What we do: Connective Tissue Medicine

By Cintain Quintana

I've been thinking for a while how to describe what we do at Healing Space. You see, even though there is a list of therapies on our website, and a visitor can theoretically choose the one they want to work with, the truth is such an approach seems like a disservice, both to the underlying philosophy of what we do, and to the actual way we work with our clients and patients. Massage, Fascial Release, Visceral Manipulation, Craniosacral, and even Acupuncture sit along a continuum and work by mechanisms that are so similar, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish where one of them ends and the other one begins. To an untrained, outside observer, the differences are sometimes so subtle as to be imperceptible.  

Connective tissue: Tendon

Connective tissue: Tendon

In alternative medicine, much lip-service is paid to the concepts of "holism" and "integration". However, when it comes to actually working with real patients in real life, many colleagues fall into the trap of overly specialising, ignoring the elements of the patient's condition that aren't immediately relevant to their evaluation or skillset. This fits well with the model of Western Medicine with its emphasis on parts, but it defeats the purpose of having a medicine which addresses "the whole person". Many patients relate to our work in this way, and make choices about which therapy they wish to work with based on preconceived notions about what each of them can (or should) be able to do. We believe this approach, while certainly convenient, oftentimes short-changes people from the benefits a truly holistic, integrative approach can offer. 

When we work, our goal is to create a space for intelligent communication between two intelligent systems, to use the words of one of our most beloved and influential teachers. The patient, as a whole that encompasses physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realities, possesses healing resources that are more powerful, subtle and precise than we could ever muster or learn about. We encourage, nudge, challenge, shake up, then sit back and wait for the patient's response. Sometimes this requires subtle touch, others not so subtle; sometimes needles, coaching, or a word of nutritional advice. Ultimately all of these work through the medium of our bodies, specifically the parts of them that integrate, communicate, and make otherwise dead parts into a living whole. 

Connective tissue: Elastic cartilage

Connective tissue: Elastic cartilage

The main thing all of the therapies that we are qualified to work with have in common is that they all interface primarily with the connective tissues of the body. What do we mean by connective tissue? Connective tissue is found in between the other types of tissue in the body, and it supports, gives shape, and protects everything else within it. The matrix of connective tissue is continuous, from skin to bone, from cell to cell, and it transmits and responds to mechanical inputs from the outside world. It is a part of the intelligence of our body-mind continuum, one that determines our shape in space, our movement, and our posture, both in the sense of actual position in space and, more symbolically, as a reflection of our prevailing attitudes and responses to life. 

Dense connective tissue

Dense connective tissue

By interfacing at this level, we can influence many different conditions and help support your own ability to live a harmonious, sustainable, and productive existence, balanced and capable of overcoming discomfort. By combining all of the distinct "therapies" we offer, we believe this goal is achieved in a truly holistic, integrative way. Our goal is always to encourage you to heal yourself, and all of our best efforts require the response and intention of you, our patient, to want to learn and move and change as your body and mind change as we work together.


This is Connective Tissue Medicine.

This is what we do at Healing Space.