Here is a beautiful way that fascia was described in a recent anatomy lecture that I listened to: Fascia is like melted wax. Our bones, joints, muscles, and organs have simply settled into this wax before it hardened slightly. Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together.
That’s so good! But what does that mean exactly? Tom Myers, a pioneer in fascial work, further explains this in terms we here at Oak Park/CFLA can really understand: “Fascia is the context for all movement.” If everything rests in this network in which all is working, then this fascia-context connection makes perfect sense.
One of the most fascinating (fascia-nating? RIMSHOT!) things about fascia — after watching a video of live fascia — is that it is free-flowing tissue that separates and rejoins depending on restriction or contraction or movement of the whole body. This free flow is intuitive. There is no particular pattern; no predictable, trackable formula. It follows, flows, and is dictated by our own uniqueness as a mover, and it takes into consideration your whole system — not just a local hip region or one part of your back that’s sore.
Tom Myers explained this by using the term tensegrity, which is an architectural term indicating that the integrity of a structure is derived from the balance of tension members. For the human body, tensegrity explains that the vertical, three-dimensional position of the body is dependent on tensional forces that are generated by fascia. The relationship between bones and fascia create the correct tension and therefore balance. If one of the “wires” is off — if there is restriction in fascia in one part of the body — it can actually create imbalance to the entire body not just the one area. So, though there is this intuitive free-flow, fascia still creates the perfect amount of tension and structure to our bodies. It’s pretty brilliant.
Not that long ago, when dissections were performed to study anatomy more deeply, fascia was scraped off to get to the “important” bits. It was discarded as something not of interest; just some weird white, marbley stuff. It wasn’t until 10 years ago that a real conversation about fascia started to occur. Why did it take anatomists 500 years to finally recognize something that now seems so vital to the understanding of our bodies? As we learn more, fascia increasingly reveals itself as more important than we could have ever imagined.
Look for Part 2 on fascia next week!
100m 1-arm KB Farmer carry (24/16)
20 KB SDLHPs
6 RFT – Courtesy of Wod_Roulette
3 Hang Clean (135/95)
6 Shoulder 2 Overhead
400 M Run
With a Partner – Share the work.
100 Cal Row
100 Box Jumps (24/20)
100 Kettle Bells (24/16)
100 Sit Ups
Kipping Skill Session
Focus on Weightlessness
8 KB Chops-R
8 KB Chops-L
3-3-3-3-3 (6-7/10 difficulty)