What is Fascia?
Fascia is the fascinating biological fabric and glue that holds us together. Long ignored, the fascial system is now getting a lot of attention, from both therapists and researchers. The Fascia is what gives a person their shape and resiliency. It is a tissue field inherent in all living creatures. It surrounds our muscles, organs and bones. It also penetrates, separates, yet binds the body together.
Fascia is the fabric that surrounds and invests every structure in the body. Without this fabric the 70% of our body that is water would end up as a puddle on the floor. Without the fascia to organize them, our 70 trillion little fat / water / gel droplets we call "cells" would be a mound of slime unable to organize much at all. So you could say that the fascial system is responsible for our morphostasis, or say that fascia is our "organ system of form"
Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It forms a whole-body continuous three-dimensional matrix of structural support. Fascia interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, creating a unique environment for body systems functioning.
The term fascia extends to all fibrous connective tissues, including aponeuroses, ligaments, tendons, retinaculae, joint capsules, organ and vessel tunics, the epineurium, the meninges, the periostea, and all the endomysial and intermuscular fibers of the myofasciae. There is a substantial body of research on connective tissue generally focused on specialised genetic and molecular aspects of the extracellular matrix. However, the study of fascia and its function as an organ of support has been largely neglected and overlooked for many years. Since fascia serves both global, generalized functions and local, specialized functions, it is a substrate that crosses several scientific, medical, and therapeutic disciplines, both in conventional and complementary / alternative modalities.
Among the different kinds of tissues that are involved in musculoskeletal dynamics, fascia has received comparatively little scientific attention. Fascia, or dense fibrous connective tissue, nevertheless potentially plays a major and still poorly understood role in joint stability, in general movement coordination, as well as in back pain and many other pathologies. One reason why fascia has not received adequate scientific attention in the past decades is that this tissue is so pervasive and interconnected that it easily frustrates the common ambition of researchers to divide it into a discrete number of subunits which can be classified and separately described. In anatomic displays the fascia is generally removed, so the viewer can see the organs nerves and vessels but fails to appreciate the fascia which connects, and separates, these structures.