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FastFasciaFacts EP 01: Most Abundant Tissue, Wraps Organs, Nerves & Bones, Has its Own Contractile Cells

By September 18, 2019Fascia

Fun facts about FASCIA: 

  • Fascia is the most abundant tissue in the human body (WATER is the most abundant substance, and healthy fascia + water = cellular hydration…stay tuned for more on that!)
  • Fascia doesn’t just wrap muscle – it wraps bones, organs and nerve endings
  • Fascia has its own contractile cells

Why the above matters:

  • Some people go so far as to claim that BLOOD is a form of connective tissue, or fascia. While that may be up for debate, at least people agree about how widespread it actually is, since it separates and connects just about every element of the human body. Unfortunately, the medical and scientific community hasn’t studied fascia widely because it’s generally been considered nothing more than the coating of other more important parts of human anatomy. I hope to reveal to you, in this series called Fast Fascia Facts, just how important a role fascia plays in all kinds of human functions; from pain perception to making sense of the world via nerve communication mechanisms like proprioception, interoception and exteroception to its role in cellular hydration, which is essential for human health and homeostasis.

I encourage you to do your own research and think about this one part of your body as it relates to your mind, body and spirit and of course, your wellbeing and ability to heal and create freedom. 

  • Fascia is the great protector and connector of your body. It protects individual elements from other elements, while connecting everything inside of you so you can function as one multi-dimensional yet always connected unit. Thus, fascia’s relationship to all these other elements in your body is worth knowing about. Fascia can impact bones, nerves, muscles, organs, the lymph system, the circulatory system, the nervous system…I’ll include lots of data points in future episodes about each of these, so stay tuned 🙂
  • Whenever your brain thinks you’re in danger, the fascia may (and probably will) contract. This is important to understand because I postulate that the #1 cause of unhealthy fascial isn’t excessive movement or injury as you may think, it’s FEAR and stress. Mind blowing to contemplate the ramifications of this, huh?  While our fascia may have evolved this ability primarily to protect us from falls, attacks and other physical dangers, the body doesn’t necessarily know the difference between fear caused by physical danger and fear caused by emotional or psychological distress and danger. I also have come to believe that fascia was granted this ability to keep us safe in circumstances when our brains can’t act quick enough, as in a fall or in the modern world things like car accidents. Consider how fear shows up for you. How do you think this could be impacting your fascia?

Please share your takeaways below! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and how these fascia facts could illuminate your current mind body challenges and triumphs. 

20 Comments

  • Barbara K says:

    Fear and stress. Check
    Mind/Body connection. Check
    Since taking your course, I have been working on my body to heal sciatica on the right side. I fully agree that fascia has its own contractile cells! My original sciatica came from the trauma of falling on icy pavement many years ago. Fear/stress aggravates it. I need to relax and know that it’s okay to be me!
    It’s very good to see you back!

    • Hi Barbara, thank you! It’s good to be back 🙂 I definitely see a pattern in people of fear/stress creating even more tension in areas already tense or traumatized from something like a fall or accident. The goal would be to completely rewire that area, so it doesn’t hold the memory of the fall. Easier said than done, I know. Keep up the good work!

  • Penny says:

    Thank you for all of your knowledge that you share with us. I have always felt that the stress that I was under during a 4 or 5 year period when my parents were ill caused me to develop chronic thoracic pain. I have been dealing with this for almost 7 years. I haven’t found anyone in my area to help with fascia release. I will continue to watch and try to heal myself. Thanks again!

    • Hi Penny, thank you for sharing. I encourage you to use my fascia release techniques and, instead of your goal being to release fascia, make your goal to feel the sensations in the areas you’re working as you compress the fascia with whatever tool you’re using. For example, lying on a ball on your back, leaning into it and just observing any sensations/feelings that arise. Same for the lats and rear deltoid. I’d be curious what you might discover that’s beyond just physical. You can use the search function on the site here to find those techniques I mentioned.

  • Jacqui Barker says:

    Very interesting. Especially the second part re emotional or psychological stresses. As a CFS sufferer (helped by working on my own fascia) I can 100% relate to this in my body

    • Thanks for sharing Jacqui. Many (maybe all) of my clients and students with CFS (and other autoimmune conditions like MS, MFPS) acknowledge a trauma component, or a psycho-emotional component with a clear link to their physical experience. Have you read The Body Keeps the Score? It’s a great place to do some research on the mind-body connection.

  • Sharyn Barber says:

    I believe what you say, it is just very difficult to control emotions!! When someone hurts you emotionally, be it father, boyfriend, boss or husband, even though they don’t mean to hurt you usually, because you don’t think like them, you are hurt. And one suppresses that hurt.

    • Hi Sharyn, thanks for sharing. You know – I’ve experienced a lot of hurt in my life, and what helped me heal the most was opening the floodgates and letting my emotions out. Even anger, rage, grief. That doesn’t mean unleashing it on other people, even if they deserve it (because frankly, that may not be safe for us and my personal philosophy on healing is that it’s YOUR journey, not anyone else’s). I’m planning to film more videos about trauma, emotion, boundaries, family dynamics and how all of this impacts us physically, often causing pain or illness.

