What is Micro-physiotherapy

Today, we would like to introduce you to a non-famous-yet therapy that we were talking about in our first publication on LIVE wide awake; it is called "Micro-physiotherapy".

In the story Reconnect with the Self, I used the term “Microkinesitherapy” as it is a French invention and it is the French word to call it. Therefore, you’re going to find way more content about the subject in French literature under the name of "Microkinesitherapie”.

Body journey
"Life is a transformative journey if we choose it to be." © Alex Grey

As it is gaining more and more consideration in the international scientific domain, in March 2017, the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the U.S. National Library of Medicine known as PubMed, published a study showing the impact of micro-physiotherapy on the management of the irritable bowel syndrome. This research is just the most recent but if you’re up to scientific studies and would like to read more about those, no worries we’re going to share you all the links to learn more about it.

In the story one of the section LIVE wide awake, we presented it fast and more through my experience and what it brought me. In this section, called LEARN wide awake, we are going to give you more details about the practice itself. Therefore we gathered as much material on the subject as possible and presented it as clearly and thoroughly as possible. Like this, we want to give you the possibility to get in touch with the basics of this new technique without having to go through the depths of the theoretical content we gathered. Our goal is to give you all the useful elements to understand what it is about and help you to create your personal opinion and judge by yourself if this technique is suitable for you or not.

We will always take care to provide you with, the sources from where we take the data from. Like this we allow you to reach the degree of details you desire. Of course, if you would like to have more information than the ones we gave you already, and if you would have more details on the subject to share with us, always feel free to contact us!

Now let’s start with the beginning.

What is Exactly micro-physiotherapy?

First, a bit of etymology to get a better understanding of what lies behind that strange word. The genuine French word for micro-physiotherapy is "microkinesithérapie".

It is composed of three radicals which come from Greek which are micro- which means “little”, -kinesi which means “movement” and finally -thérapie which means “to heal”. In English, its the word-forming element physio- which means “nature, natural, physical ” which is used.

The micro-physiotherapy was developed in 1980 by the two physiotherapists and osteopaths, Patrice Benini and Daniel Grosjean. Today, you can study it in France and different places all over the world.

We would like to introduce you to the technique with this holistic and resumed definition of micro-physiotherapy, given by Céline Gautier (micro-physiotherapist in the suburb of Mauguio in France) in an interview for the radio station "FM Plus" during the episode «Itinéraire Santé».

If you would like to hear the whole interview (unfortunately only available in French), click here.

She is explaining the following:

« Micro-physiotherapy is a manual technique which has the purpose of finding in the patient’s body, the cause of the symptoms (...) and enables to make a global check of the body and cure it. It’s by deleting the causes that we (the practitioners) are going to enable the organism to find back its capabilities. The way to do it is, to go back to the root of the problem and put the light on it which enables the body to create its mechanism of defence. This process is basically, the same principle as the immunological laws on which we rely on for the use of vaccines. »

In a nutshell, the fundamental idea of the micro-physiotherapy is, that there is a tissue memory which records all aggression. These memories are palpable and identifiable by the therapist.

In other words, our organism is built to react to external aggressions whatever their origin is environmental, traumatic or emotional. Sometimes, the aggressions are superior to the defensive capabilities of the body, either because they are too intense or either because they intervene in a stressful period of our life. That is specifically when those aggressions are going to mark the body tissues likely to scars. That is the process they use to call the tissue memory.

The micro-physiotherapist is going to seek through a micro-palpating process the traces of those memories recorded in the body tissues and relate them through particular cartographies to aetiologies¹. The micro-physiotherapist proceed to a reading of the body, and through this reading, he’s going to enable the organism to recognise what was its mistakes and when it hasn’t been able to defend itself adequately. Throughout the micro-palpating process, he’s going to show the body the way to heal itself by reactivating the body’s defence.


¹aetiologies: The cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition.

(source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/etiology)

How does the micro-physiotherapist proceed to “read” the body?

The micro-physiotherapist is going to use the vital rhythms. The vital rhythms² are the rhythms which animate our body. As Céline Gautier is describing it in the interview, it's comparable to a balancing rhythm from a low amplitude. This rhythmic manifestation is a phenomenon which is necessary for the right function of the organism. In micro-physiotherapy, if it disappears, it means there is a disorder, a disequilibrium. These are the rhythms that the therapists are going to search for in micro-physiotherapy.


²Vital rhythms, are more commonly called as metabolic respiration or Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM).

Here, a little explanation:

The first person who came with this principle of PRM is the osteopath Dr Sutherland in 1930. His theory is now a bit outdated and what we discovered later on, is, that it is not a respiration restricted to the cranium as he found it in 1930 but enabled to understand that all organs of the organism have a rhythm. (source: interview of Céline Gautier)

If you want to read more about the primary respiratory mechanism, check these links out: [ENG]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266617625_The_primary_respiratory_mechanism




In an interview conducted by Evelyn Rehfuss, naturopath; Daniel Grosjean, physiotherapist and osteopath clarify how those vital rhythms are manifesting themselves in the body. He explains it by using the example of the practice of micro-physiotherapy. When the structures of the of the body are in a good state, then the hands of the practitioner passes through the body parts, and they sense no resistance at all. Let’s take a straightforward example, which has the same self-healing ability, a plant. If the leaves are green, they are entirely flexible, they bend, and they don’t show resistance. As soon as the leaves get dry, it gets rigid; you cannot bend it anymore, it has lost all its flexibility. The leaf has a structure, and due to this change of state, we can feel it.

When you consider the human body it’s the same principle, some areas are going to be easy to manipulate while other areas are going to show resistance and stiffness. The tissues aren’t able anymore to adapt to the change the practitioner is inducing to the body with his hands. Like this, micro-physiotherapists can distinguish between all muscles, the areas which are in a good state from the area which shows an irregularity, a disequilibrium and which is dysfunctioning for an unknown reason.

The two founders created this technique in reaction to a sad, quiet common observation. They witnessed through their years of practice of physiotherapy and osteopathy that the symptoms kept coming back. They had the impression that they were never in touch with the root of the problem and that they weren't able to find the answers to why this pathology has appeared and why it isn't going away. Regarding this unsolvable problem, they decided to gather a team of experts to push the research further and worked on finding out what was happening exactly inside of the body tissue and what was the underlying cause of the pathology which explains that it kept coming back even if the patients were treated correctly.

With this new technique, there had the impression that they were observing a complete modification of the tissue. The muscle which wasn't able to be manipulated and wasn't reacting to the stimulus started to behave differently as if the technique had awakened the body's capacity to restore the order, the equilibrium after it has been disturbed.

So, they described it as a healing technique that exceeds the mere observation of what happens. It's a practice which is there to understand why it happened and not only work with what the practitioners are feeling under their hands and work to loosen up what has become tight. It’s about finding back or getting in motion a repair mechanism which comes from the body itself. (ed: We could say it's not about fixing with external help but learning the body how to do it by itself.)

On which science is it based?

The founders of micro-physiotherapy based their work on the primary respiratory mechanism which is known in osteopathy and linked it with the sciences of embryology, phylogenesis and biogenesis.

Some terms explained:


Definition: “the branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of embryos and their development.” (source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/embryology )