Fascia is a connective tissue that wraps around our body's muscle and viscera, providing a 3-d web that interconnects all tissues of the body. Simply put, fascia is responsible for the cohesiveness and unity of our body. It connects us from head to toe!
Fascia is flexible, strong and elastic; stretching, sliding and changing; enabling muscles to move without friction. Much of the stability of the body is provided by fascia via what is known as the tensegrity model: tensegrity refers to the tensile (pulling) forces that hold structures in their appropriate postures.
Fascia, is also richly supplied with sensory receptors, responsible for the reporting of pain, nerves and blood vessels.
It is believed that if the fascia is dehydrated and loses its elasticity, then the structures it surrounds can become “glued” together. Given fascia’s sensory innervation, this could become the source of pain.
When a challenge is placed on fascia, the stretch receptors there begin to send sensory information along the nerve pathways to the spinal cord and then various areas of the brain. After each set of moves, there is a pause to allow the body to respond to new information from the receptors. It is during this pause that we believe the body begins to make changes. The body is sent a message that the emergency is over, and that it is now possible to initiate healing. Fascia rehydrates, relaxes, pain is addressed and body posture is corrected.
Here is a compelling video showing the complex structure of fascia under a microscope. Truly unbelievable stuff!