The Osteopathic Approach to Fascia


To whom

Osteopaths, physiotherapists with advanced manual and clinical experience or with a postgraduate education in osteopathy/osteopathic techniques


After taking this course participant knows how

• To describe the main anatomical and physiological properties of fascia
• To present the connective tissue as the major bio-mechanical and bio-electrical mediator of the structure and function interrelationship
• To propose various fascial mechanisms by which somatic dysfunction may be induced
and maintained
• To illustrate the principles of tensegrity model and its application on osteopathic practice through Littlejohn’s mechanics and compressional‐tensional approach
• To illustrate the most common fascial techniques in osteopathic practice and propose different fascia-mediated mechanisms behind the OMT efficacy and effectiveness
• To appreciate the extent of sliding motions between fascial layers in vivo, through real-time dynamic ultrasound evaluation
• To show the extent of motion impairment of organ related fascia layers following post-surgical events or chronic and acute disorders
• To demonstrate via real-time US imaging some of the effects of fascial osteopathic techniques on improving fascial range and quality of movement, in relation with contiguous fascial planes or with anatomically related organs


As a structural element of the body connective system, fascia can be considered as a ubiquitous tissue permeating the whole organism. It seems to respond to cellular and macroscopic lines of tension by reorganizing itself accordingly. From this perspective, the repercussion of a fascial restriction will be body-wide, and may potentially create stress on any structure enveloped by fascia itself.

There exist different fascial mechanisms by which a somatic dysfunction may be induced and maintained at different levels. Yet osteopathic fascial treatment aims to release such tensions, to restore function and to balance the inherent body mechanisms, so to be often proposed as an adjunctive treatment for various conditions.

However, a better understanding of the physiology and mechanism behind a techniques’ effectiveness, as well as a sound clinical evidence base is certainly needed to provide clarity with modalities of application. In fact, it is evident that various factors may interplay with myofascial function and its ability to respond to fascial treatment, such as plastic, viscoelastic and piezoelectric properties of connective tissue, together with various mechanical, neuromuscular, hydraulic, sympathetic and parasympathetic responses.

This course will offer an overview of all these crucial topics together with the most common fascial techniques used within the osteopathic armamentarium, including fascial unwinding, Still technique and harmonic technique. Different forms of application will be also described, from indirect, direct to combined method. To guide the clinician through the understanding and the application of such fascial tools, various evidence-based mechanisms as well as different hypothesis based on osteopathic principles will be proposed and discussed.

The course is taught mainly in English, but there are also some parts taught in Finnish.


About practical arrangements

Kaisa Suojoki
Tel. 040 672 5519
kaisa.suojoki (at)

About content

Sandra Rinne
Tel. 040 159 1759
sandra.rinne (at)