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Fascia…where did we go wrong? …discussing fascia, connective tissue, BioFlow, & the continuum

August 28, 2012

As with most trending subjects in the world of manual therapy and/or training, the term ‘fascia‘ seems to have fallen into the realm of ‘proprioception,’ ‘kinetic chain,’ ‘core,’ ‘bare foot technology,’ etc., as terms whose meaning has been watered down to have little to no meaning.  Put a ‘sexy’ concept into the minds of the masses and it will ultimately end up with this fate.  Specifically regarding ‘fascia,’ we have now seen a string of new ‘fascial’ systems (most of which are old systems which seem to have simply jumped ship and changed focus) that focus on the most basic constructs of what is in reality a more far reaching, complicated system.  The reason for this can be, at least in part, confusion of nomenclature.  As noted by Langevin “The modern reader and author need to be aware of possible ambiguities and misunderstandings stemming from different meanings of the word “fascia” (in Communicating About Fascia: History, Pitfalls, and Recommendations, 2009).

When I originally created the Functional Range Release (F.R.) ® system, I did so with the intend to amalgamate the entire spectrum of ‘treatable’ tissues in such a way to provide a unified approach to soft tissue injury management under the guide of literature (mostly in response to my lack of enthusiasm to the approaches available at the time).  I suppose to any theoretical physics fans (like myself), I sought a unified construct to explain/describe our target….akin to the development of ‘Super String Theory’ which pulled gravity together with the other major 3 fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak, strong).  Thus the approach was wide spread, and developed not only to explain what is occuring on a gross tissue level, but also at the cellular level.

The video below was taken at the 2012 Ido Portal Movement Camp – In it, I briefly lecture on the over-riding concept of ‘Connective Tissue‘ (which includes the traditional definition of ‘fascia‘) and how it accounts for the continuity of the human biological system.  I also mention the concept of “BioFlow,” a term that I coined to ‘replace’ the term “Biomechanics” as I believe that the word ‘mechanics’ retracts from the continuity of the human system, especially with regards to the description of motion.

All of these concepts will be described in greater detail in the soon to be released FUNCTIONAL RANGE CONDITIONING (FRC) system/workshops and will have an increased focus in any FAP/FR seminars moving forward – briefly here, the idea is that because all connective tissues originate from a common precursor cell type (fibroblast), the responses of the ‘producer’ cells (tenocytes, chondroblasts, osteoblasts, desmocytes, etc) to externally imparted loads is similar.  Such stimulations lead to an alteration in the composition of the main elements of CT – Cells, Fibers, Ground Substance (composition change includes altered % of each component, as well as % make up of each component).  This fact also better describes the concept of tissue continuity…rather than using the garbage catch phrase ‘kinetic chain.’  The concept explained in the video more accurately describe the original intent with my utilization of the term fascia – which intended to account for tissue ‘flow’ ……more to come.  Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and share.


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