Fascinating Fascia:

Research Update with Clinical Applications for Manual Therapy Around the Spine and Thorax, Fascia as a Sensory Organ


Course Description


Fascia forms a body-wide interconnected network of fibrous collagenous connective tissues. This network envelops and connects all organs, muscles, nerves and vessels. While being largely neglected in the past, the fascial web recently gained new scientific attention based on new measurement technologies. New research findings suggest that fascial tissues significantly influence muscular force transmission; they also form the basis of perception of our own body (proprioception) as well as of many myofascial pain syndromes. 

This workshop begins with an update on new insights regarding the biomechanical functions of the body-wide fascial network. This background will then be applied to a new understanding for treating several common musculoskeletal dysfunctions around the spine and thorax.

In addition to cutting edge research information from a body worker’s perspective, the workshop will include specific hands-on instruction on different approaches and working techniques aimed at stimulating specific sensory receptors in fascia (such as Ruffini- or Pacinian corpuscles) as well as providing adequate fluid shear to fascial fibroblasts to influence their metabolic behaviour.


This will include work on the dense layer of the Fascia Profunda (‘diving suit’), on muscular septae, and on adhesions within the “Superficial shearing zone” at the bottom of the Superficial Fascia. During many of these techniques, the clients will be instructed to support the hands-on work with active micro movement participations from the inside, thereby making the tissue work more specific, more cooperative and more sustainable. Guidelines for the best orchestration of such micro movement participations will be given and integrated into clinical sessions.

Course Objectives


The practical portions of the workshop will focus on a multitude of practical and very detailed hands-on instructions. These will aim primarily to releasing myofascial pathologies around the thorax and include among others:

  • Working with scoliosis, particularly with idiopathic juvenile scoliosis.
  • How to make sense of the latest research insights regarding the aetiology - Tips and tricks for working with this highly interesting myofascial deformity.
  • Softening rigid areas within the thoracic wall
  • Opening curved-in or flattened areas such as in pectus excavatum (funnel chest)
  • Releasing kyphosis as well as dowager’s hump
  • Working with myofascial back pain originating from thoracolumbar fasciae.


This course has no specific prerequisites. Generally, a range of background knowledge and skills among students is expected and even productive. The course is intended for any hands-on and movement practitioners.

Accreditation Points 

This course is accredited by both Stichting Keurmerk Fysiotherapie and Kwaliteitshuis Fysiotherapie for 15 points.

Meet your Teacher

Robert Schleip PhD MA directs the Fascia Research Project of Ulm University in Germany. Having been a Rolfing instructor and Feldenkrais practitioner for over 20 years, he felt frustrated with the speculative nature of scientific explanations backing up most areas of current bodywork. When he entered the field of connective tissue science as an active laboratory researcher in 2003, he became so thrilled that he soon became one of the driving international forces in the newly emerging field of fascia research. His own research findings on active contractile properties of human fasciae have been honored with the Vladimir Janda Award of Musculoskeletal Medicine. He is research director of the European Rolfing Association, and co—initiator of the 1st Fascia Research Congress hosted at Harvard Medical School (Boston 2007) as well as the subsequent congresses.

Recommended Literature

Dr. Robert Schleip is the author of several books including:

He has also (co)authored hundreds of scientific publications. You can view them here.


This course is currently offered in:

View the course page to see all upcoming dates and locations.

Language of Instruction

This course is taught in English. 🇬🇧

Course planning

  • 00:00 - 00:00: Registration with coffee and tea


There are no courses planned at the moment.
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