About F.A.P.™ Functional Anatomic Palpation
- What is Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems™?
- Why was Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems™ developed?
- Why are anatomy palpation skills so important to manual practitioners?
- History of F.A.P.™
Through F.A.P.™ training, the individual can learn the skills necessary to specifically isolate structures involved in clinical conditions, which then translates into more specific treatment regimens.
As well, many musculoskeletal conditions 'fly under their radar' so to speak as many microtissue injuries (sprains, strains, fascial adhesions, fibrosis and scar tissue, etc.) are not perceivable by imaging methods. Therefore the manual practitioner is often left with their hands, and knowledge of anatomical structure, to determine the cause of patient's symptoms.
While many educational institutions offer training in human anatomy, training is limited to textbook memorization and on occasion, cadaver dissection. Further, although many 'technique' seminars claim to be specific with their treatment and assessment procedures, few if any offer instruction to back these claims.
F.A.P.™ seminars were created to offer advanced instruction in palpation and assessment of actual soft tissue structure. Participants learn to efficiently, and specifically locate soft tissue structures which immediately enhances their diagnostic and treatment abilities.
fascial release technique (Functional Range Release F.R.®) offers a particular approach to dealing with specific tissue pathology, and/or mechanical dysfunction.
As with other more established forms of therapy, such as spinal manipulation, mobilization, and stretching, even the best management techniques will fall short if the evaluation is not thorough enough to delineate the exact deficits. But are our methods of tissue evaluation and examination specific enough to correctly select the right technique to accomplish its intended purpose?
Most manual practitioners have limited access to diagnostic advances in imaging methods. In terms of orthopedic examination, most procedures are designed to determine the extent of 'macro' injuries to tissues (ruptures, fractures, tears, etc.); however, a large majority of conditions seen in a manual practitioner's office are 'micro' tissue injuries such as repetitive strain disorders or fascial adhesions which are often not detected with these tests. Even in situations where an orthopedic test elicits a patient's symptoms, little information is forthcoming to assist in the selection of appropriate treatment.
As an example, positive shoulder impingement signs do not delineate the exact structures that are causing the pain. These signs simply indicate that the location of the painful structure is the subacromial region, which can represent various diagnoses, including:
- Supraspinatus insertional tendonopathy
- Long head of biceps tendonopathy
- Long head of biceps tenosynovitis
- Subacromial bursitis
- Glenohumeral joint capsular tear or capsulitis
- Internal impingement (posterior-superior glenohumeral impingement)
- Subscapularis tendonopathy/ impingement
Thus the manual practitioner is often left with just their hands and their knowledge of anatomical structure and soft tissue palpation to determine the cause of a patient's symptoms. Further, treatments of said problems are often solely guided by the same skill?? anatomy palpation.
Contrary to popular belief, anatomic palpation is a skill that is mastered through practice and proper instruction. Textbook knowledge of anatomy and anatomic structure is insufficient when dealing with live tissues and hence, soft tissue palpation courses are necessary in order to perfect this skill. Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems® anatomy seminars offer the most advanced soft tissue palpation training for all manual disciplines.
After graduation from McMaster University with a degree in Kinesiology, Dr. Spina attended and graduated with summa cum laude honors from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, and later completed a two year post doctor fellowship in Sports Sciences.
During his studies, Dr. Spina received various academic awards including the 'John W.A. Duckworth Award' for the highest standing in Human Anatomy and Histology. With a strong background and interest in human anatomy, he became a tudor in the human anatomy lab at his educational institution. While teaching cadaver dissection, Dr. Spina soon realized that the methods used to teach manual practitioners human anatomy was flawed for several reasons.
While the curriculum strongly focused on textbook anatomy and memorization, it failed to translate that knowledge into palpatory skills needed for assessing and treating real patients. Dr. Spina then set out to discover if other manual discipline human anatomy courses (Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, Athletic Therapy, Medical School, etc.) were also lacking in this regard and to his surprise, they absolutely were!
Dr. Spina also attended numerous seminars, lectures, and conferences on soft tissue assessment and manual treatment techniques. There he also noticed the lack of consistency surrounding anatomic palpation, both between seminars, as well as between various instructors teaching at the same seminar! Many system and techniques emphasized the importance of anatomic specificity, however none provided the necessary instruction on how to achieve it.
The ability to differentiate between anatomic structure using palpation needs to be learned, practiced and then practiced some more! It is not enough to memorize the colorful 'cartoonish' picture recreations of human anatomy found in textbooks, nor is it sufficient to assume that you know how to locate a tissue because you have memorized its insertion points.
Human anatomy is extremely variable from person to person, thus to specifically, and confidently differentiate between structures you must employ a sound system. Using a combination of textbook knowledge, knowledge gained from hundreds of hours in the anatomy lab teaching and dissecting human tissue, and from experience utilizing various treatment and assessment techniques, such a system was developed. Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems™ Anatomy Seminars provide the skills necessary to rely on palpatory findings, specifically locate and diagnose soft tissue dysfunction, and enhance application specificity of any and all manual treatment techniques.