  • Kate Murphy says:

    Love this! It’s all fascinating and makes perfect sense!
    I thought your answer was going to be lack of hydration or something, but stress ( in whatever form that comes) is a brilliant answer!
    I am so wound up with worries, pain and humiliation due to my Crohns and embarrassment as to how fat I am, is an endless cycle of shame.
    Just joined a hospital-based weight loss group last night, and I’m hoping the interactions and support can help in reducing stress and some of my embarrassment.
    I don’t have a partner but when I get to see my grandkids I have my 8 y/o Grandson step on me as I’m trying to teach him what you’ve been teaching us. He does his best. I have so many therapy friends and coworkers but no one is available before or after work and don’t live anywhere close, either. So my Grandson and I are both learning together! He’s such an awesome human being!
    I absolutely love what you’re doing here, and can’t wait to hear more of your wisdom! I appreciate your hard work!

    • Awww – hey Kate. Thanks for sharing. Our shames (and we ALL have shame) start to dissipate when we share them, so you’re doing a courageous and healing act just by speaking it aloud (or typing it – that counts!) And oh my goodness…how amazing that your 8yo grandson has agreed to learn how to step on you! That’s precious. I love that you’re joining a group, I think healing happens best when we feel part of a community, feel supported and less alone. Love to you!

  • Jason de Silva says:

    Fact 1- Most abundant Tissue
    I try to keep things simple so I can understand it, therefore, if the body is divided up into components & percentages (water = 70%) then the emphasis & priority of work could be applied relatively to those components. This would probably require an additional consideration factor of – is that component functioning correctly & is it also where You need it to be.

    Fact 2 – Wraps Muscle, Bone, Organ, Nerve & Vessel
    We are generically very similar whilst vastly different individually & we as individuals respond individually to the same stimulus. We are products of our life/experiences/habits. An example was told to me – A Kangaroo does not have the muscle quantity to produce size of bound its takes whilst travelling nor do they have muscle make up to continue this repetitive action to travel at the speeds they do and endure for the overall time. So we do they get there repetitive bounce from??? Is it fascia????

    Fact 3 – Fascia has its own contractile cells
    This is important to me as I have a family member that rolled a car 5 times(laterally) 4 years ago and is suffering has the challenges you spoke of in the Trapezius area still and is about to go for ultra sound guided cortisone injection next Tuesday into a supposed inflamed bursa maybe around the superior angle of Scapula bursa. So if there is some moves we can use to unlock the fascia in her chest region I would very keen to try this – please advise.

    Jason de Silva
    New Zealand

    • Hey Jason, thanks for sharing your thoughts! VERY interesting about the kangaroos, and I would definitely theorize it’s the fascia, since what I know of it in humans is that is gives us our bounce or “spring”. Regarding your family member – I would encourage them to research the potential side effects of cortisone injections (I have a video on this site) before going that route. No judgment from me if they pursue the shot, I just want people to have ALL the info and know the risks, and say yes (or no) with full consciousness. You can search this blog or the YouTube channel for BICEPS and CHEST, and find some good techniques that would likely help. There are a few different ones here. Let me know how it goes!
      Elisha

  • Hortencia Rodrigues says:

    Hi Elisha. I’m so excited of all this new facts and information you are sharing. It’s fascinating! Listening to you I can identified myself on so many situations on different Levels, specially emotional.
    I can’t wait to next week.
    Thank you so much to sharing your knowledge.
    Hortencia

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Elisha,
    Could connective tissue be considered an organ?
    I wonder if connective tissue is the bodies largest organ instead of the integumentary system?
    If we considered it a system instead of tissue do you think that would make a difference in medicine?
    Thanks, Sharon

    • Hi Sharon – some people talk about fascia/connective tissue like an organ. Maybe that would propel it into the field of medicine, however my personal philosophy is that we can only understand fascia if we also understand muscles, nerves and bones. My great wish is that medicine addresses the HUMAN BEING as one system with many subsystems, all working together. Then we would really start to get somewhere!

  • Very informative video–I find stress to be the dominant cause of all illness–fear I feel can be subconscious–not so with stress–we are surrounded with it–one has to SLOW DOWN –live in the present moment–(easier said than done)–. Many Thanks–Kathnell

  • Colleen says:

    I’m likely the poster girl for your fascia facts…. I was in 2 minor-ish car accidents not quite 2 years ago. Both rear ended. Whiplash. Herniated a disc … ended up with a fusion surgery. And I’ve been struggling ever since with a whole host of issues. Migraines. Dizziness. Nausea… the list goes on. I was finally diagnosed with PPPD this past May and the treatment has definitely been helping, but I felt there was still something that wasn’t being addressed. I came to my own conclusion that the fascia throughout my body was completely and utterly messed up and I’ve been working on that as well – to great success. I found your website and have been devouring information. Thank you.

    • Hi Colleen – thank you for sharing some of your story! I’m really happy to hear my content is useful to you on your healing journey. I salute you for searching out your own answers/solutions, and I’m glad you’re here!

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