All posts tagged: longoverlooked

Fascia: The long-overlooked tissue that shapes your health

Fascia: The long-overlooked tissue that shapes your health

SCIENTIFIC revelations come from the unlikeliest of places. Like a rat, in a lab, doing a “downward dog” stretch. According to the people who found a way to get rats to do yoga, these creatures benefit from a good stretch as much as we do. In the process, they are revealing the true significance of a body tissue that has been overlooked by science for centuries. The 19th-century anatomist Erasmus Wilson called this tissue – now known as fascia – a natural bandage. In dissection, that is exactly what it looks like: sheets of white, fibrous connective tissue that are strong yet flexible and perfect for keeping muscles and organs in place. They are also sticky, gloopy and get in the way of looking at the muscles, bones and organs they cover. Which explains why, for years, anatomists cut this tissue off, chucked it away and thought little more about it. Recently, though, researchers have begun to take a fresh look at fascia and are finding that it is anything but an inert wrapping. Instead, …