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What is Fascia?

Fasciae are tendons, membranes and connective tissues that surround muscles and organs, dividing, protecting and keeping them in space. They are called ”organs of shape”. Each kind of disease, operation or injury is affecting fascia. A lack of movement or stereotypical patterns of movement as well as illness can lead to a loss of elasticity and plasticity. This may lead to further stiffness, stronger reduction of movement and motility, and pain, both in the musculo-sceletal system and in the organs. Nowadays fascia is known to provide the matrix for the immune-system as well as for the distribution of nutrients, water and blood in the body. As they contain most of the proprioceptors, they are our biggest sensory organ and thus part of the nervous system. They are likely to be involved in the development and chronicity of pain.

Until some years ago, fascia has mainly been treated as “superfluous filling” between the more interesting structures.

fascia basics download

Only in recent years researchers began to focus on fascia, driven by manual, alternative therapies but also by sports science and other fields. Fascia is influenced by massage, many of the physiotherapist’s methods, Bowen Therapy, acupuncture for example and also by movement like Yoga, dancing, sports etc. They might also play an important role in the body-awareness-techniques (Feldenkrais, Alexander-Technik, intendons®, Grinberg Method® etc).

So most of the known fascia related techniques are techniques following pragmatic medical experience, and their basis is only recently being researched:

Having been involved for Massage, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, NMT and Bowentherapy since over 20 years and being interested in fascia since then turned me into a “fascionada” and specialist for this amazing tissue.

Sehne mit verschiedenen Faszienschichten, darunter Muskel (Rind)

Fascia from a bull leg tendon.
© Fascia Research Society. Photography by Thomas Stephan.

Kräftige, gerichtete Kollagenfasern (Sehnenplatte) auf Muskel (Rind)

Fascia from a turkey thigh.
© Fascia Research Society. Photography by Thomas Stephan.


Fascia from a turkey thigh, dense connecting tissue.
© Fascia Research Society. Photography by Thomas Stephan.