A St. Rose Health Center physical therapist is one of only a handful of professionals in Kansas and neighboring states that is trained in a specialized technique called Fascial Counterstrain.
Holly Milligan has successfully completed training in the specialty and is offering the service to St. Rose patients.
While most people understand the basics of physical therapy, Fascial Counterstrain is probably a new term to many, Milligan said.
“It involves the shortening of fascia, while most other fascial techniques attempt to stretch through the fascia,” she explained. “The shortening allows for a much faster and typically pain-free release. Another big difference is Fascial Counterstrain addresses the fascia around arteries, veins, nerves and organs, as well as muscles. When the fascia is released, it allows the body to return to its natural state of function.
“There is a point when the body's pathology cannot be reversed,” Milligan added. “But Fascial Counterstrain can help ease tension throughout the body, and therefore ease the symptoms and improve function.”
The technique is slight and non-traumatic; there are no stretches or exercises directly involved. But typically Fascial Counterstrain is paired with gentle exercise, promoting appropriate body movements.
“We are seeing a lot of people with chronic pain,” Milligan noted. “In some cases, patients have pain that has not responded to other treatment. Fascial Counterstrain has been successful in alleviating pain in many such cases.”
In addition, the technique can help alleviate symptoms of urinary incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and headaches. Those suffering the effects of a stroke also may find relief in relaxation of tension.
Milligan acknowledged that even she has been pleasantly surprised at how the technique can alleviate lower back pain by treating the gut area.
“I consider the body as a whole because we know, for example, that intestinal inflammation may be a factor in back pain or even knee pain,” she said.
The number of visits varies per patient, but it is usually a shorter treatment process if people are treated soon after the onset of pain. A doctor's prescription is not needed for physical therapy.
Milligan received her training through the Jones Institute and Counterstrain Academy. She will participate in continuing education.
Milligan, who is originally from Larned and now lives in Great Bend, earned her undergraduate degree in kinesiology at Kansas State University in 2004. She then received her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2007.
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, Imaging, Cardiac Rehab, Physical Therapy, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.