If there’s one thing smart athletes like to talk about, it’s fascia. Long undervalued and overlooked it’s a hugely important, fascinating, and misunderstood network of connective tissue that extends from beneath the skin to the organs and brain themselves — and we still know relatively little about it. As researcher Robert Schleip puts it, anatomists used to impatiently remove the colorless, sticky tissue to look at the “real” organs.
Accounting for 20 percent of our bodyweight, we now know that it’s an important part of maintaining athleticism and mobility as well as keeping pain and nerve damage at bay, issues that are of critical importance to strength athletes. That’s why you need to watch this video, and you need to do it soon because the broadcaster has only made it available until August 21, 2018.
There are a lot of great tidbits in this documentary from German public broadcast network Deutsche Welle, and if you think there’s nothing for you to learn here you’re probably overconfident. Groundbreaking researchers and physical therapists from across the globe are interviewed, explaining that, “neurology, body perception, force transmission, elasticity, wound healing, there is scarcely a field in which fascia does not play a major role.”
The Mysterious World Under the Skin includes some of the first ever video footage of fascia tissue (it looks a lot like spiderwebs), the first ever “atlas” of fascia, compelling data suggesting that it’s responsible for much of the population’s unexplained back pain, and new studies that show fascia responding to movement by gliding to and fro in distant parts of the body.
The main take home message: we always saw fascia as chaotic and inexplicable, but new research is helping us learn more about our bodies than we thought there was to know. If you want to be smart about self care, there’s something for you here.
Featured image via DW Documentary on YouTube.