The theory of segmental facilitation states that irritation to a somatic (neuromuscular system) nerve subsequently reflexes into its respective spinal cord level and consequently excites the visceral (organ and gland) nerves attached to that level; this often leads to chronic irritation of the related organ systems. A controversial but likely theory suggests that potential communication – and irritation – between spinal cord levels via a vast network of interneurons further complicates these possibilities. Yet, the proper application of manual therapies can often reverse this facilitation.
Ultimately, understanding the direct and indirect causes and results of chronic and excess muscle and nerve tension (CEM&NT), as well as what to do about it, can help solve a wide range of client complaints. Many soft-tissue problems are hiding where they are not suspected – sometimes far away from the client’s perceived symptoms. Training in this more scientific approach will yield a deeper understanding of these structural relationships, and this understanding will serve to further enhance the skills and abilities of the soft-tissue therapist.