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102 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 9 4 3 Jean-Claude Guimberteau and Gil Hedley admiring the fascia of the pericardium and respiratory diaphragm at the Fascial Net Plastination Project's exhibit. Image courtesy Stefan Westerback. Robert Schleip, Ph.D., (center) played a key leadership role in current and past Fascia Research Congresses. Along with Rachelle L. Clauson and Gary Carter (seen here admiring a specimen of the fascia cruris, inset), Schleip also co-coordinated the Fascial Net Plastination Project. Image courtesy Alison Slater. cross-discipline collaboration within the bodywork field. I was particularly looking forward to neuroscientist (and Lorimer Moseley collaborator) Paul Hodges's FRC5 presentations on inflammation, pain, and motor control. A few highlights from my lengthy notes: Multifidus inflammation was seen after experimentally induced spinal disk injury in pigs, and curiously, in muscles far from the injured disk. This raises questions (for me at least) about the mechanisms of inflammatory triggering and spreading: was the remote inflammation due to biomechanical, circulatory, neurological, or other factors? Or, all of the above? Most interestingly, people with chronic sciatic pain have an increased representation of the back and leg in their motor cortexes (not just their sensory cortexes, as I'd expect). This adds a neurological rationale to the practice of using active movement to help resolve inflammation and pain. When physician and pathology researcher Neil Theise, MD, coauthored a paper about the interstitium earlier this year, 2 the popular press touted him as the "discoverer" of a new organ. Osteopaths, Rolfers, and THE SOMATIC EDGE fascial anatomists (such as Jean-Claude Guimberteau and Gil Hedley, Image 3) were quick to point out that they'd already been talking about the same tissues, layers, and structures (as the loose connective tissues) for many years. Theise's recent work, however, has emphasized and clarified these layers' fluid flows, as well as their interconnections with lymphatic flows. This new view of loose connective tissue (such as superficial fascia) has implications that extend to cancer, immune function, and inflammation. Molecular bioengineering researcher Melody A. Schwartz's presentation expounded on these interstitial/ lymphatic connections, and among other remarkable ideas, I learned that interstitial pressures are lower in lymphedema (tissue swelling), rather than higher as I might have assumed. This, she says, is due to loss of tissue elasticity; and since interstitial fluid flows are fundamental to inflammatory resolution, tissue elasticity has possible implications for non-resolving inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as adult-onset psoriasis. Together with some of my Advanced- faculty colleagues, I also enjoyed some of FRC5's related exhibits, such as the first public preview of the Fascial Net Plastination Project's 3 3D anatomical specimens (Images 4 and 5), and the interactive Palpation Lab, where participants could test their tactile skills. CLINICAL RELEVANCE "Clinical relevance" is the litmus test that many of us will use when evaluating fascial (or other) research. Of course, each of our ideas of relevance depends on our favored therapeutic narratives.

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