Fascia: according to Tom Myers

Fascial Layering

It is essential to understand that fascia often appears in layers, which is primarily due to dissection techniques. While dissection has been a valuable tool for learning about the body, it is crucial to acknowledge that it is limited in scope. The layers of fascia that can be identified through dissection are not entirely separate in a living body. The only exception is within synovial joints, where there is no fiber connection between the layers.

Fascial layering: The Dermis

Understanding the concept of fascial layers can be helpful, but it is important to remember that the layers are not entirely separate. For example, the dermis is the first layer of fascia under the skin. This layer is elastic and is designed to respond to forces in any direction. Below the dermis, there is a fat layer or areolar layer, which serves multiple functions in the body. While it is essential to have a healthy amount of fat, both too little and too much fat can be detrimental to one’s health.

Fascial layering: The Areolar Adipose

The next layer is often referred to as the fascia profunda or the “unitard” that envelops the body. This layer covers various areas such as the plantar fascia, crural fascia, fascia lata, abdominal fascia, pectoral fascia, fascia collis superficialis, and galli aponeurotica. The fascia profunda is considered to be more profound than the skin and fat layers but not as deep as the muscular layer.

Fascial layering: The Fascia profundis / ‘Unitard’

Muscles are generally situated below the level of the fascia profunda, with a few exceptions such as the platysma and the small muscles responsible for goosebumps. The fascia profunda compresses the muscles. Depending on the area of the body being examined, there may be several layers of fascia between the skin and the periosteum, which is the layer of fascia next to the bone.

Fascial layering: The Periosteum

It is essential to remember that the concept of layers is a human construct imposed on a system that is interconnected and continuous. While it can be helpful to understand the various layers of fascia, it is vital to acknowledge that they are not entirely separate in living organisms.

Interstitium: Fascial Hydration and Cell Perfusion

The interstitium plays a crucial role in the transportation of nutrients, oxygen, and other substances between capillaries and cells. When blood flows through capillaries, excess water is released, similar to a garden hose with small slits. Previously, it was believed that cells were directly adjacent to capillaries, and this was where the exchange of oxygen occurred. However, cells are actually suspended within gels, which make up the fascia that holds them together.

To transport oxygen and nutrients to cells, substances must travel through the gel between the capillary and the cell. If there is too much fiber in this area, water flow will be obstructed. Recent discoveries have revealed that there is a natural flow within the gel, with pathways that resemble rivers or animal tracks in a forest. These channels allow nutrient-rich fluid to flow towards the cells.

Researchers studying the neck of the gallbladder discovered a pattern of vessel-like flow without actual vessels, leading them to identify a new body system. Those who had been working with fascia for a long time noticed the similarities between this new system and their previous observations. The collaboration between these researchers has provided valuable insights into the properties of gels in relation to cancer metastasis, bacterial containment, and other health issues.

These channels, pathways, conduits, are being studied for their qualities of perfusion, and hydration, through the extracellular matrix between the cells

The channels and conduits within the gel are currently being studied to better understand cell perfusion and hydration in the extracellular matrix. Contrary to previous beliefs, water does not merely migrate through ionized gels in cells but travels along these conduits and channels. These pathways are not lined with cells, like lymph channels, but are simply areas where flow is easier.

Perfusion: The flow of fluids to and from the cells

These conduits have been found in various natural environments, such as glaciers and rivers. The body’s system for maintaining temperature, hydration, and nutrition is complex and organized in a fractal, chaotic manner. The role of movement and bodywork is to facilitate optimal flow, integration, and undisturbed functioning of these processes. Life naturally disrupts these processes, and some disturbances become permanent, embedding themselves within the fascia. Understanding the properties of fascia is crucial for addressing these patterns and restoring balance to the body.

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