By Gavin Buehler
“It’s all connected right?” That’s question/statement that I hear from more and more people when they’re explaining their structural discomforts. As we become more educated, many of us are realizing that the body is an intricate interconnected unit where what happens in one area might very well affect another, and compartmentalizing an issue without taking the big picture into account might lead to overlooking a root cause. So, a lot of people are saying that, “It’s all connected,” but aren’t really sure how. While there are numerous ways that everything connects, I will attempt to give you a summary of how it’s all connected from a structural perspective.
The Laws Of Nature
Albert Einstein stated that everything in the universe is governed by the same basic laws of physics and always moves toward a state of balanced equilibrium and minimal energy. In other words, nature always seeks out balance in the most efficient way possible. Keeping that in mind, our bodies are natural organisms, and our structural evolution has likely kept true to this principle. Everything has its place in nature.
So How Are We Structured?
First, we must start with basic shapes. We are a tightly packed collection of individual cells. Our cells are spherical by no mistake if we remember the above statement. If we look at a circle, it is the most energy efficient shape because in contains the largest area within the shortest boundary and radiates outward evenly from its center. The sphere is its three-dimensional equivalent. You might think circles/spheres don’t pack together nicely; they leave space reducing efficiency. Correct, but we’re building an organism that also needs to be efficient
with structural integrity. The best shapes for that are triangles and hexagons. The most efficient way to join a sphere from one center to the other is a straight line. If you do that, you will notice a series of triangles, which then create hexagons. The three-dimensional shape of a hexagon is an icosahedron. If you look at the diagrams provided, you will get a good visual that
hopefully makes this easier to understand. This basic building structure is evident throughout much of nature. A quick example would be to think of the honeycomb of a beehive.
Now we have the idea of how our cells fit together, we can start to look at the packaging that helps hold things in place. Packaging is extremely important. Just think of trying to transport a dozen eggs without a carton. It would be a mess. So, we have an abundance of fascia which accounts for roughly 16% of our bodyweight. In the past I’ve explained how fascia is like a continuous web of connective tissue throughout our body. Imagine these hexagonal shapes discussed above as a fascial lattice, and the spaces are filled with water, a non-compressible fluid that generally makes up 55-60% of an adult body. (You can read a quick article about fluid dynamics in the body here to get an even better understanding.) To get a better visual, think of an orange. The white/translucent stuff that encloses multiple tiny droplets of juicy goodness is like fascia, and it spiderwebs through the entire fruit giving it structure.
Everything Is Connected
Now if we can imagine this tensile connective tissue lattice throughout our body “packaging” our cells and spaces being filled with non-compressible water, you can see that if you put pressure into one area, it would in turn have an effect everywhere else as well given that we are an enclosed sack. Of course, it’s not quite that simple, but it’s important to understand this idea as a start. The fascial system up to this point has mostly only been dissected into sections of how it relates and connects the musculoskeletal system. That’s where we’ll head for part two of this article. Before I go, let’s go back to the orange for a moment. Although the fascia spreads throughout the entire structure, it also contains segregating or thicker areas that create wedges that seem to be separate from one another. So does the fascia in our bodies. These are referred to as fascial lines, tracts, or nets. We’ll get into them next time!
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