The Matrix within each of us – Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together. It is a specialised system that covers and penetrates every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all our internal organs.
Fascia has been likened to a spiders web (the myofascial web) and as with a spiders web, an disruption at one part of the fascia web will pull and distort and alter the whole structure.
This very significant stuff is everywhere! It is one massive uninterrupted network of connective tissue that goes throughout the whole body, head to toe, providing support to complex structures, creating pathways for nerve and lymphatic vessels and retaining characteristic shape to limbs. Where it’s loose it allows movement between structures and provides reduction in friction and pressure through bursal sacs. The Central Nervous System is surrounded by fascial tissue (dura mater) which in the skull attaches to bone. Dysfunction in these tissues can have profound and widespread effects.
Leon Chaitow gives many more functions in his book Soft Tissue Manipulation where he goes on to say that the repeated postural and traumatic insults of a life time, combined with the tensions of emotional and psychological origin, will often present a confusing pattern of tense, contracted, bunched and fatigued fibrous tissue. Our structures become altered creating an identifiable physical change which in itself becomes a generator of further neuro-muscular-skeletal stress.
And as we get older, the attachments of the fascia shorten get thicker and tighten. So if you’re feeling stiff, misaligned, in pain, lacking in energy or just not right, all are possible results of this neuro-muscular dysfunction.
Now a long time ago in a county far away I was a chef and in this role I worked with a lot of beef. I noticed that between the fat and the meat or between two adjacent meats there was this fuzz (fascial web) and if I took this fuzz between my fingers and rubbed my fingers together it disappeared, becoming a liquid or gel like state.
When I massage I think of the skin the fascia and all the underlying structures. I’m stretching and manipulating the fascia, I’m putting energy and heat into your fascia trying to change the tissue structure so that it becomes more fluid. The feedback I get is I don’t know what you did but I feel a whole lot better. That’s one of the reasons that I have the best job in the world.
Have a look at this fascia-nating (sorry!) video and see fascia in action.