review of awareness of the fascial system


Fascia Awareness

Quantum physics is out there.  I mean way out there.  Not only has it shown that atoms and their various micro-components have properties allowing them to behave like both particles and waves simultaneously, but that related particles can become “entangled” with each other to such a degree that they are able to communicate over long distances despite any known method that would allow such conversations to occur.  Writing for the July 22, 1997 issue of the New York Times (Far Apart, 2 Particles Respond Faster Than Light), Malcolm Browne showed just how freaky this “entanglement” aspect of quantum mechanics can be.

“It was as if some ghostly bridge across the city of Geneva, Switzerland, had permitted two photons of light nearly seven miles apart to respond simultaneously to a stimulus applied to just one of them.  Since there was no way for the photons to communicate with each other, ”classical” physics would predict that their independent choices would bear no relationship to each other. But when the paths of the two photons were properly adjusted and the results compared, the independent decisions by the paired photons always matched, even though there was no physical way for them to communicate with each other.  Entangled particles are identical entities that share common origins and properties, and remain in instantaneous touch with each other, no matter how wide the gap between them [in this case 7 miles].  Albert Einstein sneered at the very possibility of such a thing, calling it ”spooky action at a distance.” Scientists still (somewhat shamefacedly) speak of the ”magic” of ”quantum weirdness.” And yet all experiments in recent years have shown that Einstein was wrong and that action at a distance is real.”

Italian researchers, DR. BRUNO BORDONI and Dr. Marta Simonelli, recently published a short but well-bibbed paper in the journal, Cureus, titled The Awareness of the Fascial System.  The gist of the treatise was that “Each cell communicates with the other cells by sending and receiving signals; this concept is a part of quantum physics and it is known as quantum entanglement… A fascial cell has not only memory but also the awareness of the mechanometabolic information it feels, and it has the anticipatory predisposition in preparing itself for alteration of its natural environment.”  Why is this such a big deal?  Because these authors state (and I would agree), “Cellular behaviour and the inclusion of quantum physics background are hardly being considered to find out what happens between the operator and the patient during a manual physical contact.”  This may account for fascia being described as the root of all sickness and disease (HERE).

One of the first things the authors did was to describe FASCIA in terms of “salutogenic homeostasis“.  HOMEOSTASIS describes your body in perfect metabolic balance.  Salutogenic homeostasis is a term that instead depicts an approach focused on specific things that support health and well being as opposed to focusing on things that disrupt health and cause disease.  The next factor mentioned was something called INTEROCEPTON.  Related to PROPRIOCEPTION — the body’s ability to perceive it’s spatial and positional relationship to the external world — interoception refers to the body’s ability to sense what’s going on in its internal environment.  Listen to how a team of Belgian, German, and Australian researchers described the phenomenon in 2016’s On the Origin of Interoception (Frontiers in Psychology).

“Over the course of a century, the meaning of interoception has changed from the restrictive to the inclusive. In its inclusive sense, it bears relevance to every individual via its link to emotion, decision making, time-perception, health, pain, and various other areas of life. While the label for the perception of the body state changes over time, the need for an overarching concept remains. Many aspects can make any particular interoceptive sensation unique and distinct from any other interoceptive sensation. This can range from the sense of agency, to the physical cause of a sensation, the ontogenetic origin, the efferent [motor] innervation, and afferent [sensory] pathways of the tissue involved amongst others. In its overarching meaning, interoception primarily is a product of the central nervous system, a construct based on an integration of various sources, not per se including afferent information.”

Just last year Bordoni wrote a paper on this specific topic in Complementary Medicine Research that was titled Emotions in Motion; Myofascial Interoception, which stated, “What is still missing [from most therapeutic approaches] is the awareness that the body is also emotion. The myofascial continuum is able to stimulate the areas of the brain that deal with the emotional state, and manual treatment activates the interoceptive system.”  In today’s paper, Bordoni described how this occurs. “The [fascial] continuum constantly transmits and receives mechanometabolic information that can influence the shape and function of the entire body. These afferent [sensory] / efferent [motor] impulses come from the fascia and the tissues that are not considered as part of the fascia in a bi-univocal mode.” 

This is why, as I have shown my readers repeatedly, fascia has the ability to act as a SECOND NERVOUS SYSTEM.  In fact, because of the massive volume and type of information that fascia conveys, I have heard some experts argue that MECHANOTRANSDUCTION could allow fascia to accurately be described the body’s primary mode of communication, with the nervous system coming in second place (and the GUT’S ENTERIC SYSTEM likely coming in third).  Much of this is due to something known as RAIN (Rapid Adaptability of the Internal Network) made possible by the fluid portion of fascia (HERE).

“The nervous system does not regulate the morphological features of the fascial system. The latter is a holobiont, an asymptotic behaviour between the mechanical environment inside and outside the cell and the modification of the environment itself.  A non-movement syntropic is based on a heuristic basis: the maximum configuration of the order and at the same time maximum differentiation with the aim to have access to all information. Tissues use a stigmergic communication through a stochastic process to achieve optimal adaptation strategies; tissues change their characteristics and the means of transmission of external information inward. It is not only about a tissue, but it is, in fact, an awareness. The article discusses the fascial cellular response modality to mechanical stimuli and the possible influence on the fascial tissue by a manual palpation during a manual treatment, in terms of quantum physics and physiology.”

In other words, the shape and configuration of fascia is something it does based on it’s mechanical environment, for the express purpose of optimizing both it’s physical properties and optimizing its ability to pass information throughout the body.  One action, leads to another, which leads to another, resulting in a type of communication that innately creates amazingly complicated structures, and at least at times, does so seemingly spontaneously.  Thus, the whole is far greater than the sum of its individual parts, and is at least part of what makes studying fascia in cadavers and in vitro (outside of the living organism in a petri dish or test tube) so difficult and inaccurate.

