When I hear the word Physical Therapy, I’m quick to think that it’s for someone injured and one who was referred by their doctor to go through therapy as part of the treatment. So when Nancy Loo and I were invited to check out ARC Physical Therapy to learn and try Fascial Counterstrain, we didn’t expect to walk out feeling better than when we first stepped in.
ARC Physical Therapy CEO & Founder, Kevin Cronin, welcomed us at their downtown location on S. Wacker Drive. Cronin right away started introducing Fascial Counterstrain, a treatment that we have never heard of. But before he talked more in-depth into the topic, I had to ask – what is Fascia and why do we need this done? Cronin explained that under our skin there’s a sheet of connective tissues that contracts and when strained from injury or sudden movements will cause inflammations that translate into pain. Fascial Counterstrain is shortening the contraction or tension on the specific spot to relieve the pain from the strain.
Just like about anyone out there, I’ve always had my usual aches and pains. I suffer from the constant lower back and shoulder tension aches that I coddle and soothe away with massages and medicated menthol strips, but it always goes back around again and at times can be debilitating.
Still unconvinced with all of Cronin’s explanations, we then took our turn on the treatment table. Kevin started slowly pressing on our cranial pressure points, and we were surprised to have felt the soreness on certain parts of our heads. From there he was able to pinpoint on the spots that he needed to treat. My cranial pressure point soreness leads Cronin to my left lower back. It is the same problem spot I’ve had been complaining to my doctor for a long time now and was prescribed a muscle relaxant to take when I most need it. Cronin naturally and gently prodded on my lower back and repositioned me in me certain ways, and to my surprise, I felt a big relief and let out a “wow.”
“Counterstrain uses gentle, passive body positioning that works to compress or shorten the strained structure to effect a release. By positioning the body opposite of the strain or by applying Counterstrain, the structure quickly relaxes, thus reducing tension and immediately alleviating this primary source of pain.”
According to Cronin, the Counterstain approach can also treat many other ailments beyond back and shoulder pains. This non-invasive method is definitely worth the try, because why sugarcoat the pain with medication if you can find a way to switch it off with the Counterstrain approach! I can personally vouch for the relief I felt after just one treatment, and I am seriously looking to getting more done.
While Counterstrain technique has been around for years now, ARC Physical Therapy is the only one in IL that has trained Counterstrain professionals currently offering the Counterstrain technique.