The Fascia by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still

I write at length of the universality of the fascia to impress the reader with the idea that this connecting substance must be free at all parts to receive and discharge all fluids, and to appropriate and use them in sustaining animal life, and eject all impurities, that health may not be impaired by dead and poisonous fluids. A knowledge of the universal extent of the fascia is imperative, and is one of the greatest aids to the person who seeks the cause of disease.

—Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy

I know of no part of the body that equals the fascia as a hunting-ground. I believe that more rich golden thoughts will appear to the mind’s eye as the study of the fascia is pursued than of any other division of the body.

—Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy

The Fuzz Speech


Check out Dr. Gil Hedley, anatomist, on You Tube and his anotomical description of the fascial 'fuzz' that gets in between tissues, and stiffens as we lack movement and brings on the aging process.




The term fascia is a Latin word that means "band" or "bandage." It is used when we are discussing fibrous connective structures that don't have a more specific definition. You would be safe to think of fascia as any connective tissue that doesn't have a more specific name. 

Fascia can vary in thickness and density depending upon where it is, and what it is being used for. Often it is found in sheets. There is a type of fascia located just beneath the surface of the skin (called the "superficial fascia" or "hypodermis") and another type directly beneath this (called the "deep fascia"), which is usually tougher and tighter than the superficial fascia. Embedded inside this deep fascia are the tissues of the muscles, the blood vessels, and all the other tubes that wind through the body. A third kind of fascia lines the body's cavities.

In reality,  everything is interconnected, and all the tissues work together. The deep fascia merges with all the other tissues embedded within it. Even the organs cannot be completely separated from the bed of deep fascia. The organs are continuous with the fascia. The muscles are the same. We can make only an arbitrary definition as to what is muscle tissue and what is deep fascia. They are actually one continuum. What we do to one, we do to all. For this reason some modern texts and body workers prefer to use the term "myofascial" to refer to the muscle and fascia together. After all, it is impossible to contract or stretch our muscles without also compressing or stretching our fascia.

The fascia can make up thirty percent of the tissue in the muscle. There are probably three functions of the intramuscular fascia (or the connective tissue, as it is also called):

  1. It binds the muscle together, while ensuring proper alignment of the muscle fibers, the blood vessels flowing through the muscles, the nerves and other components of the muscle.
  2. It transmits the forces applied to the muscle evenly to all parts of the muscle.
  3. It lubricates the various surfaces that need to move or slide along each other.
These are important functions. It is the fascia that allows the muscle to change shape and lengthen. When we work to increase the range of motion of a muscle, it is not only the muscle fibers (the sarcomeres) that need to be freed up or lengthened; the fascia provides a great deal of the tensile resistance found in a muscle and needs to be released as well.

updated 18.02.24

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