Certified in Fascial Counterstrain (FCS) - One of 21 certified worldwide therapists
Karen Andrews, PT, MTC , CSC1 MD License 17355 NPI 1962541458
Seeing patients in Mount Airy and Mount Washington, MD
Karen has been a manual physical therapist, treating sports medicine and orthopedic injuries since 1992. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy from University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 1992, and her Manual Therapy Certification ( MTC) from University of St. Augustine in 2010. Karen performed traditional PT for many years until realizing the unique power of Fascial Counterstrain (FCS).
In 2013 Karen was introduced to this powerful and innovative osteopathic manual therapy technique, (FCS), developed by Brian Tuckey, PT, OCS, JSCCI, of Tuckey as Associates in Frederick Maryland. When Karen learned that FCS was developed on chronic pain patients using the modern science of fascia and was integrated with applied anatomy and physiology, she saw Mr. Tuckey's work as truly having the power to change the way manual therapists understand and treat conditions, ranging from the most straightforward to the most complex . Karen is proud to have worked directly with Mr. Tuckey for almost eight years, and has dedicated herself to taking the entire FCS curriculum, currently eleven powerful courses. Karen recently became one of the first certified FCS practitioners and continues to assist Mr. Tuckey as a lab instructor in FCS continuing education classes. Karen has two private practice locations: Mount Airy, MD and Mount Washington, MD. For a more detailed description of FCS please visit www.counterstrain.com and tuckeypt.com.
* What is the difference between 'traditional physical therapy' and Fascial Counterstrain (FCS)? With FCS, treatment is based on the osteopathic belief that we MUST see the body as a whole, and understand how all parts of the body work together and influence one another. " Muscular" pain and tightness that have not resolved with traditional treatment are most often coming from a deeper source. FCS looks at the impact of the entire nervous system, vascular, visceral ( organ) and entire musculoskeletal systems (bones, cartilage and superficial fascia) to determine the root of the condition. Once the root is identified, treatment is gentle, precisely targeted to the specific structure resulting in an extremely effective treatment.
Fascial Counterstrain Technique
The patient lies relaxed on the treatment table in comfortable clothing.
Karen performs a gentle manual scan (assessment) of the cranium (head
and face) which is used to precisely identify the fascial restrictions
contributing to the source of the complaint. These fascial protections
layer much like an onion over the years. The scan allows the therapist
to "peel the onion" starting with the outer layer, treating it, resolving
it, and moving on to the next layer until all contributing fascial
restrictions have been targeted and treated. This relaxing
technique is 100% hands-on manual therapy, safe and comfortable.
The Science of Fascial Counterstrain
History of FCS:
Mr. Tuckey's work was extrapolated from his mentor, Dr. Lawrence Jones, DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) whose technique is referred to as Strain and Counterstrain (SCS). In 1955 Dr. Jones' realized that tight muscles relaxed when they were put in a "position of comfort", in other words, slackened. Simply stated, when the patient "strained" their body Dr. Jones' "counterstrained" it . Dr. Jones revolutionized manual therapy with this approach. SCS was extremely effective AND comfortable to the patient. After studying Dr. Jones' work, and being one of four certified instructors under Dr. Jones, Mr. Tuckey expanded upon Dr. Jones’ findings. Mr. Tuckey took the original work of approximately 200 diagnostic points, and created and in-depth multi-system treatment that targets over 1000 fascial restrictions (protective contractions) , involving the brain, spine and extremities which can restrict blood flow, lymphatic drainage, as well as potentially cause nerve pain, muscle weakness and/or joint stiffness.
Physiology behind FCS:
Tuckey, (Aug. 2021) published in Frontiers in Pain: Impaired Lymphatic Drainage and Interstitial Inflammatory Stasis in Chronic Musculoskeletal and Idiopathic Pain Syndromes: Exploring a Novel Mechanism describing that in response to either a trauma, repetitive injury, surgery or even infection, inflammatory chemicals ( IL-6, IL-B, TNF-a) naturally get released and easily trapped by the body. These inflammatory chemicals, via a complex reflex in the spinal cord and potentially brain, result in deep fascial protections which can cause the surrounding muscles and joints to tighten, thereby limiting flexibility, causing pain and even weakness. Many conditions which do not improve with traditional therapies are the result of trapped inflammation on deeper structures (bone, ligamentous,, neurovascular or organ fascia). Many practitioners perform myofascial release (MFR) in their treatments (releasing the fascia on the myo or muscle). FCS takes MFR to a much deeper, comprehensive level by treating ALL of the structures that fascia covers, resulting in THIS powerful yet gentle multi-system fascial release technique. Tony Robbins, in his new book Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life & Those You Love describes the unique power of FCS.
Karen has seen countless chronic pain patients experience reduced pain and increased function by specifically targeting fascial restrictions which lie deep to the tight or painful muscles and joints.
FCS has also been shown to expedite athletes’ return to sport following an injury by improving blood flow to the effected area, improving drainage of inflammation and reducing nerve, muscle and bone restrictions which can cause pain, limited healing, limited mobility and weakness.
For active enthusiasts participating in recreational sports or training, FCS has been shown to increase performance, reduce the incidence of injuries and extend continued participation by releasing old fascial restrictions which help prevent “ the straw from breaking the camel’s back”.
Conditions which have been effectively treated by FCS
Neck and Back pain from herniated discs, arthritis and degeneration
Sports Injuries , including concussions , sprains, tendonitis, bursitis and stress fractures
Chronic Pain from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Post-Covid, and POTS.
Migraines and chronic headaches; TMJ; vertigo, dizziness; brain fog.
Post-surgical pain and expedited healing.
Wellness to reduce the risk of injury
Perinatal , Postpartum , infants and toddlers.
To use FCS to treat people who want one-on-one dedicated manual therapy with a " whole body approach" who either have not responded to traditional therapies, who are trying avoid surgical intervention, or anyone with a wellness mindset wanting to maintain optimal performance. FCS is geared towards people seeking a solution to their complaint, not just a temporary fix. Karen is also dedicated to educating other physical therapists about the power of FCS, and assisting Mr. Tuckey in his teachings to other clinicians through continuing education classes. Learn more at www.tuckeypt.com and/or www.counterstrain.com.
I have had some pain management issues the last couple of years and Karen Andrews has become my number one source for curing aches, and pains, healing weak points and feeling better than I have in 10 years.
Her treatments work so well that it is almost magic. I would recommend Karen to all my family and friends for their PT needs. She's an expert in the field of fascial release and she really works wonders.