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SoulSpension and Physiotherapy

Claudia Maggi

Degree in PhysiotherapyMaster in Management of Health ProfessionsDance teacher

The work addresses the possible ways of using SoulSpension during physiotherapy sessions in the following chapters:

  1. treatment of back pain

  2. re-education of the main neurological pathologies

  3. treatment of mastectomies

  4. youth and sport

The first important characteristic of the instrument - thanks to its shape - is that it is, once positioned, a "postural detection sensor". This function has a twofold aspect.

It allows the operator to check the patient's position: of the shoulder girdle compared to the pelvic girdle, of the relationship between the position of the sacrum compared to the head; provides useful information in the evaluation phase and for the entire duration of treatment.

The second aspect is the continuous feedback that the user receives simply from the pressure of his body on the tracks or balls, in relation to the various positioning methods used.

It therefore plays the role of "third hand" both for the physiotherapist and for the patient. The methods commonly used by the physiotherapist according to the criteria of Evidence Based Rehabilitation and the protocols in use in clinical practice can be supported and integrated by the use of the SoulSpension method and tool.

It is a support tool for the operator and the user also with a view to a path of integration and gradual transition from care to self-care.

Italian and international guidelines and the World Health Organization recommend that rehabilitation training, regardless of the pathology, be carried out completely with the patient's achievement of autonomy also in the educational process: the results achieved during the physiotherapy treatment must be maintained thanks to his active collaboration in continuing physical exercise.

SoulSpension is therefore a valid aid for activities to be carried out independently.


Analyzing the various branches of rehabilitation emerges that the search for good postural alignment, albeit according to different clinical contexts, purposes and cultural backgrounds, has always been fundamental in the various physiotherapy methods .

The correct posture of the trunk allows you to breathe properly physiological.Thecorrect functioning of the postural muscles, with their preparatory and anticipatory activity of limb movements , allows the elaboration of the motor project and the subsequent execution of the movement.

Continuous postural adjustments guarantee balance.

In summary, posture can be defined as the result of the integration of the visual, vestibular and somatosensory systems, but it is also determined by the emotional state of the subject. For this reason the Postural treatment is a central chapter in physiotherapy.

Postural Suspension/SoulSpension proposes a combined motor and cognitive approach, and guides towards a progressive awareness of one's body and posture.< span style="color: #ffffff;">Elizabeth O. Johnson, Ph.D, Panayotis N. Soucacos, MD, "Proprioception" International Encyclopedia of Rehabilitation, 2012


There are many areas in which SoulSpension can be proposed as an integration to standard physiotherapy treatment, precisely because of its characteristic of working on the postura.Il physiotherapist who deals with back pain, evaluates, analyzes and treats any alterations in the postural structure as possible causes of the pain.

The re-education of the neurological patient is also based on the evaluation and treatment of postural alignment. A good trunk structure in a supine, sitting and upright position guarantees the conditions for correct walking and is the neurophysiological prerequisite for a possible recovery of the functions of the limbs and swallowing.

In the rehabilitation treatment of mastectomies, particular attention must be paid to the maintenance or recovery of the scapulohumeral articulation, as a prerequisite for guaranteeing a good structure of the cervico-dorsal tract and preventing any changes in posture.

Young people who practice sports experience pain and minor trauma to the spine: by integrating exercises with SoulSpension with specific training, they can obtain a good awareness of their postural structure and execution of the athletic gesture can benefit from it.

Back painIn the treatment of back pain the most used in a physiotherapy environment are based on a careful evaluation of the patient's postural alterations. They work on breathing, on cranio-sacral alignment, on the harmonization of the kinetic chains and the relationships between the various segments.

The Method can integrate, among others, the Mézières method , Global Postural Re-education, the McKenzie method: the schemes and positions suggested by these techniques can also be achieved using the method and SoulSpension, applying the correct method of use.

In the supine position you obtain a relaxation of the muscles and the ventral fascia, a greater expansion of the diaphragm, you improve the perception of your spine in contact with the tracks, also detecting any areas of asymmetry, pain, stiffness.

Equally in the prone position, contact with the SoulSpension with the ventral part, appropriately positioned according to the correct technique, leads to a massage and relaxation of the anterior part.

Even "team" positions, supine or sitting, and exercises to lengthen the muscular kinetic chains, can be proposed using SoulSpension, with the advantage of maintaining the correct alignment during work.

The use of extention - the unit of additional balls - sliding along the tracks, also allows you to work simultaneously on multiple districts, according to various combinations, for example:

  • Cervical and lumbar curve

  • Cervical curve and interscapular stretch

  • Lumbar curve and sacroiliac joints

  • Trigger points of the spine and girdles

From a cognitive point of view, SoulSpension helps to progressively acquire a new and more complete image of oneself, also understanding the critical issues.

This allows you to create the conditions for a real and radical modification of your posture, through a path of progressive awareness and direct involvement of the user in the healing process.

Self-treatment is a "key" in various physiotherapeutic methods. In fact, it is part of the normal work protocol to assign the patient exercises and positions to repeat outside the session, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.

SoulSpension also promotes and encourages people to work independently, guaranteeing, among other things, subjective and therefore personalized rhythms and methods, built specifically for the individual.

