Some research about fascia

While there are no articles in English about the technique known as Mechanical Link, there are many, too many to list, articles about fascia, connective tissue and its properties, composition and role in the body.

The text below each of the following citations is a brief paraphrase of the sense of the article. The articles are available for purchase from the publisher, or may be downloaded at no charge at a medical library.

The field of fascia research is quite new. The first Fascia Research Congress was held in 2007. However, the concept of treating the body as a whole, instead of a collection of separate parts has been around a long time. A. T. Still, the father of osteopathy and a man well ahead of his time, said in 1899 "...the fascia is the place to look for cause of disease and the place to consult and begin the action of remedies in all diseases...". Thousands of years earlier, healers in China were treating their patients with acupuncture to balance their whole systems in order to cure their illnesses.

A.T. Still

A. T. Still, M.D.
Father of Osteopathy

Notes on Visceral Adhesions as Fascial Pathology

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2010 Jul;14(3):255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2009.10.005. Epub 2010 Apr 10. Notes on visceral adhesions as fascial pathology. JBMT, Vol 14, Issue 3, July 2010, pp. 255- 261 Gil Hedley

Gil Hedley, Ph.D, has dissected hundreds of gross anatomy specimens in a whole body, rather than regional, approach. This article reports some of his findings from these dissections. Simply put, normal healthy tissue in and surrounding the internal organs allows natural, sliding movement. Internal organs, whether through disease, inflammation and scarring or surgery or other processes, can become 'tied' or adhered to membranes and fascia layers. This can have an impact on normal organ function from trivial to debilitating.

viscera illustration

Engraving of viscera: large and small intestine, bladder.

Fascia and the Mechanism of Acupuncture

Finando S., Finando D., J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2011 Apr;15(2):168-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.03.001. PMID: 21419357

The authors reconsider the current thinking about the mechanism of acupuncture therapy, and suggest that acupuncture may work by its stimulating effect on the fascial system, which is continuous throughout the body. Restrictions or deformations in the fascia impair movement, therefore function is impaired.

acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture treatment

Tensegrity and Mechanotransduction

Ingber, D., Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (2008) doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2008.04.038

Mechanotransduction is defined as how cells sense mechanical forces and convert them to changes in biochemistry. Our entire bodies use 'tensegrity architecture', (a combination of tension and integrity) for stability and communication. Changes in fascial structure is communicated instantly on both a cellular and molecular level.

tensegrity illustration

An example of a tensegrity structure

Twenty-Year-Old Pathogenic "Active" Postsurgical Scar:

A Case Study of a Patient with Persistent Right Lower Quadrant Pain
Kobesova, A., Morris, C., Lewit, K., Safarova, M., Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (2007) doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2007.01.005

A case study of a patient with persistent abdominal and low back pain who experienced relief after manual therapy on an old appendectomy scar. This is consistent with my clinical experience.

hysterectomy scar

Mature hysterectomy scar, contributor to hip pain.

Fascia: A missing link in our understanding of the pathology of fibromyalgia

Liptan, G., Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, (2009) doi:10,1016/j.jbmt.2009.08.003

The cause of fibromyalgia (FM) is unclear, though there is evidence that people who suffer from FM may have chronic excess tension in their fascial/connective system, which makes them more sensitive and reactive to painful stimulation. Manipulative therapy that addresses this system seem to be more effective than painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs for FM patients.

Connective Tissue: a body-wide signaling network?

Langevin, HM, Med Hypotheses. 2006;66(6):1074-7. Epub 2006 Feb 17.

Connective tissue surrounds and penetrates and communicates with all other tissues (e.g. lung, intestine, nerves, blood vessels). It can therefore affect and be affected by the function of any organ system. Knowledge of the existence of such a connective, communicating network may influence our understanding of health and disease.

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The Secret Life of Fascia

Goss, Kim

Why this complex connective tissue is at the forefront of medical research.

The fascia: the forgotten structure.

Ital J Anat Embryol. 2011;116(3):127-38.

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