Fuzzy Fascia: The Kudzu of the Body

***Warning: The video below includes images from an anatomy cadaver class. If cadaver photos or video bothers you, please do not watch the link below. However, if you’re like me and fascinated by tissue in general, you’re gonna love this!***

Ever wonder what fascia looks like in the tissue? I mean actually inside the body?

I talk about fascia all the time with my clients. Fascia is the saran wrap that holds us all together. It surrounds every muscle, every bone, every ligament, every organ, and every blood vessel. It channels motion and force through the tissues of the body to aid or impinge movement. Its presence in the tissues of the body is pervasive, and its effect is as well.

Some researchers and bodyworkers think it’s as important if not more important than muscles the part it plays in pain and dysfunction.

I often describe it as the shiny, partially translucent film you’ll see when you’re working with a whole chicken. It attaches the skin to the muscle, and the muscles to one another and to the bones. But in this video, you’ll see what it looks like in the human body itself:

Pretty cool, huh?

Each night, as we sleep, fascia grows tiny tendrils. Movement melts the fascial growth and keeps muscles sliding freely where needed, but if you’re not stretching about as you wake, or if your lifestyle is very sedentary, these tendrils don’t break up.  This causes some of that stiffness you feel in the morning. The stiffness and immobility we attribute to age may be due to lack of stretching and movement more than any other factor.

So, get up, and move it! Get rid of the fuzz and start your day with movement and stretching!

Please note: Although the title of the post refers to kudzu, in no way is fascia a bad thing in the body – it is critical to the function of the body and to movement and stability.  Fascia is a good thing. We just want to make sure we’re moving enough to keep the fascia loose and gliding where needed.

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