Françoise Mézières, La gymnastique statique, Paris, Vuibert, 1947Michaël Nisand, Sylvie Geismar, La méthode Mézières, un concept révolutionnaire, Ed. J.Lyon, 2005 .Global Postural Reeducation - The method - Philippe Souchard ed. ELSEVIER srlpublication: 03 /2012McKenzie R A: Treat Your Own Neck. Spinal Publications, Lower Hutt, N.Z., 1983McKenzie R A: Treat Your Own Back. Spinal Publications, Lower Hutt, N.Z., 1981

Neurological rehabilitation

The use of SoulSpension in various neurological pathologies is oriented to the needs that the pathology and the specific context of the disease phase require.

Patients with changes in trunk-pelvis-head posture can benefit from the instrument while maintaining a sitting position, even in a wheelchair.

It constitutes a valid aid during postural re-education in hemiplegics. And' it is important for the stroke patient in the rehabilitation phase to receive somatosensory afferents; it can therefore be applied under the spine, in a supine position, or under the side, positioning the patient in lateral decubitus, or in a prone position.

In the treatment of limbs affected by hemiplegia or hemiparesis, SoulSpension can be used by positioning the nucleus of the spheres under the pelvic or shoulder girdle and sliding the limb along the tracks .

This type of use is also effective in cases of limb ataxia: the track constitutes a guide and a reference to favor the correct direction during the movement of the upper limb or lower.

In Parkinson's disease, SoulSpension integrates the correction treatment of the camptocormic attitude - anterior flexion of the trunk - and can be used in corrective postures in cases of lateral axial deviation - Pisa Syndrome.

It should however be noted that the neurological patient benefits from SoulSpension not only from the above-mentioned strategies, linked to the treatment of the disease, but also and above all thanks to the well-being it induces.< /span>

In fact, even before taking care of a patient, the operator treats a person, with his baggage of anxieties and suffering. Like anyone else who needs to dedicate time to their well-being, SoulSpension helps above all for its relaxing effect.

Bobath B. "Abnormal postural reflex activity caused by brain lesions" 1971Davies P.M. "Starting again" 1994Schindler O.,Ruoppolo G.,Schindler A. "Deglutology" 2001

Masectomy proceduresPostural Suspension/SoulSpension should be used before ;intervention, with the aim of promoting a good relationship between women and their own image and body.

After the operation it acts as a support for maintaining good postural alignment during the resumption of movements of the upper limbs in the supine position.

The exercises proposed are the standard ones, characteristic of Patrizia's method Gavoni.In this area, more than ever, the work on SoulSpension is complete and is expressed in all its most peculiar and characteristic aspects:

  • the movement of the upper limbs is functional to the recovery of good articulation, in a pleasant and gentle way.

  • the elevated, anti-sloping position of the arms facilitates natural drainage, which is important in these cases

  • the supine position, in an open position, helps to relax the diaphragm and pectoral bands

  • the SoulSpension massage on the spine produces well-being and relaxation

  • the patient comes into contact with herself and actively participates in the treatment and healing process.

Delayed versus immediate exercises following surgery for breast cancer: a systematic review.Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Apr;90(3):263-71.Shamley DR1, Barker K, Simonite V, Beardshaw AAlterations of spinal posture and complex scapulohumeral balance in women undergoing breast surgery: analysis and therapeutic protocol EUR MED PHYS 2008;44 (Suppl. 1 to No. 3)A. ANTONACI, R. PRIMAVERA, A. SELVANETTI, R. VIERI

Young people and sportThe exercises of the method and SoulSpension constitute a valid support in the path of proprioception, control and coordination in athletes.

In this field the tool can prove useful not only when supine and prone, but also by proposing exercises seated, or standing by working on tracks and balls.

In case of back pain or minor traumas, the athlete can benefit from an exercise program with SoulSpension, created specifically for the individual case. The work will be complementary to the rehabilitation treatment and athletic training.


"….what we want to learn, we learn by doing it…." [Aristotle]

SoulSpension and Patrizia Gavoni's method is a valid support for treatment physiotherapy, and in this work we have presented areas and pathologies in which it is inserted in an integrative and complementary way for the care and well-being of the user. The use of the instrument produces important stimuli that improve the posture and proprioception of the body.

The ability of external afferents to induce important changes in our brain is now widely recognized by the scientific world.

The pressure of our body on the various parts of the instrument allows us to perceive the individual mobilized segments in detail; the exercises carried out, thanks to the continuous feedback from the supports, require us to focus on every single movement with accuracy.

This type of work leads to the implementation of neuronal connections in the brain areas that represent the body image, strengthening it.

Not only that.

SoulSpension induces relaxation and well-being: it produces pleasant stimuli, which in turn activate the dopaminergic system (endorphins); it acts as a reward.

It is reasonable to think that this mechanism leads to seeking the positive effects obtained during the session, to appreciate and desire to return to SoulSpension more and more frequently!

Merzenich MM, Kaas JH, Wall J, Nelson RJ, Sur M, Felleman D. Topographic reorganization of somatosensory cortical areas 3b and 1 in adult monkeys following restriction deafferentation. Neurosci 1983: 8(1): 33-55Plautz EJ, MillikenGW, Nudo RJ. Effects of repetitive motor training on movement representations in adult squirrel monkeys: role of use versus learning. Neurobiol Learn Mem, 2000: 74(1):27-55

I would like to thank Patrizia Gavoni, who gave me the opportunity to know and study the SoulSpension method and tool. In writing this thesis he supported me with his expertise and encouraged me with his big heart and generosity.

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