Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Assessment task 1 - Blog 4 - Evaluation of Research Findings, Tessa Grinlinton.

There is a large amount of unintentional ambiguity within the article 'Unravelling the Mysteries of Fascial Unwinding' which simply serves to confuse and frustrate the reader.  This ambiguity reinforces the intuition that the writer may not entirely know about or understand the topic of which he is attempting to depict and explore.

The paragraph related to 'forcing the tissue in some directions' suggests that the author/s have not fully explored the area of myofascial release in which either direct or indirect methods for unwinding the tissues are employed. The ambiguous word in question is 'forcing', we are never forcing the tissues in a harmful way, but in direct myofascial release and unwinding, we may be deliberately guiding them with slight 'force' against the areas of most restriction in order to encourage release in those areas.

The author contradicts themself in the ambiguous description of "sometoemotional release... again here we only deal with physical unwinding". By simply reading the term sometoemotional release we assume that a large portion of this will involve emotional and somatic releases, therefore we are not purely dealing with physical unwinding (which cannot be seperated from emotional or somatic phenomena, as they are all interconnected in the field of myofascial unwinding) but an infusion of all three. This would suggest that again the writer of this article has only investigated the topic from a limited set of viewpoints and has yet to see the whole picture. If they are however attempting to insinuate that pure physical unwinding has purely somatic and emotional effects they are still not linking the three bodies which are essentially part of this holistic field, and the ambiguous nature of the statement leaves the reader confused.

In the article 'Unravelling the Mysteries of Fascial Unwinding' the researchers have compiled a very relevant list of specialised articles related to myofascial release and the ideomotor effect (in which the subject makes movements unconsciously facilitating said release). Neuromuscular therapy, craniosacral therapy and bodywork journals boost the quality of reference sources, an article in the new scientist appears from the heading to be representing a skeptics point of view regarding the phenomenon of fascial unwinding: 'Greatest Myth of All'.  However on close inspection of the article in question, we discover that it relates in fact to the unconscious processes of the brain related to perception and action.  Again, the ambiguity of the reference heading may reflect an ambiguity in the article itself, reflecting an ongoing theme of ambiguity projected by the author.

The 'Healing ancient wounds: the renegades system' article is one of the main articles seeming to suggest that fascial unwinding and indeed tense fascia may have a psychological, subconscious and even spiritual connection, transcending original science based theory and simultaneously linking with it. There are also extensive references to neurobiology, the medical side of fascial unwinding and ideomotor reflexes, lending a scientifically proven base to these findings.

Overall, the writer seems to have attempted to isolate and detach the phenomenon of fascial unwinding as a seperate event in order to portray it in a conventionally scientific format, unfortunately this has not worked in his favour due to the inherently holistic nature of fascial unwinding.  He has utilised many quality reference sources, namely peer reviewed journals, but his downfall lies in his communication of these findings in what should have been an academically rigorous manner.


Halligan, P. & Oakley, D.  (2000) Greatest Myth of All.  New Scientist 168 (2265), 35 - 39.

My own thoughts.

Terra Rosa Bodywork E-News.  (2008) Unravelling the Mysteries of Fascial Unwinding.  Retrieved on the 26th April 2009, from:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Search Process: Memo

I am really enjoying the spontaneous way in which our group arrived at its hypothesis, using a largely intuitively guided process.  The qualitative and quantitative elements are neatly combined within the format of the question, allowing for a greater scope of analysis and possible "avenues for further investigation" (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007, p.483) into the subject of chronic pain.

The difficulty I face is with the foreign terminology that comes with the territory of research methods and analysis, providing an immediate obstacle to overcome before I can delve deeper into the potential methodology and different research perspectives (e.g. triangulation).  The concept of hypothetical questions and inference are equally difficult for me to familiarise myself with due to the challenge of understanding abstract theoretical concepts over concrete specific objects (as in the field of massage therapy, e.g. anatomy).

I notice that the polytechnic as an environment in which to commence this collaborative research assignment is indeed a good choice due to the close proximity of necessary resource facilities such as the Bill Robertson library, and within walking distance to the Medical and University libraries.  The mood around this research site is both contemplative allowing for spontaneous intuitive expression to occur in relation to the collaborative research process and intellectually stimulating, encouraging deeper exploration and thought into the stages of said process.

