WHAT IS CONNECTIVE TISSUE?
WHAT IS CONNECTIVE TISSUE (a.k.a. FASCIA)?
The Connective Tissue system is a living organ; whose purpose it to provide:
Rapid communication between different parts of the body
Supports to the body (a.k.a. TENSEGRITY) [maxbutton id=”10″]
Organizes various forms of soft tissue
Proprioception to the postural system
Connective Tissue is primarily composed of Collagen, and is often overlooked and misunderstood by the medical community, therapists and trainers alike. (LEARN “WHY HAS FASCIA BEEN OVERLOOKED?”) [maxbutton id=”7″]
Connective tissue is an extensive web-like matrix that weaves throughout the body, taking on different forms, (i.e. includes tendons, ligaments, organs, bones, nerve, visceral organ, muscle, fat & other tissue), in a thin translucent layer of fibrous tissue.
“Fascia is contained in all tissue, in different densities, but not all tissue is contained in all fascia”
The vascular system, with all other types of tissue stripped away.
“Connective tissue takes on a similar form to the layers of an Onionskin. As you peel the skin, it reveals another layer of tissue”
Connective tissue forms a 3-Dimensional unified system or network, whose functions include giving us shape and lifting us up against the downward pull of gravity. Think of connective tissue like a “tight sweater”. When you tug on one area, you are actually tugging the whole
When our tissues, both soft and hard (bone), resist gravity or another force they undergo physical stress.
Connective tissue is highly responsive to this stress. It is very responsive to habitual holding patterns and stress demands in the body, quickly adding more tissue when stress in an area increases. This is called Davis’s Law for soft tissue and Wolf’s Law for bone. Both laws state: that tissue is laid down along lines of stress.
Factors such as: Trauma, illness, gravitational imbalances, toxins, one-side dominant sporting activities (i.e. tennis, golf, hockey and the like), and everyday stress, can create abnormal tension patterns. Too much of these “stressors”, in any combination or in isolation, will result in, connective tissue becoming dense, thicker, and dehydrated. The outcome of which, can be felt as chronic pain, stiffness, and impaired movement dysfunction. Conversely, healthy connective tissue is flexible, elastic, has plasticity, has length and is well hydrated. The health and function of all joints & muscles are direct result of the condition of your fascia.
Improper Exercise (i.e. “the right exercise at the wrong time”) will create an imbalance in the fascia. Ideal exercise will align and improve your fascia. It will create the appropriate tension patterns to maintain correct postural alignment.
The reduction or removal of connective tissue (i.e. tension patterns) is thought to be induced by a piezoelectric field resulting from the applied stress. Since both deposition and removal occur continually, a piezoelectric suppression of removal changes the local balance toward more accumulation of tissue. Similarly, lack of regular applied stress changes the balance toward loss of tissue. This concept motivates the use of weight-bearing exercises, for example, to help prevent osteoporosis
It takes roughly 10 times longer for connective tissue to regenerate after a heavy bout of strength training. Muscle will require roughly 3 days to recover.
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