A historical description of how new fascia research redefines our views on aches and pains
Fascia helps us understand the body as a whole
The body is quite incredible.
If you take a ballet dancer, a gymnast, a drummer or a certain Swedish football profile and study their movement, feeling, timing, it is easy to be fascinated by how fast it is. When we add to that what we know about the body today, we have about 37 trillion cells and 100 000 proteins, enzymes and hormones that interact with each other, in no time at all, in order to control and manage the body. We also know that 40-100000 new cells are created every minute.
How does it happen? How does the body really work?
How do we combine these elements into a whole?
Ever since Descartes in the 1600s, we have taken apart and studied the parts, which taught us a great deal about the body and nature, to the smallest particle. But, in physics which constantly explores the universe, this knowledge of micro always has to work with the universe at large.
However in terms of biology, much of what we now know about the body does not go together with the old model. The universe we see as a whole, composed of parts that integrate – but when it comes to the body we still see the parts and we tend to avoid an overall perspective. We believe that a superficial laceration heals, but we find it hard to believe that a wound heals inside. We have difficulty understanding that how you eat, move and live your life also affects how you feel – and we have the most difficult to understand that the head and the body are actually linked together and that your thoughts affect your physical health.
The view on the Fascia has gone from “something that was just there” to “being everything”
This is where the Fascia comes into the picture, for a big reason, which is that until now we have not explored the Fascia and we simply cut through it. But how can you view the body as a whole if you cut apart and divide? The Fascia was for a long time seen as something that “was just there”
“For several hundred years, anatomists and surgeons like me have neglected this tissue (Fascia) since it does not seem to be something that is there. But the fact is that it is not just something – it is everything! “- Dr. Jean Claude Guimberteau
Fascia does not only envelope the whole body, it turns the way we look at it upside down” – Tom Myers
Do we really have 600 muscles? Or is it one big muscle, a body stocking, with 600 pockets or bags of the Fascia?
When we began to realize that the Fascia may have a function after all we began research. With new technologies such as ultrasound and cameras that can shoot live tissue under the skin the understanding of the Fascia’s function gradually increased – and with it a greater understanding of the body as a whole began to emerge.
Fascia is a network of connective tissue that envelops everything in the whole body, from muscles and bones to organs and cells. It is the “suit”, “body stocking” that keeps all parts of the body in place, which facilitates movement, posture, balance, and allows us to cope with the pressure of gravity.
The Fascia facilitates all communications between every single body part. There are 6 times more nerve receptors in the Fascia than in the muscles, Fascia exists in solid form, in liquid form (extra-cellular fluid) and communication in the Fascia is 15 times faster than in the nervous system.
This is where we have our entire intelligence, intuition and feeling, an extension of the brain, if you will – this is what makes the body one whole, and not a lot of parts.
Why the Fascia is still relatively unknown?
There are three major reasons why the Fascia’s central importance to the body’s functionality is not better known than it is.
- New area: Fascia research is not older than 40-50 years and was long fragmented. What the researchers in Germany concluded did not reach scientists in the US and so on. As late as 2007 the first Fascia Research Congress was held and results from different countries’ research began to be compiled. In September 2015 the fourth Fascia Research Congress was held. We were present and recorded a number of interviews that you will find on this page.
- Conflicts with previous knowledge: Research findings turn what we previously knew about the body upside down. If you open a textbook on anatomy there is not much written about the Fascia. If suddenly research pops up that claims “hey! Everything you learned during all the years you studied was based on the wrong perspective – you have missed one of the most central parts “it is not easy to accept that.
- New paradigms, new perspective: Tom Myers says jokingly that Fascia research means the same shift in the paradigm of biology as the difference between Newton’s mechanical universe and Einstein’s E = mc2. It may be grandiose, but in a way it’s a bit like hearing that the Earth is round when you walked around your whole life and thought that earth is flat. Old perspectives, belief systems and patterns are hard to break. The new is often difficult to accept.
