Myofascia: the mind’s access to the body
The phrase “mind-body” has quickly become a household term. It is used with regards to meditation, movement, fitness and wellness. But what is it that we are really pointing to when we use this concept? Just where does "mind-body" live? Interesting question, right? Well, the answer seems to be someplace between the nervous system and the skin. More specifically, embedded within the tissue called myofascia.
Myofascia is a tough, resilient tissue that covers every muscle fiber in the body. "Myo" means muscle, derived from the Greek. This tissue is so pervasive that it could be likened to a wetsuit covering your entire body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. So pervasive that in fact, if we could dissolve every bit of you except the myofascia, you would still be recognizable as you.
Recent anatomical research has discovered that myofascia has more sensory nerves than just about any other tissue in the entire body. What that means is that myofascia constantly sends messages regarding touch, vibration, and even balance to the brain to process and use so that we can gracefully maneuver through the world.
Myofascia is now referred to as the largest sensory organ of the body. And it is this capacity of the myofascia for sensory perception that we draw upon to hold an image of our body in our minds eye, when our eyes are closed. Go ahead try it. Close your eyes and imagine what you look like in your minds eye.
This being the case we can see why it is so important to maintain a healthy and resilient myofascial system throughout the entire body. This can be accomplished through body work, exercise and flexibility training as well as the now popular Self Myofascial Release (SMR) technique of foam rolling.