With all of this hype about the “metaverse” being this amazing online place where people can have a shared experience without ever needing to leave their homes, what about the universe we all have within our own bodies right now?
We all have this amazing type of connective tissue which is layers through the body and it is called “fascia”. You may have heard about it but who really knows what it is, where it is and how it serves us within.
Fascia is described and the connective tissue matrix just under the skin in its more superficial (outer) layers. It creates a thin sheath between the outside of our muscles with barriers of collagen and adipose (fat) tissues to allow it to glide and slide. Traditionally being labelled as made up of a membranous layer of loosely packed interwoven collagen and elastic fibres.
At first it may appear to be a passive structure when in fact it is quite and active one. The fascia provides support to its surround tissues and as I mentioned before helps to slide and glide thereby reducing friction within the body. It is a tissue that can transmit mechanical tension that is generated by muscular activity or by external forces.
A distinct feature of Fascia is that is possesses a level of strength that is due to the tightly packed collagen bundles. With the fibres in some areas being orientated usually in one direction, its structure doesn’t not become lax or loose however remain flexible and able to resist tensions. This is very determinant on its location in the body and the overall health of the individual.
Our fascia is always changing and reorganising depending on what types of movements we may be doing (or not doing). In a health state within an individual the fascia should be wavy and malleable enough to adapt to any external changes like a trauma or internal changes like inflammation. If and when we do experience a trauma or inflammation this can cause the fascia to tighten and restrict movements to the underlaying tissues. This may lead to increases in pain, restricted range of motion and a decrease in blood and nerve flow around this part of the body.
Knowing that our fascia is always changing with all of the movements we do, it is important to note that if we reduce our movements then our fascia will take not of this and start to RESTRICT certain movements in favour of its new sedentary ways. Similar to an injury and its effects on range restriction to prevent further injury, if we don’t take care to keep the fascia moving then it will begin to bind up and not allow us to do those movements without pain and discomfort.
Now this is just the outermost layer of fascia that I am talking about and is the easiest to get moving again so if you are somebody who sits down a lot, start to schedule in some time to get up and move your hips, legs and abdominals. On the flip side if you stand up a lot make sure to take the time to occasionally lift the legs and modify the movements to keep the fascia sliding and gliding.
So, if you journey into the “metaverse” remember that your own personal universe back in the physical world needs to be used, stretched and manipulated just as much as the digital reality in the metaverse can be.
Your fellow human
Dr Dan (the osteo man)