioning. We have lumped together a series of isolated perceptions like floor, ceiling, window, lights, rugs, etc.–to make a totality. But we had to be taught to put the world together in this way. A child reconnoiters the world with few preconceptions until he or she is taught to see things in a way that corresponds to the descriptions everybody agrees on.

The world is an agreement. It seems every Guild establishes a system of glossing. Moreover, it seems to be somewhat like walking. We have to learn to walk, but once we learn to walk, we are subject to the syntax of language and the mode of perception it contains.

Membership in a Guild consists of being an expert in the innuendoes of meaning that are contained within a culture of the Guild.


What you just characterized in your missive is that one cannot break out of one membership without being introduced into another while concomitantly burning the loyalties to the excepted orthodoxy of the profession by those who keep its principles as if sacred. Thus any one you challenges or moves beyond the orthodoxy, will be left with occupying the margins, or shown the door simply because he or she has rearranged the glosses to allow something new to be born.


So it seems to me that the visionary seeks to apprehend the world without any interpretation at all, but to make his or her own way free of cultural interpretations and its egregious conditioning; it is pure wondering perception.


To break the certainty that the world is the way you have always been taught, one must learn a new description of the world–and then hold the old and the new together by its inevitable tension. The magic of this merging is that one frees oneself from the original gloss, and that neither description is final. At that moment you slip between the descriptions; so one is finally left with wonder and the emergence of something new; seeing the world without interpretation or making one’s way into previously uncharted waters births new possibilities. 

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