What is the philosophy behind ZENSEGRITY?
„Within the medical community there are great discrepancies in quality.
For example, a patient can encounter a physio who has not done one single course since he finished university. On the other hand, he might stumble across a top-physio who treats star- athletes and is highly-skilled; nearly as good as a doctor. On the door or in the phonebook this patient will read: PHYSIOTHERAPY. The patient has no idea what he will find. Another example; a physio from Skoplije has a relative in Novo Selo. The relative calls and asks: `Do you know a good physio here?` Who should he recommend?
The intention is to develop the ZENSEGRITY as a mark of competence and quality assurance. In our examples, the patient in question could check the physio’s homepage for the ZENSEGRITY logo or the relative in Novo Selo could check the ZENSEGRITY homepage for a qualified therapist nearby.
So in conclusion, it will develop into a network of competent and capable therapists.“
Is that all?
„Furthermore it is a curriculum. In order to control the level of professionalism in treatment, we developed a series of four intense, concise courses: Pelvis, T-spine & Shoulder, Arms & Legs, C- Spine & Jaw. Having completed the four courses, the therapist will be able to treat about 90% of the problems in the loco-motor-system quite fast and successfully. That excludes neurological and inherent dysfunctions.
At the end of these four courses the therapist obtains the status of a `Full Practicioner` in ZENSEGRITY and will be listed on the homepage.“
These courses, how long are they, who can participate, and is the order you presented the only one possible?
„The courses run for a full weekend; the teaching time adds up to between 20 and 24 lessons, depending on the course. Participants can be doctors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists. The order is not important, but we strongly recommend starting with the pelvis-course, since the basic idea and framework of therapy are laid out there and it makes the other courses much easier to understand.“
Do you only teach these courses in Germany?
„Since the world is becoming more and more connected, and we want to reach as many people as possible, the courses are taught in many countries. In fact, this March we started to teach them in Macedonia in cooperation with the Macedonian Society of Physiotherapists! The content of the courses is the same everywhere; you can do one course in Macedonia, one in Croatia, two in Slovenia; geography is no barrier.“
Ok, how many people have you taught already?
„To date we have about thirty Full Practitioners; in the course system at the moment there are about 400 therapists who have completed at least one course. Please bear in mind, we only started two years ago. It takes a little time to change the world!“
Who are „we“?
„We are mostly Mr Alen Lilic from Slovenia, my colleagues in the clinic, and myself. And also all the people I have ever learned from who made me what I am today.
We understand. Can you describe one of your courses please? For example, the pelvis- course?
„After the general philosophy we take a look at the anatomy and biomechanics of the pelvis (iliosacral joint) and the lower back. We then use international protocols for testing and evaluating the joints and other structures in question. After which we address joint-mobilisation and myofascial release, although there are no manipulations taught in these courses. Finally, we explore some myofascial taping techniques.“
How about the evidence of what you do and teach?
„That is a good question. The evidence for joint mobilisation has been accepted since the late 1970s, as per the curriculum for the Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist. Their curriculum is standardised internationally. When we talk about myofascial techniques, the evidence is only recently emerging, but thus far encouraging. Experts like Robert Schleip, Leon Chaitow, Art Riggs, and others are very active in the research field, but we know from clinical experience that the results we get are not just definite, but also long-lasting. I hope that research currently being conducted will support us, but we cannot wait until then to give our patients the treatment they need. The physiology behind our actions is already well-researched, it’s just the modalities that need to be formalised.“
„How much pressure to use exactly, what speed to do the technique at, and so on.“
In conclusion, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional background?
„After two years of medical school I changed subject to physiotherapy. My favourite professor, Prof. Dr. Hauke Mommsen who is still a friend and my mentor, asked me to assist him in teaching a course in elastic taping while I was still a student. From the first moment, I enjoyed sharing my recently-acquired knowledge and ever since then, I assisted whenever I could. Along with my professional development and my own courses, I met my two colleagues with whom I founded Baltic-Physio, our clinic in the North of Germany. With a bit of luck I was able to hit the international market with taping courses, and after many requests by the participants I finally started to write the curriculum/syllabus for ZENSEGRITY.“
Is Zensegrity finished, set in stone?
„I could never be so arrogant. The syllabus is fluid, whenever evidence surfaces to prove or disprove some aspects of our work, we adapt. Also we have new requests for courses in dry- needling, an exercise-based, hands-off syllabus, and who knows what else the future might bring.“