Functions of the Fasciae

The fascial functions described below are generally referred to as "the Four Ps"82: packaging, protection, posture, and passageway.

Packaging

The fasciae form covers for all bodily structures. They separate individual structures from each other, but at the same time connect them. Their resistibility keeps them in place and characterizes their mobility.

Protection

By enclosing all organs, the fasciae provide support and protection to the structures. Varying degrees of tissue density give the structures their resistibility, keep them in place, and characterize their mobility.

Posture

Posture, that is, statics, is determined by the locomotor system. The proprioceptors are located in the body's fascial structures. Muscle spindles and Colgi tendon receptors in the muscles, as well as Pacini and Golgi corpuscles in the ligaments and capsules provide for postural tone and for necessary adjustments to postural changes induced from the outside. The muscles play an active role in this process, while the fasciae constitute a connecting element.

The fasciae contain great numbers of free nerve endings as well as pain receptors. Some authors (Becker,8 Upledger148) attribute a memory function to the tissues. They surmise that certain motion patterns, traumas, and injuries are stored at the fascial level. It is still unclear how this happens. Biochemical, physical, and energetic processes are proposed as causative factors.

The connective tissue stores the energy of an injury in the form of "energy cysts." This tissue change can be felt and treated by the therapist.

Passageway

The fasciae form vessel passageways or pathways for nerves, arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels. Secretory and excretory channels are made from connective tissue. For this reason, the fasciae play an important role in all metabolic processes. Because the connective tissue gives the organs their shape (liver, pituitary gland, adrenal gland) and forms vesicles that contain enzymes and hormones (gall bladder, lymph nodes), tensions in the fasciae can influence organ function and metabolism.

Homeostasis of the organism depends greatly on the condition of the connective tissue.

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