Dr. Guy Voyer, a world-renowned osteopath and the creator of the Soma Therapy/Soma Training programs, says it best, “why address the contents before correcting the container?”
Undoubtedly, within the last decade, across the US, there has been an increase in awareness of fascia in manual medicine and performance therapy. Yet, this global connective tissue is nothing new to the European and Canadian osteopathic teachings. Combine fascia, tensegrity, and the remarkable regenerating capabilities of the human organism, and you get a very complex puzzle that principles of SomaTherapy help to address.
A close second to the more fashionable “fascia,“ tensegrity is appearing on more and more websites in performance therapy and rehabilitation. However, in the various approaches to treatment, there seems to be a disconnect in applying tensegrity to solving the “puzzle” of our patient’s conditions. SomaTherapy—through “pumping,” fascia normalization, and TTLS (explained below) combined with SomaTraining—through myofascial stretching, segmental strengthening, ELDOA, and other techniques provide us with the tools to affect permanent change.
If this is a newer concept for you, you can find excellent visual resources on YouTube: “Strolling Under the Skin” 1 and 2, Guimberteau, and through text: “Architecture of Human Living Tissue,” by Guimberteau and Armstrong, 2016 or “Biotensegrity: The Structural Basis of Life” by Graham Scar. There are of course many others, but these are some personal favorites.
A POTENTIAL PARADIGM SHIFT?
SomaTraining is a rehab-based program designed to teach specific tools for changing and normalizing the body’s tensegrity biomechanics to attain maximum function and health.
If we want to see lasting outcomes in our patients’ progress, we need to consider a higher level of anatomy, beyond what we’ve previously learned, combined with tensegrity-based biomechanics.
Dr. Voyer teaches us “you cannot distinguish between structures that your brain isn’t aware of.” If our eyes have only been trained to perceive muscles, bones, and nerves, and are blind to the integral material that connects them, our ability to make permanent change to the system and to the quality of our patients’ lives is vastly limited.
Inherent to this paradigm shift, the Complexity Model of thinking teaches understanding, and treating of the whole body.
Guy Voyer, DO is an accomplished athlete(Olympic Judo) and physiotherapist with 4 Osteopathic degrees, an Orthopedic MD, and PhD in Pedagogy. After truly understanding the global continuity of the body/fascial system, Dr. Voyer remains an Osteopath, teaching exercise as the foundation of all permanent change to the body for function, health, recovery and treatment. Many performance therapists and trainers around the world utilize his SomaTraining & SomaTherapy principles in the treatment and rehab of professional athletes and the conclusion of complex cases
SomaTherapy is a program designed to teach the fundamentals of normalizing fluid flow in all fascia/joints/duramater. Space and Flow are the 2 most basic principles fundamental to health, resilience and performance. SomaTherapy, at its core, teaches how to intelligently create space and flow in all systems.
Foundational tools of the SomaTherapy Program…
- 1st Year: Osteo Articular Pumping – solicitation of the movement of fluids(lymph, synovial fluid, water of the bursae, water in the collagen tubes of fascia/ligaments/ tendons) in both acute and chronic cases.
- 2nd year: Fascial Normalization – treatment of entire chains of fascia
- 3rd Year: Transverse Tendonous & Ligamentous Stretching (TTLS)
Two primary effects:
- normalization of mechanical tension in a contracted or shortened ligament/tendon (or other fascia)
- creating a temporary inhibition of the protective mechanism of the ligament/tendon just before an adjustment of the joint
After 3 years, experienced and elite therapists will learn how to solve more complex imbalances that are seen throughout the body. Examples: spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, prolapses, hernias, long term concussion symptoms, chronic headaches via the dura mater or ventricles, organ dysfunction…to name a few.
4th Year: Diaphragmology. Treatment of the 4 Principle Diaphragms
- Thoracic Diaphragm
- Cervico-Thoracic Diaphragms (Styloid and Bourghery)
- Pelvic Diaphragm
- Cranial Diaphragm