ACS > ACS POSTS > Holistic approach of osteopathy and of tissue memory – part two

Holistic approach of osteopathy and of tissue memory – part two

by Gerard Urdich DO, mROF
Engaged in osteopathy, ASOMI College of Sciences recommends this adaptation of a paper by Gerald Urdich on the holistic approach of osteopathy and of tissue memory. This second part of the article is about how the body communicates within a system composed of cellular tissues. Click here for the first part of the article. The communicating body. We presented the body as a communicative system, like “bricks” aggregating to form a system of functional systems (cells, cell clusters, organs, digestive system, respiratory, etc.). Each of these elements obeys to the universal laws of life, each of which is able to present areas of retention, signs of poor communication. The model admits that each communicative element is conscious and has to be handled carefully. Tissue consciousness should be considered as an elementary consciousness and not as the consciousness of homo sapiens described by the philosophers, like the ability to see oneself. Tissue consciousness means that a cell, for example, is able to exchange, communicate or refuse. In other words, to choose. The concept of the body aggregated by communicating systems is an important key concept for a therapist who wishes to communicate with the system. It is no longer a question of applying techniques but of establishing a real collaboration. What tools does the therapist use? How to detect and free retention areas and create collaboration Subjective settings: The first requires subjective parameters, respectively: Presence, Attention, and Intention. These parameters are inseparable. They describe the “being” of the practitioner and require a development, a constant improvement by the operator. Their implementation and maintenance throughout a session are the guarantee for the best possible result. They are indispensable supporting pillars for the proper information gathering and tissue release. Presence is the basis that authorizes and maintains other parameters, attention defines the field of collaboration, intention (intentions) guides tissue exchanges and responses. “Life responds to intent, to force it submits”. Objective settings: The phase of tuning the tissues, the so-called palpatory step, will be obtained with the setting of objective and thus measurable, parameters: Tension, density (compression) and speed. It is a matter of agreement between the tissue quality (tuning) throughout the session (synchronization), with its densities, plasticity, tension and the speed in movement while releasing the tissue. Objective and subjective parameters are like two wires that allow the current to flow. Both are essential for the proper flow of information and the needed fulcrum for tissue release.
foto interna art40 PT2

The modus operandi or how a session takes place.

If the symptom is the reason for the patient to consult, it does not represent for the therapist the “beacon” that will captivate his attention. “Only tissues know” and it is the tissues that the operator should listen to.

For this reason, the global system will be put back into communication to be able to communicate.

This essential preparatory phase involves global skull techniques, occipital compression, and liver technique. The release of energy resulting in a profound change in the state of the system will be carried out at a harmonization phase.

In fact, each release cycle is followed by a balancing phase.

The therapist will seek out and release more specifically the holding areas. This step will implement all the specific necessary techniques. These techniques are inspired by the existing ones used by osteopaths, such as the skull, pelvis, upper and lower limbs, visceral and other approaches. The latter is adapted to the parameters of the tissular approach.

A comprehensive harmonization will complete the session in order to harmonize the system with itself and its environment.

Sources of retention

Three main sources of retention

Kinetic Traumatic

The vulnerability of the orgasm in managing outgoing flows forms the retention areas. If the body system receives too much energy in too short a period of time it will not be able to manage it, creating a retention zone.


Metabolism of the body is influenced by substances enering the body and every substance is information-energy that must be managed.

An excess, a shortage or a poisoning  might all cause the system of assimilation of substances to fail, creating areas of retention.


Emotional “stress” can involve reptilian, neurovegetative, limbic and cortical systems.

An assault, for example, that prepares the system for attacking or escaping, mobilizes a large amount of energy. If our social behavior prevents us from spending this energy for one of the two options, this unspent energy will create areas of retention in the limbic system (unexpressed anger, resentment) but also in the cortical sphere.

Useful tools for the somatic-emotional aspect are proposed by the tissue approach.

These sources often interfere with each other and have interdependent actions on the system.

Biological and neuropsychic matter (conscious of being conscious)

We work with organic materials. The retention zones, densities, tensions are all biological. The tissue approach takes into account tissue memories but expands its scope to the “representation system” of the patient which contains the memorization (conscious or not) of lived situations, in principle verbalizes.  This field of representation is materialized by „neuropsychic” matter.

Retention zones can be created in the “mind” space and bind to the retentions of biological matter. Let’s take the example of a player who suffers an ankle sprain made by an opponent who is disrespectful and who is also prevented from scoring his goal.

The retention area at the ankle may be linked to retention at the level of the representation system (anger, resentment, and poorly lived situation). To completely and sustainably release the ankle area it will be necessary to release the neuropsychic level, especially through precise mental verbalization techniques.

To conclude

The tissue approach is a comprehensive approach that takes the body system into account in a systemic context. The body system can be compared to a relational cloud, which constantly renews itself, which deconstructs and reconstructs itself and which, like a cloud, is the visible (palpable) expression of forces that we do not see. This relational cloud of energy information includes biological and neuropsychic tissue memories. The operator will have to deal with the cloud that is there today and free the retention areas involved in the problem of the day.

The involved retentions are up-to-date information, and thousands of other information that can be used as support points for the formation of other retention areas are potentialized, stored in the “drawers” of the system. We have to leave them there. “Only tissues know.” Tissue collaboration, presence, precision of   intentions, confidence in our perceptions, the correctness of our palpatory parameters, the abandonment of our ego, are the guarantee of proposing the most stable Fulcrum around which will be built the today necessary release. Leaving the system to work with its internal resources to recover a “better” health. 

An overview of the program of study.

The teaching of the tissue approach addresses the theoretical parts of the model that are an indispensable point of support and devotes an important part to practice.


Universal law of life, communication, concept of energy, energy management, retention (creation, detection, liberation, harmonization), modus operandi, notion of still point and fulcrum, biological and neuropsychic materials, memories.

Also discussed are the notions of perception, sensation, hand and touch, technical and therapeutic touch, tension, mechanical quality and conduction of connective tissue, the various channels of transmission in the body system.


Individual practices are proposed that aim to develop the capacities of perception and palpation, subjective parameters of presence, attention, intention, tissue communication and its relationship to biological and neuropsychic materials.

Practices in pairs allow you to experiment.

The subjective and objective parameters that are the basis of palpatory communication require careful and guided learning by an experienced teacher and ensure that each participant feels the tissue responses.

Global techniques in the skull, pelvis, liver area.

Skull and pelvis-specific techniques

Specific techniques on skull, column, pelvis, sacro iliac, upper limb, lower limb, visceral.

Tissue interrogation technique

Techniques on the neuropsychic material (somato-emotional).


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