The myo-fascial system?
What is the myo-fascial system? Myo means muscle and fascia means band.
Fascia is a connective tissue, the most abundant tissue in the body “fascia forms the largest system in the body, as it is the as it touches all other systems” James Oschman PhD
“Connective tissue literally connects and supports. It forms the structure of the body. We tend to think of structure in terms of muscle and bone, but infact, structure is the result of the organisation of muscle and bone. Connective tissue in response to movement, is the organising factor. Muscle tissue is enfolded within fascia, the combination is called myofascia.” Schultz & Feitis 1996
Fascia is considered “The most pervasive but perhaps the least understood network in the human body” Fascia Research Society 2015.
It is this three dimensional web like matrix which surround, infuses, protects, and supports every other structure in the body. It is like a continuous knitted internal framework, where one restriction can lead to another as the body compensates in space.
Fascia has been described as “the largest system in the human body because it touches all other structures.” Pisinger 2007
“Fascia possesses ten times more sensory nerve receptors than its muscular counterpart” Van der Wal 2007, and has been upheld as a “mechano-sensitive (pressure sensitive) signalling system with an integrated function akin to that of the nervous system” Langevin 2006
The fascial system is a totally integrated system and is the immediate environment of every cell in the body.
Fascia is “no longer considered the ‘scraps’ of cadaver dissections, fascia has now attracted the attention of scientists and clinicians alike.” Fascia Research Society 2015. Thanks to the wonderful work of Jean-Claude Guimerteau, a French hand surgeon, who has released video footage of living fascia, showing a dynamic, ever changing fluid filled network present in and around every structure in the human body. (See stills below). Only recently has the role of complex fascial matrix been recognised.
Fascial restrictions do not show up on any traditional healthcare screenings, MRI, X-ray, Ultrasound or CT scan.
However due to the abundance of fascia within the body; fascial restrictions can lead to implications on all other systems, the musculoskeletal, nervous, lymphatic, CV, integumentary, endocrine, urinary, digestive, reproductive will all be influenced by the fascial system.
Due to the connective nature of fascia one fascial restriction can lead to another as we compensate in space. These restrictions and deep set holding patterns can be both observed during postural assessment, and palpated. Through skilled hands-on myo-fascial release bodywork the myo-fascial system can be released, reducing pain and improving mobility.
What is myofascial Release?
“Myofascial release is the 3D application of sustained pressure into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or impeding progress.” John F Barnes
The aim of Myofascial release is to restore balance and function within the whole integrated system.
Still to come:
Fascia and Tensegrity
The Formation of Fascia
Emotions and the Fascial Web
Alignment of The Fascial system