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62 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6 We can now explain how it is possible to accommodate two apparently contradictory roles simultaneously—efficient optimal movement in full contact with the vector and energy absorption at the periphery—without disturbing the surrounding tissues in a continuous, mobile crisscross of fibrils. If this mechanical hypothesis, which is based on careful observation, is proved to be generally correct, then it constitutes a surprising and elegant solution to the requirements of living matter for optimal movement. INTERFIBRILLAR MOVEMENTS BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL FIBRILS A variety of complex interfibrillar movements ensure that the contradictory roles of movement and energy absorption are carried out simultaneously. Fibrils Lengthen It seems that as soon as movement begins, the fibrils are able to stretch out, thereby increasing their length. This ability of the fibrils to lengthen is the first property we see. The fibers can increase their length by as much as 15−20 percent. This is the initial fibrillar response and the most commonly observed, whether light or heavy traction is used. During the lengthening of certain fibrils, we can sometimes see small annular bulges inside the fibrils that stretch out during traction. This is similar to the behavior of an earthworm or a spring. It implies that molecules, perhaps of elastin, are prearranged so as to allow for distension and retraction in that area of the fibril, permitting the fibril to return to its initial position. However, these bulging rings are not always found, and the fibrils It's important to note that all the fibrils participate in the local tissue response to the traction: the microvacuoles change shape in response to the constraint, and their volumes are compressed (which also alters the internal pressure). The fibrils stiffen as strain is put on their collagen structure, and the number of fibers involved increases as the traction increases, which likely explains the tissular resistance that is felt as more traction is applied. This suggests a correlation between the increased number of fibers under tension and the resistance felt by surgeons during traction, and by manual therapists during soft-tissue manipulation. When the collagen fibrils reach their maximum stretching potential, they are unable to perform further movement. There are two solutions: • Either the fibers fracture or rupture, which is an unacceptable physiological solution, or • It could be that there is another mechanical solution that involves a more general fibrillar response. Each fiber, before it reaches its maximal stretching point, recruits the adjacent fiber, which is then put under tension, but this tension is now slightly decreased. The second fiber will behave in the same way, and before it reaches its own maximum stretching point it will recruit another adjacent fiber, and so on. This would explain the dispersion of the force—a dilution that avoids the risk of fibrillar rupture. The closest fibers are fully distended, and the fibers furthest away are only slightly involved. This system is reminiscent of a suspension system. while its volume remains constant. Even though the intravacuolar volume appears to be globally incompressible, the internal pressure varies locally, depending on the movement required by the tissue in which the microvacuoles are found. This ensures the transmission of pressure throughout the microvacuolar network. The greater the movement required, the smaller and more densely packed are the microvacuoles within the tissue. MECHANICAL BEHAVIOR OF FIBRILS AND FIBERS DURING MOBILITY At no time does the fibrillary network of the connective tissue and fascia system move spontaneously. An applied force is needed, whether it be external, such as during massage, or internal, as a result of muscle contraction or the movement of tendons. When a tendon slides through the surrounding connective tissue, the fibrils divide and intertwine and there is movement of fibers and fibrils in the vicinity of the tendon as it slides through the surrounding connective tissue. First, the fibers react immediately to the slightest mechanical constraint by quivering intensely, then the larger fibers move and lengthen. Both fibrils and fibers are capable of movement. Insofar as the microvacuoles are formed by fibers and fibrils, they also adapt to movement by stretching, widening, and shortening, while being able to return to their original shape. To achieve this, all the components must possess certain inherent qualities, such as elasticity and intrinsic cohesion. Each fiber, before it reaches its maximal stretching point, recruits the adjacent fiber, which is then put under tension, but this tension is now slightly decreased.

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