I am tempted to bestow the title of “New Zealand Queen of the Fascia” on the subject of this blog profile, Beth Beauchamp. Many other health and wellness practitioners in New Zealand will likely already be aware of Beth and her wonderful Myofascial Release training courses. I have to admit a certain bias here, as I am a graduate of all three of Beth’s main Myofascial Release training courses. I caught up with Beth for a chat in July 2020.
Beth is originally from the United States, where she gained her degree in Medical Massage Therapy in 2000. She describes that time in her life as one where she was eating healthily, keeping fit, developing a fascination about muscles, anatomy and physiology. This triggered what would be a continuing journey for her learning more about the body, how it works and the influence of the mind on the body.
After a move to New Zealand, Beth pursued training in another modality, Body Talk, certifying as a Body Talk practitioner in 2008. Body Talk is integrative mind body medicine, combining state of the art research in Western science with Eastern concepts, including Traditional Chinese Medicine. Body Talk reconnects energetic circuits in the body, facilitating better communication within the body, thus allowing the body to self-heal faster.
Beth’s clinic work includes Myofascial Release, Micro Fascial Unwinding and Body Talk.
Her fascination with mind body healing led Beth to explore “all sorts of courses” in addition to Myofascial Release, including Shamanism, a nutrition program qualification in 2017, other mind body healing modalities and further ways of developing and deepening her intuition.
Those unaware of fascia would be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. What is fascia and why is it so important to us? The fascial web is a three-dimensional structure which enfolds and weaves between all soft tissue and organs in the body, from head to toe. It is involved in conducting substances throughout the body, including biochemical and energetic information. Fascia is dynamic, continually changing in response to internal and external tension imposed upon it. The human framework would not be able to exist without the fascial network.
Fascia shortens, thickens and solidifies in response to trauma, any physical or emotional injury to the body, inflammation and poor posture. This leads to the body losing its physiological-adaptive capacity. Over time, fascial restrictions can spread, like a pull in a stocking. The body loses flexibility and spontaneity, which then often leads to pain and limitation in the body’s movements.
Fascial restrictions in one area of the body can affect other body parts that seem to have no connection to the original trauma. The more dysfunction there is in the body, the less dynamic fascia becomes. Rather than maintaining structural integrity, fascia then becomes so restricted that it causes structural deformation instead.
Fascia is also thought to hold emotions and past emotional trauma. Releasing fascial restrictions can sometimes lead to release of pent-up emotions.
It is easy then to envisage the potential impact of work which helps release fascial restrictions and how it can benefit clients, physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Research into fascia is still in its early stages but is rapidly developing. The first International Fascia Research Congress was held in 2007 and continues to meet every three years to exchange information about cutting edge medical and scientific research in this area. For more information about this, you can check out this link: https://fasciacongress.org/congress/about-the-congress/
One of Beth’s prime motivations in her work is “bringing people to new understandings that they have more control over their health than they think”. She prefers to help people evolve on their own path, not just heal physically. Beth prefers to work without judgement - “we all have stuff” - and tries to facilitate clients having a fuller experience of how their thoughts affect their bodies.
Beth has a clinic practice at her home base in Nelson, New Zealand but travels to teach. If she loves anything more than her clinic work, Beth laughs, it is her teaching. Over the years, she has developed and delivered her main three Myofascial Release training courses across New Zealand.
The three main Myofascial Release therapy training courses are the Fundamentals, Advanced Upper Body and Advanced Lower Body. More recently, Beth has added another course she created, Micro Fascial Unwinding, which focuses on more of a mind body approach to fascial work.
In her two day Fundamentals course, Beth “provides a foundation to understand the anatomy and physiology of fascia, why fascia dysfunctions and how to identify and release fascial restrictions superficially and deep”.
The Advanced Upper Body and Advanced Lower Body courses naturally go into more detail on how to work with Myofascial Release work in these areas.
Her Micro Fascial Unwinding training helps practitioners “see and feel the body from a different perspective”. This involves holds in various parts of the body to unwind and release the fascia, using more of a mind body approach. She teaches students to trust their intuition, gives them tools to “blank the mind”, tools to enhance their subtle, or intuitive senses, as well as the hand holds. The results of this work, Beth maintains, have been amazing and profound.
Beth’s courses attract practitioners from numerous other modalities – physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, energy workers, GPs, sports therapists, trainers, movement therapists, yoga instructors and so on. Her view is that any other modality will work more effectively with the practitioner adding in fascial work. “Working with the fascia creates more space in the body, to get the lymph and other things all flowing”, she maintains.
Her number one motivation to provide her training is “to inspire practitioners to get better results for clients.” She likes to make her courses fun and create a warm, relaxed environment, with lots of practice time.
Beth is now providing a Practitioner Certification program, as she tries to raise awareness of working with fascia generally. Her name generally ranks highly in any Google search in relation to fascial work in New Zealand. She would like to capitalise on this exposure to be able to promote other knowledgeable and well-trained practitioners working with the fascia. “I felt I needed to create a standard, a certain level of capability,” Beth asserts. Her goal is to have practitioners certified and working nationwide in New Zealand, who understand the benefits of working with the fascia.
She is of the opinion that “we’re still antiquated in our knowledge of fascia. We look at anatomy from an extremely limited perspective.” The world of the fascia is a “developing field, still in its infancy”. Beth believes there are “exciting implications of what we know. It is profound.”
Beth Beauchamp’s energy and enthusiasm for her work is infectious. Her contribution to increased awareness in her clients and increased skill in other practitioners across New Zealand is tremendous. She has sowed the seeds of curiosity in many others, me included, and continues to be a source of inspiration.
In her spare time, Beth loves to walk, hike, backpack, dance, listen to live music, read and learn. She describes herself as someone intensely curious about the mind body, always extending her own perspective about this. She enjoys “nesting” and being involved in her local community of Nelson.
You can find further information about Beth, her clinic work and her training via the two website links below.
http://mfrworkshops.com/ (for training and courses)
http://bethbeauchamp.co.nz/ (for Beth’s clinic work)