BE PROUD: WE ARE ALL SPECIAL
As mentioned in Section 1 under Objectives vs Subjectives, the Human Genome Project found that every human being shares 99.9% of the same DNA , this is the objective and defines us as the human species. This may seem a lot but when you consider that Chimps and Bonobos (2 species of the Chimpanzee), the closest relatives to humans, share 96-98.7% of DNA with us, leaving just 1.2-3.9% to separate us meaning there is actually very little which determines the human species, so we are all pretty special. Furthermore, remember the Bill Bryson quote from the Platform Menu page, well we think it fits perfectly here,
"It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you."
This quote does not only apply to humans, but every other living thing, break anything down enough and you will simply find a cocktail of chemical elements and nothing else. We all share a great deal not only as a species ourselves, but with other animals and nature as a whole, highlighting the importance of how special every life is.
So sharing 99.9% of DNA, the remaining 0.1% is what makes you 'you', helping to define you as an individual in your own right, and forming part of your subjectives including characteristics and personality. Our bodies all vary somewhat, some are passed down to us genetically, but some we develop post birth, meaning our development is both nature and nurture, the fact that it could be one more than the other is becoming increasingly null. Therefore, whilst we are all special as a species as we share so much, we are all special as individuals too as we are all unique. So no matter your gender or religious beliefs, or the colour of your skin, eyes, or hair, whether you enjoy reading and/or sport/s, preference to be an extrovert or introvert, or a bit of both, be proud to be you because we are ALL individuals that just need to be understood. So whilst we are all the same, our bodies can vary and we all have different interests and passions, and as long as they are morally correct and do not hurt you or anyone else, there is no reason why you should not enjoy taking part and/or doing something that makes you happy, and there is no reason why you should be judged for that either. Be happy by doing what makes you happy - simple!
The issue we have here is that many people are afraid to be themselves, scared to enjoy what makes them happy, you may be one of them, because you are afraid to be judged negatively. Pretty much every individual has at least one insecurity about being themselves, whether that is something they enjoy partaking in, or the way they look, and sadly many go onto change themselves, even aesthetically via cosmetic practices including surgery. This is not saying that all reconstructive surgeries are unnecessary, as they can be very beneficial when it relates to health including trauma, and rather we are saying that you are not alone, we may not all share the same insecurities, but we all have at least one. So as above, ensuring it is morally correct, there is no reason to feel shame or embarrassment, after all, it is difficult to stand out in the crowd of the human population if you blend in so dare to enjoy what makes you smile from the inside out and enjoy being who you are. Sometimes all it takes is finding some likeminded people who make you feel less judged when being yourself, and who make you a better person, this is much easier than wanting to be loved and accepted by everyone as not only is that lonely, but it's exhausting too. Sadly some people's passions and interests mean they are faced with a battle, particularly when it comes to improving society as a whole but imagine if the honorable Nelson Mandela didn't dare stand up against racism in the way he did, and gave in feeling the fight was too much? He stuck to his beliefs and kept his integrity despite everything he faced, knowing he was doing a good thing, and his passion meant he got noticed, and people of all races proudly stood with him in support. The adversity is that sometimes, what is deemed morally correct in certain types of societies, it is not accepted in others, and if such beliefs are held strongly, people often end up judging others for something they simply do not understand enough about. Placing labels is a prime example as modern society seems to feel the need to # everything, with even the term 'flexitarian' being used for those who eat meals with and without meat, and whilst this can help people find community, it can also do the opposite by increasing segregation, and some even feel the need to impose their choices on others rather than letting people choose for themselves. If the world was even a bit more compassionate towards each other, it would be a much happier place for us all.
A relatively easy argument for a more compassionate society is that we must learn to become more compassionate towards ourselves, mentally and physically, as some of, if not all of the most successful battles start with facing the issues within first. Accepting ourselves for who we are naturally makes us more compassionate in accepting others for who they are too, thus feeling free within yourself makes you feel in control of yourself, making the the need to control other parts of your life less. A well known chocolate wafer has been promoting it for years, but when was the last time you gave yourself a break, and felt more compassionate towards your insecurities? If we can learn to accept ourselves for who we are, then it is much easier to accept others for who they are. The song "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sun Screen)" by Baz Luhrmann is very apt here, and if you haven't heard it yet, we highly recommend listening to it, because he shares some very helpful wisdom in it which complies here.
