An example of fascial tissue is the white membrane that surrounds a leg of lamb.
If you don’t like looking at meat, have a look at the orange above. Yes, there is lovely juicy orange flesh. Notice though that the orange flesh is separated into “portions” by thin but tough white material (the pith).
The pith is equivalent to fascia. It supports and separates the sections of the orange. Not only that but if you look at a section of orange, it is itself comprised on very small “droplets” of orange tissue! Without these smaller partitions, the juice would flow out as soon as you cut the orange. (Partitions within partitions!) Fascia is separating, shaping, and supporting the cells – it makes the orange.
Back to your body. Muscles, bones, organs, vessels are supported, separated, and protected by fascia. Fascial tissue gives the body its shape. It is like a body stocking.
Fascia is not inert. It reacts to trauma and inflammation. It reacts to forces applied to it such as poor posture habits. Fascia shortens and solidifies. The body gradually loses its flexibility. Movements are not as fluid; joints don’t move as easily. The body becomes limited by tight restrictions – like wearing a sweater that is too small!
Because fascia is reactive, what shortens can be lengthened. How? That's for the next blog entry!