Fascia

By Kiana Z.

Fascia, the only tissue which can modify its consistency under stress, is starting to be discovered by scientists in the US and Italy, and the results so far are shocking.

Fascia is a layered tissue that surrounds tissues and organs. Described as the “casing” of the body, fascia encapsulates organs, muscles, and tissues. It is also the only tissue in the body to change its density when under stress, which can greatly affect diseases.

Fascia is said to have a considerable effect on diseases like lymphedema and most types of cancers. However, just as fascia may negatively affect these diseases, it also has great potential for easing and curing them.

Fascia can help cure lymphedema, the swelling in the arms and legs caused by removal or damage to the lymph nodes, by modifying its consistency to tone down swelling and decrease lymphatic fluid flow. These effects can also decrease gastrointestinal problems, like bloating, acid reflux, and constipation.

Fascia is fairly hard to discern, as it is almost invisible. Carla Stecco, a professor of human anatomy and an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Padova in Italy describes fascia as, “Thin and almost translucent, fascia looks like white paper.”

Fascia has three layers: surface fascia, deep fascia, and epimysial fascia. Surface fascia is beneath the skin, while deep fascia is past the fat cells in the body. Epimysial fascia coats the muscles. These layers of fascia are made up of varying collagen and cell types, as well as elastin, a protein in connective tissue.

Fascia is wildly popular for its supposed effect on the body, one that is greatly effective and quick. Its effect is described as astounding by many, and many people compare its influence on the body to surgery or prescription drugs. Frederick Ginnell, a professor of cell biology at UT Southwestern Medical School, states, “I think that understanding the science of fascia is really important for people who are investigating different ways of being healthy other than surgery or drugs.”

Even with all of the groundbreaking discoveries made about fascia, scientists have only reached the “tip of the iceberg”. Scientists are finally unlocking the secrets of this greatly influential connective tissue, one that is expected to make headlines in the future by many scientists.

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