Some science behind the scenes

Fascia

Fascia is connective tissue.  It excludes bones; muscles; and organs such as the liver or heart or kidney.  It forms sheaths and casings around organs, muscles, nerves and acts to both protect these but also to form support for them.  To put it rather crudely, the fascia acts like a number of bags in which the organs and other parts of the body are wrapped.

Generally speaking fascia forms sheets of a tough colourless and translucent substance that acts as a stable protective layer.  It encases  every organ and every muscle.  These wrappings form a web throughout the body that supports, connects and separates all functional units of the body.  This is important from the point of view of spiritual experience because all fascia is interconnecting tissue, it is a network like the physical nervous system is a network.

When you examine the meridians and nadis of Chinese and Hindu medicine, there are clear indications that the lines of energy are in some cases mirroring the physical nervous system, in some cases the blood circulation system but in many other may well be following and mirroring the fascia.

When damaged, by an accident or surgical interference,  fascial tissue tends to become denser and shorter as it heals.  Because all the fascial tissue interconnects, a thickened or shortened area can transmit strain in many directions and even make its influence felt in distant points.  Congestion or malfunction of an internal organ can be felt as a limited spot of pain, sometimes quite intense under surface pressure, at a point very distant from its origin.  For example, women at certain times in the menstrual cycle report pain elicited by pressure of a circular area – perhaps only an inch in diameter – at the very crown of the head.  In other words the uterine congestion of the menses sets up strain as far away as the top of the head.   

This knowledge of the pressure points of pain is also one of the mechanisms by which reflexology works and  rolfing.  A malfunctioning organ can affect the fascia and reveal the problem in the fascia in the feet where the lines of communication are highly condensed into a point at the bottom of the foot.  A number of reflex points can be found on the sole of the foot.  When individual visceral organs become congested, pressure on a specific point in the sole elicits pain, sometimes intense pain. 

Fascia can be both shallow and deep in the body.  The deep fascia is a denser layer.  In the healthy body, its smooth coating enables neighbouring structures to slide over one another.  Any inflammatory illness or traumatic injury, however, can cause layers to adhere to one another so that they almost seem to be 'glued' together.  They don't slide, but cause snags and tugs on adjacent structures and here we have the cause of much of the structural misalignment, weariness and tension and physical illness in organs, as the lack of movement causes pressure and misalignment of organs and muscles and from there malfunction of those organs.

And fascia exhibits piezoelectric properties.

Biophys J. 2010 Jun 16;98(12):3070-7.;   Two-dimensional nanoscale structural and functional imaging in individual collagen type I fibrils - Harnagea C et  al;  Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Energie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Varennes, Québec, Canada.

The piezoelectric properties of single collagen type I fibrils in fascia were imaged with sub-20 nm spatial resolution using piezoresponse force microscopy. A detailed analysis of the piezoresponse force microscopy signal in controlled tip-fibril geometry revealed shear piezoelectricity parallel to the fibril axis. The direction of the displacement is preserved along the whole fiber length and is independent of the fiber conformation. It is shown that individual fibrils within bundles in skeletal muscle fascia can have opposite polar orientations and are organized into domains, i.e., groups of several fibers having the same polar orientation. We were also able to detect piezoelectric activity of collagen fibrils in the high-frequency range up to 200 kHz, suggesting that the mechanical response time of biomolecules to electrical stimuli can be approximately 5 micros.
PMID:  20550920