Fascial Counterstrain: Origin and Evolution of This Modern Osteopathic Approach

About Fascial Counterstrain

Fascial Counterstrain (FCS) is an innovative system of soft tissue manipulation developed by Brian Tuckey PT, OCS, JSCCI a disciple of the famous osteopathic physician, Lawrence Jones D.O. Mr. Tuckey is one of only 4 physical therapists ever to be certified by Dr. Jones to teach his world renowned “Strain and Counterstrain” or “Positional Release” technique. FCS as a treatment methodology, is unique, because it is the only form of manipulation that is not only capable but designed to identify and correct dysfunction in all of the body’s systems including the vascular, visceral, nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

FCS utilizes diagnostic tender points to identify reflexive muscle guarding in the body. Reflex muscle contractions occur in skeletal muscle, smooth muscle or in the body’s deep fascia due to a variety of reasons including trauma, surgery, postural strain, repetitive motion even in response to an inflammatory diet. This form of reflex muscular dysfunction, once present, can contribute to a multitude of symptoms and conditions. Some examples include, but are not limited to: acute/chronic musculoskeletal conditions in ALL regions of the body, chronic edema, weakness, digestive dysfunction, neuropathies, migraine/non migraine headaches, tachycardia, CRPS, peripheral arterial disease, balance disorders, seizures, tinnitus, and fibromyalgia. FCS alleviates these chronic, reflexive muscle contractions from the body via a gentle, reflexive process which patients frequently describe as “fascinating” or “magic.” The treatments are completely painless making it a viable option for even the most painful or difficult cases.

It is believed that FCS’s powerful, multi-system effects are due to the deactivation of deep fascial proprioceptors (nociceptors and mechanoreceptors) which maintains the body’s musculature in a persistent, noci-defensive or “over-protective” state (1). During treatments, there is a palpable, often visible reduction in localized tissue edema which helps alleviate the chemical component of chronic soft tissue dysfunction (2). This combination of metabolite drainage and proprioceptive impact, gives FCS unparalleled carry over. Many patients report lasting relief of chronic conditions after only one or two treatment sessions. FCS embraces the concepts of holistic and osteopathic medicine in that it addresses the body as a whole not just the surface musculoskeletal presentation. By normalizing muscular tension, vascular drainage, blood flow, and neural input, FCS maximizes the body’s intrinsic ability to heal. Multi-system diagnosis and manipulation is the key to correcting chronic conditions of all types. This treatment model will allow you to identify and correct the true source of your patient’s pain and disability not just the surface symptoms.

Fascial Counterstrain is currently being taught to a rapidly expanding audience of medical practitioners in the United States as well as Internationally through the Jones Institute. For more information on how to receive professional instruction in Fascial Counterstrain see the Jones Institute’s website:  www.jiscs.com  

  • Van Buskirk RL: Nociceptive reflexes and the Somatic Dysfunction: A model. J Am Osteopathic Assoc 90: 792-809, 1990
  • Jay P Shah MD, E Gilliams, BA: Uncovering the Biochemical milieu of myofascial trigger points using in vivo microdialysis: An application of muscle pain concepts to myofascial pain syndrome. Journal of body work and movement therapies (2008) 12, 371-384