Knowledge of the body in a simple way
We strive to always be at the forefront of new technology and new knowledge. Our ambition is to make it as easy as possible for you to understand this paradigm shift. We have read hundreds of research papers and kept abreast to understand and communicate all the fascinating research on the Fascia to provide knowledge of the body in a simple way.
The more we learn the more we realize that we do not understand.
The understanding of Fascia is constantly changing and it is not certain that everything we believe that we know today valid tomorrow – what we do know is that it looks like what we previously thought was wrong – and we eagerly look forward to learning new things and learning more.
Understanding Fascia in 10 minutes – the must see documentary
In early 2013, a German documentary was broadcast based on the latest research on the Fascia. It provides a very basic introduction for newcomers. The entire documentary is just over 30 minutes, but for those who want to quickly get an overview, we have cut together a shorter version:
- Why no one has been able to examine Fascia until now
- Travel into the body – how the Fascia looks on the inside
- Graphic explaining how the Fascia affects the immune and nerve signals, among other things
- Why the Fascia is vital for our movement
Keep up with the latest news about Fascia.
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“Fascia does not only envelope the whole body, it turns the way we look at it upside down” – Tom Myers
Since the 70s Tom Myers has been one of the strongest proponents for increasing the understanding of the Fascia.
At the Fascia Research Congress 2015, we interviewed Myers and asked him to simply answer the question: What is Fascia?
Click on the subtitle symbol for a subtitled version
In his book Anatomy Trains, he describes how the Fascia is structured in various power transmission lines that can be a good basis for understanding the Fascia’s functionality.
These Fascia lines are not standalone own constellations, but part of a greater whole. The lines enclose muscles, organs, bones and cells. Myers describes it quite well when he says that we should stop seeing the body parts of different muscles, bones, organs, etc. It is more of a Fascia, a body stocking with a lot of different compartments. Learn more about these Fascia lines here.
An example of such a line is the superficial dorsal line (superficial backline) that go from the head down to the foot. The superficial back line prevents fetal position and keeps the body upright and stretched.
TIP: How you can “treat” the superficial dorsal line yourself
A very simple way to examine the superficial back line’s function, and thereby understanding how the body is composed, is called “exercise ball“.
- Stand up with your legs straight and bend forward. The goal is for your fingers to reach the ground, but not everyone can reach. Anyway. Note how far down you come.
- Take a golf ball, a tennis ball or something similar and roll it (with pressure) for about 1-2 minutes under each foot.
- Repeat step 1 and note how far down you will reach now. You should come at least 5cm further down. Otherwise, repeat step 2 and try again.
Crawl under the skin – this is what live Fascia looks like!
Dr. Jean Claeude Guimberteau takes us on a fascinating journey into the skin. With small camcorders, he has managed to capture live Fascia. As we have previously mostly seen Fascia during dissection of dead people and animals, Guimberteaus film gives us a deeper understanding of how living tissue functions and how complex, but ingenious our body actually is.
- What Fascia looks like – a film of living tissue
- Marvel at how beautiful you are inside 😉
- English commentary and music
Gil Headly – Integral Anatomy
Another influential voice within Fascia research is Gil Headly who worked with dissections for several years.
He believes that it is important to begin seeing the body as a whole rather than in parts. When you realize that the Fascia first of all exists and secondly, have an important function, a realization follows that you cannot turn back from and you will view the body as one whole. If you study a muscle, an organ or a bone, the Fascia is always around, and some parts are linked together with other parts – you simply have to see the whole picture.
We asked him to tell us more about Fascia and how it changes the perspective on how we look at the body.
Click on the subtitle symbol for Swedish subtitles
Do you want to know more about Fascia?
Do you want to learn more about Fascia and how important it is for our health and wellness? Then you are in the right place!
We have gathered a lot of information regarding Fascia on our website, trying to explain Fascia and new research in the easiest way possible.