There is growing research providing evidence that connective tissue fascia is important to health. I want to tackle each aspect research into fascia, piece by piece, in this blog.
A great place to start is with the work of Thomas Myers. Mr. Myers has a lifetime of studying the structure of the body and the fascial network. He is the author and creator of Anatomy Trains, a comprehensive study of fascia.
Part of the work Mr. Myers has done with Anatomy Trains is extensive dissections of the body — not muscle by muscle — but along lines of tension within the fascia.
Myers explains his work as follows:
“…all our muscles have been analyzed as if they were separate units within the body. This idea...is so pervasive, that it is hard to think in any other way. But in fact all the muscle tissue is embedded within the single, ubiquitous fascial webbing of the extracellular matrix (ECM).”
“The Anatomy Trains concept maps out these [connections] within the body — following the grain of muscle and fascia to see what links with what."
His dissection results are amazing, beautiful, and important for acupuncturists.
When the body is dissected along "lines of tension and pull" we can see patterns incredibly similar to acupuncture channels. In this published article we can clearly see similarities to the Urinary Bladder Channel, the Stomach Channel and the Gallbladder Channel.
The more refined images of fascial dissections show the familiar branching we are accustomed to within acupuncture. The primary acupuncture channels, which branch into smaller more delicate channels, share a similar structure to what is seen with fascia.