When I first learned about connective tissue I was told it was an “accessory tissue”. What in the hell does that even mean? Why would my body have any accessory item in it at all? It’s like calling the tissue jewelry. You don’t need it, it’s just there to make things pretty. NOT TRUE.
Today, for the very first time on national television, human fascia from a living body will be viewed by all that tune in on the Dr. Oz show. I’ve been very privileged to be a part of a growing network of “fascianatos” – people desiring to understand how the human body sustains its integrity, longevity, and overall good health. Science is just scratching the surface to explain this relatively unstudied element of the human body – fascia.
Pain is a construct of the mind. The brain creates the sense of pain as a way to let you know something is wrong and the brain can’t figure out what it is. It’s trying to point out a communication error in your body so you will stop and help out. This is an amazing, protective response the brain produces as a way to preserve life.
I admit it. I am a bit obsessed with fascia. That's not really accurate. It's more than fascia, in fact, it's not fascia as it is defined in text today that I am intrigued with. I am curious and well versed in the connective tissue system and the collagen matrix that architecturally, psychically, and mechanically supports, protects, and keeps us stable over our lifetime.
Within our body is a network that is not only surrounding every structure to give it shape and protection but a system that is working independent of biomechanical movement. It reacts, adapts, conforms, mutates, and creates tensional integrity of our entire being.
As opposed to a lint brush, a lymph brush or “dry brush” is used to help a vital body system do its many jobs more efficiently. The lymphatic system aids the immune system in destroying pathogens and filtering waste, removing excess fluid, debris, dead blood cells, cancer cells, and toxins in the cells, tissues, and spaces between cells found everywhere in our body - especially our connective tissue. The lymph also works with the circulatory system to deliver nutrients, oxygen, and hormones from the blood to the cells that make up the many tissues of the body including our muscles.
“Water water water. Is it really that important that I drink it? I mean, can’t I just drink coffee and tea… or soda… maybe some vodka…or any liquid really?
See, even tuna has fascia! What a perfect image of the "fuzz" Gil Hedley is now rather famous for in his "Fuzz Speech" you can find on Youtube. He talks about how every morning when you move and stretch to wake up, the fuzz melts and reliquifies.
It’s rare to meet true pioneers and leaders in any industry I am sure but to meet a female leader in the fitness industry… this is rare. But there are a few. Although I had met her a few times before, last year at the IDEA World Convention who was sitting in the front row? Debbie Rosas.
Debbie Rosas is the co-creator and founder of Nia. Credited with establishing the mind-body fitness category, she is a leading fitness innovator, teacher, author, choreographer, performer, healer and artist whose work greatly influences the lives of thousands of women and men worldwide. Bottom line, if it wasn’t for her persistence, mind-body in fitness would never be where it is today.
It was truly a treat for me to hear her views on the dynamics of the fitness industry. We discussed topics like fitness conventions, presenters, programs, and why, even though so many people who participate in fitness are women why there are so few women leaders in our industry.
Debbie is a leader who, in the 80’s encouraged key industry leaders to bring yoga and other mind-body programs into conventional fitness education. I kid you not, when it comes to pioneers and pioneering methods of what I call “movement awareness education” in fitness, Debbie Rosas and her method NIA are at the top of the list. But in trying to bring concepts of movement – flowing, whole-body movement into mainstream fitness in the 80’s wasn’t easy.
Today, there are thousands of NIA instructors all over the world, her community is vast, and her philosophies stay as the foundation for all of her instructors. It's an impressive history behind NIA and Debbie. She's truly an inspiration - and REAL.
I'm really honored that she would write a blog about me. During a dinner together she asked me about Ida Rolf and her philosophies and techniques. I guess my comments stuck in her mind enough to blog about the conversation. The reality is, although I have my brain wrapped around needing to have science to validate so much of what I understand about the human body, her methods were applying the answers we have today without it. Like Ida, much of how we interpret whole-body movement is based upon the primary fundamental patterns we obtained in our developmental phase of life. Debbie puts that concept into her work which is why it's so effective and translatable to so many people. If you haven't tried, click on the link and see how easy it is to find it everywhere! Why even one of our MELT instructors, Sara Bethell, is certified in the method! Check it out!
So some people think the connective tissue is just an inactive, passive, packing material in the human body. Just a tissue that is around muscles and bones giving each important thing its own space and autonomy yet providing inherent connection.
When it comes to pain symptoms in they body I am here to tell you, the connective tissue is no passive system. This tissue can cause you pain. It has been suggested by new research that the connective tissue has the ability to damage, adapt, and even react to our internal and external environment. Don't believe it? Well, consider this. For the thousands of people who have ever been diagnosed by their doctor as having: plantar fasciitis (heel pain), IT band syndrome, tennis elbow even fibromyalgia, are all... are you ready for this... connective tissue disorders or issues. All of those things, the plantar fascia, the iliotibial band, the biceptial aponeurosis, and the fibrous myofascia are all connective tissue. When this tissue is damaged, it hurts... a lot. This isn't a muscle issue... it's a connective tissue issue!
So how can you help heal your connective tissue pain? You need to MELT! MELTing is a self-treatment technique that rejuvenates the connective tissue around your muscles and bones. Once thought to be an inactive, unimportant tissue has been suggested to be one of the missing links to long-term wellness and longevity. To tap into this system, we used to think we had to go to see a manual therapist or hands-on specialist to access this resourceful tissue and induce a change in it. And only when this tissue is damaged do people take action to do something about it in the first place. But now you can learn how to stay proactive and rejuvenate this tissue so it feels better.
In the next few months we will have more downloads, and audio files that you can use to reconnect to this vital tissue! Get MELTed and get out of pain!!