So; not only are tissues and cells are aware of other tissues and cells via traditional means such as that can be explained purely via mechanical, electrical or biomagnetic means, but Bordoni argues that they are likely aware of each other in a manner similar to the “entanglement” seen in Dr. Nicolas Gisin’s twin-photon experiment at the University of Geneva.  This is the astounding beauty and mystery of quantum mechanics, with the end result, as Bordoni states through the title of his paper, that fascia is “aware“. 

Despite a host of factors that Bordoni and Simonelli could not prove or were not certain of (mostly specific quantum mechanisms that physicists still do not understand even though they can observe them), they said, “What we know for sure is that manual approaches to tissues can alter the cellular behaviour of the fascial system.”  That, folks, is why bodyworkers do what they do, and why I feel I have a PRETTY GOOD HANDLE ON WHAT IT TAKES to help people living with chronic pain start the process of taking their life back.  Just before invoking EPIGENETICS, Bordoni spoke of this awareness in terms of tissue memory.

“Mechanical events suffered by the fascial holobiont are actively maintained in its memory, with the aim of being already predisposed to a new action of the same stressors. A fascial cell has not only memory, but also has the awareness of the mechanometabolic information it feels, and it has the anticipatory predisposition in preparing itself for alteration of its natural intra- and extracellular milieu. A cellular genome can monitor itself in response to mechano-metabolic stimuli, obtaining information not only from the extracellular matrix (ECM) but also from other cells and tissues.”

The paper that Bordoni cited for the first part of this paragraph was a 2014 paper (Does Fascia Hold Memories?) by a fellow Italian osteopath named Paolo Tozzi, that was published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.  In this paper, Paolo made the case that what we essentially refer to as “memory” is based on quantum physics and contained in water, chemicals, the fascial structure (TENSEGRITY), the neurofascia, the ECM, microtubules, FIBROBLASTS, and others, even though we don’t have a good grasp on how it actually works.  Dr. Paolo ended with this fascinating “hypothesis” that is right in line with the quantum physics that Bordoni has been talking about.

“There is increasing evidence that organisms may communicate between cells and tissues by electromagnetic radiations, phonons and photons. Biophotons are believed to be emitted from a coherent photon field within the living system that may work as an energy (and possibly as a memory) storage field. It appears then that the body matrix, as a continuous physical and energetic system, is capable of conducting message units in the form of electrons, vibrations, protons, photons, phonons. It is therefore an informational network that distributes regulatory signals throughout the body, coordinating cellular and extracellular activities involved in growth, morphogenesis and regeneration. A yet more interesting possibility is that the liquid crystalline continuum may function as a quantum holographic medium, recording the interference patterns of local activities interacting with a globally coherent field. Holographic memory is distributed globally and yet can be accessed and recovered locally. Possibly during bodywork, the interaction of vibrational, biomagnetic and bioelectric fields between therapist and client may allow an exchange of information about the history and the present status of the living matrix. The information encoded in cell and tissue structure and activity may be read holographically, by tuning to the appropriate frequencies. This may even lead to a recall of past traumas and of an array of related sensations. The result may be the restoration, balancing, and tuning of resonant vibratory circuits.”

Bordoni went on to talk about parts of the cell that are responsible for carrying both electric and non-electric messaging; the CELL MEMBRANE, the cytoskeleton, and the microtubules.  Cell membranes are polarized, meaning they conduct electric charges.  When tissue undergoes deformation, whether the deformation is in the form of an injury, like say a WHIPLASH, or the subsequent treatment thereof (HERE) it is polarized / depolarized, creating a messaging system that can, in certain cases, travel at speeds of almost 400 feet per second — just a bit longer than a football field with both endzones.  Thanks to the liquid portion of fascia and the fact that fascia is literally what connects you to every other part of you, fascia-based messaging can travel at the speed of sound in water —- over 5,000 feet per second or about 12 times faster than the very fastest electrical messages (something I talked about HERE).  Dr. B talked about another type of messaging system that can take hours.  Here is what he said about fascial messaging as it relates to tissue memory.

“Cell deformation by intrinsic forces could give rise to very fast or extremely slow messages. We can assume that palpation can create mechanical stresses that continue over time. Cells are deformed following vectors, as the shape of the man’s footprinted in the sand. Cellular morphology affects the extracellular matrix shape, influencing how the mechanometabolic resulting message will be transported: slow, fast or conditioning its direction. Probably this kind of “mirror” behaviour would allow the cell to better respond to stress solicitation, improving its adaptation. The cytoskeleton plays an important role for cell conformational memory.”

The end result of the tissue messaging and tissue memory is that, “the cell can change its morphology [shape, form, structure, pattern, size, etc] in real time.  The DNA adapts itself to cellular morphological changes, increasing the transcription of genes activated by specific regions of DNA which are sensitive to the flow of electromagnetic energy: electromagnetic response elements or EMRE. The deformation of the cellular structures also activates the transcription of other genes, which are specific to a mechanical stimulus.”  What does this mean in English?  It means that even though I don’t really know jack about quantum physics or the biochemical minutiae of fascia, I can use general principles of TISSUE DEFORMATION to get THESE SORTS OF AMAZING RESULTS on a day-to-day basis.  In fact, THIS METHOD USUALLY WORKS SO WELL that when it doesn’t, it leaves me perplexed, wondering what I missed or failed to account for.

If you want to see what it may take to start the process of successfully addressing some of the most commonly-seen underlying causes of pain and disease (fortunately, they are usually the same), HERE is the post for you to browse.  And if today’s post resonated with you, be sure and make sure it makes the rounds on FACEBOOK, as it’s still the easiest way I know to reach the people you love and care about most.

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