So far, the group dynamics have been cohesive, collaborative and relatively intuitive during the initial phase of formulating a research question and delegating the tasks required to investigate this more thoroughly.  However due to the round table nature of our group, all members are perceived as equal and this has resulted in an equal distribution of the workload, and tasks.  The positive aspect of using this system is that the organically different viewpoints of each researcher regarding each task area will result in a greater diversity of data and information, as seen in triangulation.
This is the stage of the research process in that the use of mixed methods is particularly beneficial as the differing observations of each group member will allow for greater precision and deeper comprehension of the research question.

The value of time is fundamental to the quality of the research process, as deeper theories and intuitive possibilities cannot properly be expounded without ample time to posit questions and rework these to a refined hypothesis. Inevitably however, these many possibilities need to be narrowed down into "general and specific points" (Cohen et al, 2007, p.487) relating to the original research question so that our process may evolve successfully.  This will then lead on to the next stage of the collaborative research process requiring more direct research and specific analysis than abstract theory.

At this point in time, I am simultaneously interested in the domain of research methods and the basis/structure of this and confused by the abstract nature of the subject which is largely intellectual and relies on the theories of individuals, which in its very essence will be reasonably diverse.  In conclusion, I look forward to the continuing challenge posed by research methods and the resulting expansion of my own intellectual knowledge.

Reference List
Class notes
Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K.  (2007) Research Methods in Education.  New York: Routledge, p. 483, 487.
My own thoughts

Pathology of Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)


Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury caused by recurrent twisting and jarring movements through the lateral forearm and elbow. Unlike its name suggests, it is not necessarily caused by playing tennis (O'Young, Young & Stiens, 2002). These initial movements cause minute tears in the muscular tissue and tendon fibres which have a cumulative effect resulting in pain from chronic overuse. Tendinitis is the initial inflammation of the forearm extensors and lateral epicondyle, which then develops into lateral epicondylitis (Shultz, Houglum & Perrin, 2005) as described below in Pathogenesis.  Risk factors for the development of tennis elbow/lateral epicondylitis include middle age groups (30 - 50 year olds), professional athletes who use a racquet, bodybuilders and occupations such as construction and carpentry (Kraft, 2009).


Once the tears have occurred, the continued repetition of jerky movements aggravates this tissue damage, resulting in inflammation through the radial portion of the forearm, restricting movement and causing pain (Cyriax, J., 1936). The radial tendon continues to rub against the inflamed periosteum of the lateral epicondyle, and according to Davies (2006) causes further swelling, pain when resting, restriction of movement and weakness through the affected forearm in the long term.


Once lateral epicondylitis has been triggered off by the initial tendinitis, morphological and histological changes occur.  The fibroblasts and collagen fibres produced as part of the body's healing mechanism in response to injury, lay down a new extracellular matrix to knit together the tendinous tissues (Shultz et al, 2005). The collagen fibres then strengthen and harden into a tougher matrix of granulation tissue containing more fibroblasts, blood vessels, collagen and fibrinogen leading to 'scar' tissue (Wikipedia, 2009) at the site of the lesion.


Incidence - Tennis elbow/lateral epicondylitis affects 4-7 individuals per 1,000 patients as seen by a GP annually (Selby, 2004).

Prevalence - As indicated by research conducted by Allander (1974, cited in Pecina, 2004), tennis elbow/lateral epicondylitis was found to exist in 1 - 5% of a population of 15,268 individuals within an age range of 31 - 74 years.


Cyriax, J. (1936) The Pathology and Treatment of Tennis Elbow (Electronic Version). The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc., 18, pp. 921 - 940.

Davies, C. (2006) Self-Treatment of Tennis Elbow, Golfer's Elbow, Lateral Epicondylitis, Medial Epicondylitis, Elbow Tendinitis, Elbow Bursitis: The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. Retrieved the 30th March, 2009 from:

Kraft, J.  (2009) Tennis Elbow Isn't Just for Athletes.  Retrieved the 30th March, 2009 from:

O'Young, B., Young, M. & Stiens, S. (2002) Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Secrets. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Sciences, pg. 267.

Pecina, M. & Bojanic, I.  (2004) Overuse Injuries of the Musculoskeletal System.  Florida: CRC Press LLC, p. 88.

Selby, M.  (2004) Clinical General Practice.  USA: Elsevier Health Sciences, p. 15.

Shultz, S., Houglum, P. & Perrin, D. (2005) Examination of Musculoskeletal Injuries. Illinois: Human Kinetics, p. 280.

Wikipedia. (2009) Wound Healing. Retrieved the 30th March, 2009 from: