Connect 2017 in Ulm Germany
So sad to leave Ulm today, it is always so welcoming.
As I travel home I am pondering on the last 4 days and the things I have learnt and the people I have met.
As usual the Fascia family never ceases to amaze me with their enthusiasm and their passion and knowledge. I met old friends and made new, many more from the USA than before.
When I attended the conference in 2013 it was full of football physio's and was all about how much pain could be inflicted and the cost of injured players. This year the whole atmosphere was softer, more about the mind and the mindbody connection. The field is maturing, there was less about what fascia is and it's uniqueness and more about how it integrates with muscles and the nervous system. Lectures looked at the importance of environment on the fascial system and the cells within it, nutrition, hydration, movement as well as manual therapies.
The pre and post conference workshops were more movement orientated and I struggled to decide on the ones to take, in the end I missed the Melt workshop and Marie-Jose's workshop and I decided on one by Christopher Gordon, an old Fascia Friend. I met Christopher in Vancouver and we have been friends since. Christopher is a remarkable man, clinician, researcher and teacher. I really enjoyed learning about the Fascial-releaZer and will return to his lecture again as it was full of detail and information; and yes I did buy one. The afternoon session was sponsored by Merrithew who you may know from the Stott school of Pilates. They have a new Fascia exercise offering that I wanted to check out and compare with the Fascial Fitness principles I use and teach. The workshop concentrated on the way the brain perceives movement, the actual movements were interesting, using props for proprioception, again I will revisit this topic. The most exciting part of the workshop was the quiz and I won a Rollga. I had met its inventor earlier in the conference. Taggart Downare is a really creative man and his latest invention is the Rollga. I will use it and report back on my impressions. Getting it home however proved a challenge due to it's size, however it's proved more portable and less controversial than the Fascial-releaZer, which had the airport security sniggering when I explained in sign language that it was a vibrating massage tool.
The pre conference workshop was taught by Divo and was Fascial Fitness for the lumber spine, again it showed that the work is maturing and I enjoyed the sequencing. A small workshop given by Eric Franklin on his imagery concept, again really enjoyable and useful, I think he has always worked with the fascia system just never named it, now the word is in every other sentence.
The main lectures were full of the importance of meditation, movement and interdisciplinary approaches to keeping sportsmen and women in their peak condition for longer.
The attitude to pain and movement was explored, mindfulness and other meditative practices were openly practiced and evaluated. Stress was addressed.
There were many pieces of research on the popular roller fascial release, some saying it worked, some saying it didn't.
Lots of information from cellular level (which quite frankly was mostly beyond my understanding) to the whole body. Less about manual workers more about exercise. Rehab and returning to sport, optimal rehab protocols, resting athletes and taking a longterm view. There was a lecture just about female sportsmen and the effect of estrogen on the connective tissue, not great news for those of us whose estrogen levels have now dropped off the scale.
My brain is exhausted and full to bursting, so much information in such a short period of time. So many people to meet and bring together so that lasting co-operation across the world can carry on beyond this conference.
At one point I was in the same workshop as Eric Franklin (the Franklin method and the man who pioneered the use of imagery in movement teaching), Sue Hitzman (the Melt method), and Moira Merridew (Stott pilates), all these big hitters listening and learning and sitting next to me! Learnt about Variable heart rate resilience training, this I will bring into the studio as the results are quite impressive.
I met some lovely old friends, Wonderful Wilbour, Robert Schleip, Tom Findley, Christopher and David . The Fascial Fitness trainers, Divo, Dani, Rochelle, and Trixy.
I even discovered the origins of my name from a lady called Tacye, apparently we are named for the Roman emperor Tacitus. many people called Tacey went over with the pilgrim fathers and the name morphed into Tracey, and I thought Tracey was a made up name used in the film High Society.
My take away from the conference is that the role of fascia in our minds (not the same as brain) how our emotions and feelings are being recognised by science as important in the synthesis of collagen in our connective tissue. The feedback from fascia to brain and visa versa is the next thing to be uncovered by science.
Finally, as the my plane is about to land, I now have lots of work still to do on the information in this conference and work out how I can use it and share it- happy days.
p.s. If you go to the Melt facebook page you will see Sue Hitzman interviewing the great and good at the conference, she does such a good job.