In search of the “how” and “why”
Combined strength from practice and science
In order to understand health holistically, we build interdisciplinary research groups to look at our body’s mechanisms from different perspectives. In doing so, we address the question of how and why (self-)treatments promote health and accelerate recovery processes. The result of this process is an integrative, constantly evolving treatment approach that encompasses different levels of body therapy. In addition to the muscle-fascia system, the autonomic nervous system has emerged as another substantial, yet often unconsidered, element of health.
Excerpt of our research collaborations
Excerpt of our journal and book publications:
The study examines the effectiveness of the Cellulite-ReleaZer for the treatment of cellulite on the thigh.
After 12 weeks of Cellulite-ReleaZer treatment, the skin appeared smoother, stronger, and more stable. Objective and subjective measurement parameters confirmed the results.
The study assesses the efficacy of an instrument-based myofascial release self-treatment technique, combined with a vibrational breath-pacemaker training (heart-rate variability HRV) on the lower ribs to stimulate vagal tone. The self-treatment combines vibrational oscillation, leverage, and shearing effect.
Application of self-treatment with a muscle fascia tool resulted in clinically relevant improvements on pain reduction and on objective mechanical tissue properties. Tool-assisted self-treatment with the IFT is possibly an effective self-treatment modality for chronic lower back pain.
The study examines the effectiveness of the Interdisciplinary Fascia Therapy (IFT) and compares its results with the ones of classical massage. It also explores factors that characterise Interdisciplinary Fascia Therapy (IFT).
Results demonstrated IFT intervention to be significantly more effective than classical massage and to achieve significantly better results compared to no intervention. In particular, IFT achieved the greatest improvement in pain perception and quality of life, both at 3- and 18-months post-treatment. IFT therefore seems to be an effective method for patients with chronic lumbar back pain, leading to improvements that last 1.5 years.
Using a randomised, controlled trial, this study investigates the applicability and efficacy of the Fascia-ReleaZer as a novel self-help tool that combines vibration waves, leverage and shearing (vibro-shearing technique). It considers important, biomechanical tissue indices as well as measurement parameters on range of motion and pain desensitisation.
The use of the Fascia-ReleaZer led to significant improvements in all the above parameters considering healthy, well-trained dancers. Vibro-shearing self-treatment led to a reduction in myofascial stiffness and pain sensitivity. In addition, microcirculation, elasticity, and mobility were improved. As subjective parameters, lightness and relaxation increased significantly through self-treatment.
Two thirds of German citizens experiencing high stress levels suffer from back pain and muscle tension. This study clearly demonstrates the connection between physical and psychological symptoms.
In addition to the well-known manual and active forms of therapy, the evidence-based Interdisciplinary Fascia Therapy (IFT) combines techniques from myofascial body therapy with stress management and self-help techniques. It not only has a positive effect on patients with chronic pain, but also achieves considerable success in high-performance sports.
The life of dancer and choreographer Stefanie Goes collapsed in the summer of 2014. She increasingly suffered from severe foot and back pain and severe sensory disturbances and numbness. As such, she could no longer perform her work. After many sobering doctor and therapist appointments, she found help with Carmen Graf and Christopher-Marc Gordon. The case report tells her story.
This study investigates the effectiveness of the myofascial trigger point release (MTR) for shoulder pain.
The myofascial trigger point release technique led to significant improvements in patients with chronic shoulder pain in the primary measures of pain and biomechanical tissue properties, as well as other secondary measures such as distress, stress, and quality of life. The improvements were maintained 13 months after treatment.
Self-myofascial release is receiving increased attention in both physiotherapy and sports. The aim of this study is to compare the practical suitability and effectiveness of two instrument-based “self-myofascial release” tools. In particular, the technique of “rolling” is compared with the technique of “vibro-shearing”.
In both techniques, the instrumental treatment led to significant improvements in the objective, biomechanical tissue properties. However, an improvement in the hydration properties of the tissue could only be achieved via vibro-shearing.
While many therapists, trainers and movement educators rely on their subjective palpatory and visual perception of fascial tissue dynamics, rapid, technological developments offer useful diagnostic and assessment tools that can be used to examine various physical and physiological characteristics of fascial tissue. This chapter discusses four different techniques that are useful and promising for fascia-oriented professionals.
This study investigates the relationship between hydration, stiffness, and elasticity, considering the effectiveness of self-help treatment.
An instrument-assisted self-help treatment was performed on the quadriceps and fascia latae muscle of the thigh. The use of this instrumental self-help treatment resulted in highly significant improvements in the area of objective, biomechanical tissue properties as well as hydration parameters.
The article describes the three building blocks of Interdisciplinary Fascia Therapy (IFT) and the associated scientific background. Among other things, the authors discuss how they collect and evaluate relevant data in the ongoing practice.
The digital measuring devices Myoton-2 and Myoton-3 have proven to be reliable and useful for assessing the biomechanical properties of myofascial tissue. The aim of this study is to further develop this instrument, considering two new viscoelastic tissue properties.
The advanced instrument achieved the same precision as its predecessors in the evaluation of the mechanical tissue tension (tonus), the tissue stiffness and the elasticity. In addition, the measurement capacity was expanded to include the two viscoelastic tissue parameters.
This single case study with a ballet dancer demonstrates the effect of osteopathy, self-hypnosis, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) in the treatment of exhaustion, stress, anxiety and pain of the right thigh, calf and ankle. The study also integrates confidence building techniques.
