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The answer is in the fascia. Your body is held upright in structure by a fascinating interconnected web weaved of a liquid crystalline matrix called fascia. Because of it's crystalline property fascia acts as the conductor and transmitter of external/internal energy and light. It is the 'feeling body'. It carries the nervous system and circulation system and organs in a protective coat. It is the tissue responsible for sensations such as goosebumps or hair standing on end when spooked or the sudden rapid beating of the heart when nervous or excited. Fascia responds to trauma whether it be physical, emotional or mental by contracting in an effort to protect. Unfortunately this response is counterintuitive because it leads to inflammation and thus blockage. However fascia is capable of structural changes unlike muscle tissue where its function is to contract upon command otherwise muscle should be in a complete relaxed state. Rather than a muscle release, what is actually being released in structural bodywork is a fascial release. The fascia then releases the muscle. Fascia is like your body wrapped in saran wrap in one continuous piece encasing all organs and attaching body parts to bone. It's certainly frustrating when you get saran wrap tangled up, just as it is when fascia gets twisted and stuck or contracted. Muscle tissue gets strangled, nerves get pinched, flow of fluids get obstructed such as blood and lymph creating an inflammatory response from the body. By way of the fascial structure the physical proof is there to be researched and recorded in modelling how and why the holistic health model can be incredibly effective such as rolfing and energy healing. Within the fascial structure also live the answers to, and thus solutions to, all chronic inflammation and pain.
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The 12 main Chinese meridians and 8 strangeflows are energetic highways with scenic rest points that vital life force travels in. The 8 strangeflows is unique in that they are like the bird's eye view overseeing the 12 meridians so when working with the 8 it also is having an effect on the 12. This ancient healing art established and supports the ideas of the latest scientific research that we are foremost energetic in nature. Acupressure is effective in bringing balance and harmonizing the energetic body by releasing the dammed up areas of excessive energy so that it flows back into the areas that have been starved of chi (also commonly known as prana from Hindu culture meaning life-force energy or bio-plasma in western science). Everyone has heard of the yin (feminine, receptive, dark) and yang (masculine, active, light) principle and this is the fundamental idea in achieving balance through chi. With continuous unobstructed flow of chi, the immune system is enhanced empowering the innate healing mechanisms of the body aiding the circulatory and nervous system as well. The body is a miraculous vehicle where we need not to tell all the parts how to perform its function however we do need to listen to the signs when it speaks to us through pain to take action in order to retain and maintain homeostasis and ease.
This ancient practice for health, peace and fulfillment in integrating your body and mind with soul has everything to do with fascia. Yoga asana postures were developed for the purpose of being able to sit in meditative posture comfortably for hours. So since yoga is to meditation as fascia is to structural changes, we need to look at how structural change is made to be able to sit in the same posture for hours. Ideally there should be minimal effort to be upright if your hips are stacked over your ankles, your shoulders stacked on top of your hips and head stacked in line with the shoulders. Yoga stretching and postures help to bring awareness to proper ALIGNMENT through working out the concept of tensegrity increasing elasticity and strength of the fascial structure, lengthening and toning muscles, at the same time building core strength which is integral for back support. Full RANGE OF MOTION is an indicator of healthy lubricated fascia. Since it is of a liquid crystalline nature fascia can dry up when flow of bodily fluids are blocked. The emphasis on BREATH work helps to open up constricted tissues from the inside out, helping to distribute oxygen and vital fluids to undernourished areas of the body. More space also means more ability to breathe deeply thus developing and holding more chi or prana in the body increasing your overall health, vitality and longevity.