Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Ch. 11), we found that the rib cage had shifted to the
left, dropping the support out from under the right
shoulder (a similar pattern can be seen in Fig. In. 8,
p. 5). The rib cage had moved to the left to take weight
off the right foot. The right foot had not taken its share
of the weight since a mild skiing injury to the medial
side of the knee three years earlier. The whole pattern
was now set into the neuromyofascial webbing.
By working manually with the (by now long-healed
but not yet resolved) tissues of the knee and lower leg,
then with the quadratus lumborum, iliocostalis, and
other determinants of rib cage position, we were able
to support the right shoulder from below, so that it no
longer 'hung' from the neck. The woman was able to
point and click to her heart's content without any recur-
rence of her 'work-related' problem.
In summary, we may view the connective tissue as a
living, responsive, semiconducting crystal lattice matrix,
storing and distributing mechanical information. As one
of the three anatomic networks that govern and coordi-
nate the entire body, the ECM can be seen as a kind of
metamembrane, according to Deane Juhan. 7 4 Just as the
membrane is now seen to envelop the inside as well as
the surface of a cell, our fibrous metamembrane sur-
rounds and invests all our cells, our tissues, our organs,
and ourselves. We develop this idea further in the
section on embryology below.
(Fig. 1.29). We could as easily speak of a single 'neuro-
myofascial' web that would encompass all three of these
networks acting singly to respond to the changes in the
environment. 7 5 We cannot entirely divorce the mecha-
nical communication of the fibrous net from the
neurological communication that would occur nearly
simultaneously. Likewise, neither of these networks can
be considered separately from the fluid chemistry that
brings the nourishment that allows each of them to
work in the first place. In fact, each and every biological
system is fundamentally a fluid chemical system depen-
dent on flow.
Persisting, then, in this metaphor for one more image,
each system has a set of 'ambassadors' that run in both
directions, with the ability to alter the state of the other
systems and keep them inter-informed (Fig. 1.30). The
hormones and neurotransmitters inform the circulatory
net what the neural net is 'thinking'; neuropeptides and
other hormone-like chemicals keep the nervous system
up to date in what the circulatory system is 'feeling'. The
circulatory net feeds proteins to the fibrous net and
maintains turgor within the pressure-system bags within
the body; the fibrous net guides the flow of fluids, allow-
ing and restricting for better or worse as we have
described above. It also affects the tonus of the myofi-
broblasts through fluid chemistry, as we shall describe
below in the tensegrity section.
The nervous system feeds into the fibrous system by
means of the motor nerves that change the tonus of
muscles. Perhaps the most interesting leg of this three-
legged stool for the clinician is the set of mechanorecep-
tors that feed information from the fascial net back to
the nervous system. This fascial network is the largest
'sense organ' in the body, dwarfing even the eyes or ears
All systems intertwine
Of course, examining these holistic networks apart from
each other has been just another reductionist analytical
trick - they always are interacting, and always have
within the individual and the species, time out of mind
Fig. 1.29 The neural, vascular, and fascial systems run parallel in the neurovascular bundles (A) that extend the viscera out into the
limbs and farther recesses of the body, with the connective and neural tissues forging the way. When they reach their destination,
however, they spread into three enmeshed networks all occupying the same space (B).
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