The long-overlooked tissue that shapes your health is fascia.

Fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles and organs, has long been overlooked, but new research suggests it could hold the key to treating chronic pain and immunological dysfunction.

SCIENTIFIC breakthroughs sometimes emerge from the most unexpected places. A rat completing a “downward dog” stretch in a lab.

Rats, according to those who discovered a way to encourage them to do yoga, benefit from stretching just as much as humans do. They’re exposing the fundamental significance of a body tissue that has been neglected by scientists for generations in the process.


Erasmus Wilson, a 19th-century anatomist, dubbed this tissue, now known as fascia, a natural bandage. It appears in dissection as sheets of white, fibrous connective tissue that are strong yet flexible and ideal for holding muscles and organs in place. They’re also sticky and gloopy, making it difficult to see the muscles, bones, and organs they cover. Which explains why anatomists have chopped this tissue off for years, thrown it away, and forgotten about it.

We are increasingly realizing how critical it is to gain a deeper knowledge of this omnipresent tissue. If we can figure it out, it could open up new avenues for treating a variety of common but difficult-to-treat illnesses, such as immunological dysfunction and chronic pain.

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