PAIN - HYPERMOBILITY - PERFORMANCE - BREATHING PATTERNS - TMJ (JAW) WORK
FASCIA - BIOTENSEGRITY - RECOVERY - SINUSES - REHAB/PREHAB - ANATOMY TRAINS - STRESS
MEDICAL CONDITIONS - INJURIES - HEALTH - ALIGNMENT - BIOMECHANICS - POSTURE
SPORT - REMEDIAL - PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES - MAINTENANCE - HOMEOSTASIS
- BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE BY SEEING THE BEST -
PERFORMANCE SOFT TISSUE THERAPY
SPORT AND REMEDIAL MASSAGE
(BTEC LEVEL 5)
SPECIALTIES: PERFORMANCE (SPORT AND ARTS), HYPERMOBILITY, PAIN AND RESPIRATORY
REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR THE SMA (EAST ANGLIA AND EAST MIDLANDS) - SPORTS MASSAGE ASSOCIATION
Know Your Body
RECOMMENDED READING LIST
FASCIA: PART A
4.1: WHAT IS FASCIA?
Fascia is a connective tissue that is found in all living animals, there are different types of fascia for different purposes, and it can be found around all aspects of the body from blood vessels and nerves to muscles and organs.
NOTE: Ever prepared chicken – the white tissue that is clear when peeled back, THAT IS FASCIA!
Stephen Levin and John Sharkey have even suggested that bone is actually ossified fascia[i][ii]. Carla Stecco and Robert Schleip defined fascia using the term ‘fascial system’ which focuses on how fascia works rather than what it is,
“a network of interacting, interrelated, interdependent tissues forming a complex whole, all collaborating to perform a movement.”[iii]
Imagine wrapping your whole body in cling film, and then trying to walk. As you move forward, the cling film around the legs will move, however, the cling film as high as the neck and shoulders may be affected.
VIDEO (see Instagram example)
Because it wraps around everything in the body and can be found head to toe, scientists and physical therapists have termed this property ‘biotensegrity’ – without fascia, all the components of the body would find it difficult to maintain form, and instead, would at least be loosely connected and far from efficient. Therefore, biotensegrity refers to how the body maintains its integrity no matter the position or movement. This is discussed in greater depth later in this section.
[iii] Stecco, C., & Schleip, R. (2016). A fascia and the fascial system. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 20(1), 139-140. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2015.11.012.
VIDEO (SEE INSTAGRAM EXAMPLE)
“Biotensegrity refers to soft matter physics using terms such as compression and continuous self-stressing. It is a self-organising system that is not gravity dependent and also a stable yet fluid system that operates in a non-linear fashion.”[i]
Imagine throwing a tennis ball at the floor, the surface of the ball which makes contact with the surface is going to receive most of the pressure, however, the furthest part of the ball which makes contact with the surface will still receive pressure, just less so. That is like the human body as we move, thus, whilst the part of the body moved will absorb the most movement, the proximal structures will also absorb movement and depending on the severity of the movement will depend on where and how much the tissues will absorb the movement.
Susan Findlay, “What is Biotensegrity?”
4.2: TENSEGRITY: TENSION & ELASTICITY
The concept of how fascia works can be quite difficult to comprehend, so to help this understanding, a bit of physics is required regarding ‘tension vs strain’ and the Tensile Modulus, also known as the Young’s Modulus.
In 1660, British scientist Robert Hooke discovered the law of elasticity, and so the eponym was produced and called the law ‘Hooke’s Law’. Hooke found that material can deform under pressure, and this deformation is equal to the pressure applied, and upon releasing the applied pressure, the material returns to it’s original shape – Hooke’s Law, the law of elasticity.
Fast forward a few years to 1807 when British physician Thomas Young discovered how to measure the elastic qualities of materials, that when stretched or compressed, whether the material would withstand the pressure and spring back, permanently deform, or break. Therefore, this measurement, now known as the Young’s Modulus, measures how much stress, or strain, a material can absorb.
For those interested, the equation for Hooke’s Law is:
force = spring constant × extension
Force (F) is measured in newtons (N).
Spring constant (k) is measured in newtons per metre (N/m).
Extension (e), or increase in length, is measured in metres (m).
The equation for Young’s Modulus is:
Young’s modulus (E) is a property of the material that tells us how easily it can stretch and deform.
This is measured by the ratio of tensile stress (σ) to tensile strain (ε).
