What is Fascia?
The mysterious world under the skin.
For a long time the fascia has been regarded as a redundant white tissue, ‘packing material, thrown to the side during dissections and unrecognized for what is truly was. Now it appears this elastic, fibrous connective tissue is of great importance in our bodies. It’s the one system that surrounds, permeates and connects all the other systems in our bodies, webbing its way from the more superficial and gross levels to the deeper and cellular levels. It is a body wide, three-dimensional interconnected web of sliding, fluid filled tissue, that also gives structure to our bodies.
The fascia has been discovered to have more nerve endings than anything else in the body and thus is our richest sensory organ, sensing and communicating information about pressure, movement and direction. It allows us proprioception, for us to perceive the position and movement of our body, including our sense of equilibrium and balance. Generally speaking fascia has an importance to the way we hold ourselves, our shape, our postural balance, the way we (efficiently) move and the way we sense ourselves. As you can tell, keeping this system of our bodies in good shape and health is so important for our sense of ease and well-being in life.
The fascia is a complex system, that has many functions and effects on the body as it contacts every other element of our physiology. Within this network, Thomas Myers has distinguished a number of ‘Fascia Meridian Lines‘, which are long continuous lines of fascia in the body where the fascia seems to be more connected with each other then the rest of the network. Off course, all the lines are still connected with each other, and they still keep influencing each other and the whole system. For enabling our understanding it is good to make divisions, however is is important not to forget that these are man-made, and to keep the wholeness in mind.
Through our growing understanding of the fascia and how it facilitates and gives form to the interconnectednes in our bodies, we can move away from seeing ourselves as compiled of separate pieces all linked together through the grey matter in our skull. The fascial net enables us to feel ourselves as one whole, each part of the body is aware of and responds to every other part through this network (as it is water-based the communication, i.e. electric signals/fields generated by the nerves endings in the fascia, runs much faster through the fascia then it does through the nervous system). Relating to, sensing and moving our body as whole is an important concept to embody if we are to become more resilient and free of strains, tensions and pains.
Enjoy this video from my teacher Thomas Myers
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