The physical and psychological burnout symptoms had reached the point of constant pain and overuse of the muscles of the right leg and hip, spine, and neck. Parallel to this, there were symptoms of exhaustion, dissatisfaction, and a tendency to concentrate too much on other dancers. This was at the expense of their own concentration and motivation. Osteopathic body therapy included rebalancing overused, overstressed and over-tensioned muscle tissue with myofascial release techniques, postural integration as well as deactivating trigger points. Mental attitude was supported by reframing techniques during self-hypnosis targeting general feelings of blockage, imprisonment, cramping, exhaustion, and weakness in the right leg.
“Christopher has joined and published several valuable studies in the field of international fascia research. I particularly appreciate that he specifically includes the autonomic nervous system in myofascial therapeutic treatment in patients”. Dr. Robert Schleip | Fascia researcher and director of the Fascia Research Group TU Munich
Excerpt of our conference contributions:
Gordon CM, Graf C, Bruederle CS, Lindner SM, Montoya P, Andrasik, F. (2019). Self-Myofascial Release for Chronic Low Back Pain and Stress: A Controlled Clinical Trial. 10th Interdisciplinary Congress for Low Back and Pelvic Girdle Pain, Keynote presentation, Antwerp.
Gordon CM (2018). Fascia and the Autonomic Nervous System. Resilience: How to Recharge and Not to Endure. Brisith Fascia Symposium, United Kingdom.
Gordon CM, Birbaumer N, Andrasik F (2016). Interdisciplinary fascia therapy (IFT method) in chronic low back pain: An effectiveness trial with 206 outpatients. 19th BFE Aveiro Meeting, Portugal.
Gordon CM, Graf C, Lazi A, Birbaumer N, Andrasik F (2016). Interdisciplinary fascia therapy (IFT method) reduces chronic low back pain: A pilot study for a new myofascial approach. 19th BFE Aveiro Meeting, Portugal.
Gordon CM, Graf C, Lindner SM, Wagner M, Birbaumer N, Andrasik, F. (2016). Self-help treatment for low back pain and stress: A pilot study employing a myofascial manipulation tool. 19th BFE Aveiro Meeting, Portugal.
Gordon CM, Schleip R, Vagedes J, Birbaumer N, Montoya P, Andrasik F. (2016). Interdisciplinary fascia therapy (IFT method) for chronic low back pain: An examination of therapy process and outcome at 18 months. 9th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back and Pelvic Girdle Pain, Keynote presentation, Singapore. / 19th BFE Aveiro Meeting, Portugal.
Gordon CM, Schleip R, Vagedes J, Riquelme I, Birbaumer N, Montoya P, Andrasik F. (2015). Does Myofascial Pain Sensitization Correlate with Chronic Low Back Pain? A RCT, Myometer Study with a 3 and 18 Month Follow Up. 19th BFE Aveiro Meeting, Portugal.
Vagedes J, Gordon CM, Mueller V, Andrasik F, Gevirtz R, Schleip R, Birbaumer N (2016). Comparison of Myofascial-Trigger-Point-Release and Core Stabilization Exercises on Range of Motion within Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain – A Randomized, Controlled Trial. 9th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back and Pelvic Girdle Pain, Singapore.
Vagedes J, Gordon CM, Mueller V, Andrasik F, Gevirtz R, Schleip R, Birbaumer N (2016). Anxiety Correlates with the Reactive but not with the Sensory Dimension of the Brief Pain Inventory within Patients with Chronic Lower Back Pain – A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study. 9th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back and Pelvic Girdle Pain, Singapore.
Gordon CM, Lindner SM, Birbaumer N, Montoya P, Andrasik F. (2015). Correlation between Hydration and Fascia Stiffness during a Self-help Treatment with a Myofascial Manipulation Tool. A Bioimpedance Controlled, Clinical Trial. 4th Fascia Research Congress, Washington DC, 5/2015, 93.
Gordon CM, Lindner SM, Birbaumer N, Montoya P, Andrasik F (2015). Interdisciplinary Fascia Therapy (IFT) in Chronic Low Back Pain. An Effectivity-Outcome Study with Outpatients. 4th Fascia Research Congress, Washington DC, 11/2015, 253.
Gordon CM, Schleip R, Vagedes J, Riquelme I, Birbaumer N, Andrasik F, Montoya P. (2015). Does Myofascial Pain Sensitization Correlate with Chronic Low Back Pain? A RCT, Myometer Study with a 3 and 18 Month Follow Up. 4th Fascia Research Congress, Washington DC, 11/2015, 252.
Gordon CM, Vagedes J, Andrasik F, Gevirtz R, Schleip R, Birbaumer N (2015). Interdisciplinary fascia therapy in combination with HRV training reduces pain intensity and anxiety on patients with low back pain: A randomized controlled trial. 4th Fascia Research Congress, Washington.
Gordon CM (2013). Neue Manualtherapeutische Ansätze unter Berücksichtigung des Vegetativen Nervensystems (HRV). 3. Münchner Symposium für Haltungs- und Bewegungsforschung, Keynote presentation, München.
Vagedes J, Gordon CM, Beutinger D, Schwaemmle M, Andrasik F, Gevirtz R, Schleip R, Birbaumer N, Hautzinger M (2009). Myofascial Release in Combination with Trigger Point Therapy and Deep Breathing Training Improves Low Back Pain. 2nd International Fascia Research Congress, Amsterdam.