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New (and helpful !) scientific insights in looking at the structure of our body: Tensegrity by Tom Myers

Geplaatst 7 apr. 2017 08:02 door Gerdy C   [ 23 apr. 2017 05:23 bijgewerkt ]
Beware: The video below,  might (even thoroughly :-) change the way you view your own bodily structure (to your advantage).

Tensegrity, a new way of looking at our bodily structure. Tom Myers

Now see for yourself the scientific validity of the model Myers is holding in his hands above See  how this 'thing' works in living human tissue studied under a microscope (these guys must be skilled with their preparations of tissue and their microscopes ...) Have a look how these elastic fascia fibers stretch, release, which is a sort of tearing apart in a breath taking way :-|) and then recombine again in a new way :-)

Living human tissue under the microscope


Let Tom's message inspire you to train your fascia: Get your elasticity up (!) by doing fascia stretching (and forget about muscle stretching).

Tom's advice: Train your elasticity

Advise: Stretch your fascia not your muscles
For those of you who became interested after seeing the material above and who wish to follow Tom's advise and 'train' their fascia a bit,  I'd say: Start from your natural and enjoyable morning stretch, cultivate that a bit into enjoying yourself some more (i.e. over a somewhat 'stretched' period of time ;-). There are very many free programs to be found on YouTube, e.g.

Our Fascia are crowded with sensors
A most important thing to know about fascia is that it is crowded with sensors, providing it with a huge receptive capacity. This must underlie the considerable interest that Tai Chi (push hands/internal art) has for fascia instead of muscles, in that it provides exercises aimed at subtly gauging the amount and the timing of the force coming in by being as 'Zhong' as possible (loosely translated as: relaxed). It is considered to be of such utmost importance that it also teaches 'gauging the fascia of the opponent'. Furthermore it uses the elasticity of the fascia to charge them with elastic power to issue that again. Using elasticity is obviously about delivering Newtonian force, but the art even talks about charging your fascia with yet another non-Newtonian power which can be issued, called Jing. This is a concept unknown to our culture but in recent years bits and pieces can be found on the internet teaching this skill and we are trying to incorporate this in our sabre fencing as well :-)
Here are some important facts:

1- There are  10 times as many sensory receptors in your fascial tissues as there are in your muscles (Stillwell 1957).

The muscles have spindles that measure length change (and over time, rate of length change) in the muscles.
For each spindle, there are about 10 receptors in the surrounding fascia—in the surface epimysium, the tendon and attachment fascia, the nearby ligaments and the superficial layers. These receptors include the Golgi tendon organs that measure load (by measuring the stretch in the fibers), paciniform endings to measure pressure, Ruffini endings to inform the central nervous system of shear forces in the soft tissues, and ubiquitous small interstitial nerve endings that can report on all these plus, apparently, pain (Stecco et al. 2009; Taguchi et al. 2009).

2- It is the fascia that measures how much muscle tension is needed
Think e.g. about sensing the force needed to parry your opponents blade: With this potential in mind it is very much worth the trouble training 'listening skills'

3- You are “listening” to your fascial tissues much more than to your muscles when you say you are feeling your muscles move.


And perhaps the most unusual concept for our Newtonian trained minds, which is quite hard to incorporate comes from a surgeon:
4- Our bones don't actually press against each other....
This comes from Dr. Stephen Levin's personal observation after forty years of doing joint surgery
; there isn't much compressive force at the hyaline cartilage and the synovial membranes. The fluid will get compressed to some extent, but the stronger the muscles are, the more they will actually help the ligaments pull the joint apart.