The vital role of fascia within the body
In recent years, extensive medical research has identified the vital role of fascia within the body : in early 2018, researchers declared fascia to be the largest organ of the body and to be present in every part of it (Benias et al, 2018).
The definition of an organ being a group of cells that perform the same function, the biomass of fascia is so great that it makes it our largest organ.
The easiest way to visualise fascia is to think of a three-dimensional spider web extending out in all directions, wrapping around and encasing everything it meets : every bone, muscle, tendon, ligament and organ.
Binding everything together, it gives structure, lubrication and communication between all body parts — it is, essentially, the glue that makes us whole. It gives appropriate tension and integrity to every part of the body, keeping everything just where it is meant to be.
Fascia is a dynamic living matrix of connective tissue that responds and adapts to how we store tension within us (Zugel et al, 2018) : according to recent research by leading neuroscientists, the neuromyofascial web is considered to be an extension of our consciousness into every aspect of our body (Bordoni et al, 2018).
As it stretches out, the strands of the web become thinner and more mobile. Or conversely, it gloops together and the strands become thicker and less mobile, closing down spaces inside the body and creating malfunctioning joints and body compartments.
Within this dynamic living structure are lines of pull, where muscles attach to other muscles and form tracks of tension within the whole body. These primordial lines of pull — which govern all our postural and movement patterns — were laid down as we unfolded from the fetal state. Disharmony in these lines ultimately leads to disharmony and ill health in the body (Myers et al, 2018).
As we dry out, our fascia becomes less mobile and more prone to injury.
The building blocks of fascia are proteins and water. As we age, the water content in our body reduces — in fact, ageing can be described as a process of drying out : our eyes lose their acuity as the muscles around the eye lose their ability to focus, our skin dries out and becomes wrinkled.
In early 2018, a research named this newly discovered organ the interstitium, claiming that this is where the interstitial fluid resides, and that any obstruction or adhesion within the matrix not only affects the flow of this fluid, but also affects the flow of electricity and light through the body (Benias et al, 2018).
Recent research has further identified that the meridian system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the nadis of Ayurveda are both energetical systems which appear to mirror the network of the myofascial system (Bai et al, 2011).
What this means, is that the energetical body is physically manifested in the fascia.
Or conversely, that the physical network of the fascial matrix provides the structure and framework for the energetical body — it is a chicken and egg situation which remains unanswered.
Are we first energetical beings, around which matter forms and creates tissue, muscle, ligament and bone? Or are we physical beings, whose patterns and rhythms of behaviour define our energetic selves?
Courtesy : KalariLAB