Stress is measured by the amount of force applied per unit area (σ = F/A), and strain measured by the extension per unit length (ε = dl/l).
Imagine a hair bobble, if you stretch it (stress), there will come a point in tensile strain where it will no longer return to its original length and place enough stretch (stress) on the bobble and it could break.
An inflated balloon is under constant uniform tension, and if you squeeze the balloon (applying compression, thus stress), it will create pressure in the rest of the balloon (tensile strain), but the overall tension in the balloon will remain the same. Apply enough compression (stress) to the balloon however, and the balloon will pop.
Apply this concept to the human body, you can stretch and compress soft tissue such as fascia, muscles and ligaments. An indivdual’s muscle condition and soft tissue composition will depend on how much pressure it can absorb before injury occurs such as tissue damage (e.g. strains, sprains, muscle tears) and deforming (e.g. bone break/fracture, tendon rupture, skin perforation, fascial tears). You can therefore apply the Young’s Modulus to the human body and Findley et al., (2012)[i] presented a respected narrative review on fascia, taking into consideration reputable research, and applied the Tensile Modulus, with factors such as the Young’s Modulus of a passive muscle stretch is 10 κPa whereas rubber is 20 κPa, demonstrating muscle is softer than rubber.
Now take this further and consider how your muscles, organs, blood vessels and nerves move together as one unit upon the skeleton, rather than flapping loosely, rubbing against each other and constantly feeling the pull of gravity as each part feels the pressure individually. Your fascia is everywhere throughout the body and enables you to move as one unit, constantly absorbing stress and strain whether it be sat at a desk for seven hours a day or completing an Ultra Marathon, and this is biotensegrity, Thus, your fascia absorbs stress in the form of pulls, stretches, compressions to ensure you move as one entire unit, how well it performs this depends on its integrity, hence the term biotensegrity, how well the body holds together both in parts and as a whole. Furthermore, some people are more genetically dense and tight, compared to some who are double jointed and hypermobile, meaning some people are more elastic than others, and research has found that manual therapy techniques, particularly when combined with strength and conditioning, help to promote healthy biotensegrity.
[i] Findley, T., Chaudhry, H., Stecco, A., & Roman, M. (2012). Fascia research–a narrative review. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 16(1), 67-75.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Ever since learning about fascia, Kim, the founder of this platform, has always wondered what the Honey Badger’s fascia is like. It is remarkably strong, yet it can turn freely within its own skin. However, as they are famously aggressive, Kim has not attempted to consider this any further and hopes that you do the same – it may be interesting but it’s not worth losing a limb over. Leave it to the professional researchers. Hence, food for thought…
3.1: FASCIA: TYPES AND CONSTITUTIONS
There are different types of fascia for different purposes, yet all fascia predominantly consists of collagen[i], noting the density, composition and direction will depend on an individual’s ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’. This will be discussed further throughout the program as it is posture and biomechanics based on nature and nurture that can HELP determine soft tissue alignment, and thus the health of the soft tissue.
Chemoreceptors: A sensory cell or organ responsive to chemical stimuli.
Mechanoreceptors: A sensory cell or organ responsive to compression, tension, stretch and sound.
Fascia has 2 main properties:
Reduce friction: Superficial fascia surrounds everything like cling film, from blood vessels to muscles, and can be found head to toe. By encasing everything, superficial fascia prevents many parts of the body from sticking to each other. Cowman et al., (2015) [ii] found that Hyaluronan cells (HA) which can be found in fascia, has lubricant properties due to its high-water content. Furthermore, Stecco discovered ‘fasciacytes’, a cell found in fascia that is dedicated to producing the “hyaluronan-rich extracellular matrix”[iii]. Such properties enable movement with cadence (smooth movement with both elasticity and stability). ‘Functional Fascia’i also state how superficial fascia, also known as ‘filmy fascia’ can “probably be classified as a loose aereolar connective tissue” which is a type of loose connective tissue that has no defined form, of which in Latin, ‘āreola’ means ‘small open space’.
2. Proprioceptive organ: Proprioception is how the body monitors position and movement of joints and skeletal muscle to provide information on the body in space. Thus, fascial proprioception absorbs and monitors pressures to enable the body to react most efficiently.
Fascia contains four different types of sensory nerve endings which are collectively called Fascial Mechanoreceptors: Golgi Organs, Ruffini Receptors, Pacini Corpuscles, and Interstitial Receptors[iv].
Fascial Mechanoreceptors in more detail: