Fascia: We are One Muscle

It’s very on trend to proclaim that we are one infinite consciousness inhabiting different bodies or that we all are the same consciousness expressed in different ways. Some people really understand the meaning of this, others just repeat it because it’s fashionably zen. I’ve been saying from the beginning that everything is related and connected, as we all are energy. While all this is true, it may be difficult to grasp to our naked eye (the senses, those tempting deceivers), but when this applies to something we can actually see, such as our body, we really come to understand the interconnectedness of all things, and we confirm once again our holographic nature. As above so below. The whole contains parts, but the part also contains the whole. The ocean is made of drops but there is an ocean inside of a single drop. Let’s talk about the Fascia.

Until not long ago, the fascia was overlooked in the body in the same way scientists take for granted the unknown 90% of brain mass – called grey matter – because they don’t know its function (lots of LOLs – how can anyone DARE to take for granted 90% of our brain??? Scientists, hear me y’all: you are good for nothing! When are you going to acknowledge that mainstream science doesn’t have all the answers and that not everything is confirmed through our senses?), but now we know that the fascia not only holds all the muscles together but it connects your big right toe to your left shoulder. And a couple of aha! truths:

1. Delayed onset muscle soreness after heavy exercise comes mainly from the fascial tissue and NOT from the muscles.

2. Sports injuries are not necessarily muscle injuries but are more likely to be fascial injuries!

Fascia is made up of protein (mainly collagen and elastin, depending on the type of fascial tissue) and water. Its functions are four:

  • Shaping (wrap, cushion, protect, support)
  • Movement (transfer and store power, maintain tension, stretch)
  • Communication (deal with stimuli and info)
  • Supply (fluids, nutrients).

The fact that we can move is undoubtedly due to the fascia. Each muscle, each fibre, each bundle of fibres is covered with fascial layers. These wrappings transfer the force of the muscle fibres and allow the muscle to actually move and work smoothly. Also, each bone, like all the organs in the body, are wrapped in fascial tissue. The outer skin of the bones (the periosteum) is where tendons (also fascial tissue) are attached to from the muscle, not directly to the bone. We are basically a set of wrapped bundles of different things 🙂

A healthy fascia stores energy that allows us to jump or run long distances. Walking requires very little muscular energy, however our walking endurance is impressive, we can walk for long hours and that’s, again, thanks to the fascia (in particular, the superficial back line).

The most important fascial chains of the body are:

  • Superficial back line
  • Superficial front line
  • Two lateral lines
  • Spiral line

Old-School Gymnastics & Elegance.

Physical education between around 1900-1950 was about dynamic exercises that focused on the long fascia lines, with movements such as swings, rhythmic motions involving the whole body, throws and energetic stretches in all directions. These included elements from dance, medical exercises and coordination sports, such as fencing. All these exercises relied on the elastic capacity of the fascia rather than muscular effort. There was an intent for achieving aesthetic elegance, and this was done thanks to the training of the fascia. Again, movement in all directions is what keeps the fascia alive and healthy. If you don’t move, you will become stiffer (use it or lose it). Fascial tissue degenerates if it’s not exercised. Its degeneration also affects the muscles, because the fiber bundles cannot slide properly against each others, the power transmission from muscle to muscle no longer works smoothly, and coordination suffers. This, of course, affects posture. Everything effects everything!

Fascia training is not the same as Muscle training. Today most of the training programmes focus is in increasing muscular strength or cv conditioning, in ‘looking’ ripped. Fuck the rest. Nope. Listen. Many muscle programs exercise the fascia to some degree automatically, but it doesn’t mean they train the fascia properly. The fascia needs specific impulses in order to respond optimally. Active resistance stretches work best than doing a classical muscle strength exercise.

I recommend the works of Tom Myers and Robert Schleip for more information regarding how to train the fascia.

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