Dear all
could somebody help me in finding some research figures or formulas about the
time/force needed for mechanical outside pressure needed in dense human fascia
to result in a plasticity deformation?
I am not a biomech.scientist, but a practitioner of a method of deep
tissue manipulation called 'Rolfing'. Since a few years there is now a debate
going on in my school about whether thixotropy (tissue aggregate change from gel
to sol in response to mechanical pressure) is still a valid explanatory model
for the effect of myofascial release work. The amount of time and force for one
stroke in this work is rarely more than 1 min. with 20 kg max., yet often a
tissue release is already clearly felt or at least claimed. My personal
explanation of this work favors more a neuromuscular stimulation of the Golgi
Tendon Organs in the fascial envelopes. This seems to be supported by my
experience that this technique does not work anymore under local anesthesia,
plus by the verbal report by a colleague of mine who said that he once saw a
mathematical calculation which showed that one would need to apply several tons
(!) of pressure in order to achieve such a fast plasticity change in dense human
connective tissue.
I have been trying now to find such a formula myself in the literature in
order to check the validity of this claim, yet so far without success (Except
for getting overwhelmed by the hundreds of logarithmic formulas in a book by
Fung, Y.C (Biomechanics, Mechanical Properties of Living Tissues, 1981). I
believe that clarity on this question could have an influence on probably 10 000
PT and other practitioners who practice myofascial work worldwide. Could
someone of you professionals help us further?

Robert Schleip, Munich, Germany
(M.A. psychology, naturopath, Certified Rolfer & Feldenkrais Practitioner)