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What is Connective Tissue?

There are four classes of cells in the human body: neural, muscular, epithelial and connective tissue. Rolfing focuses on the connective tissue cells that form a fascial system throughout our bodies. The connective tissue system goes by many names: tendons, septa, ligaments, membranes, even bone and blood. This system provides support and protection by wrapping each muscle and organ in its own fascial wrapping. These wrappings form a web that connects as well as separates all functional units of the body including each individual cell. In this way connective tissue contains and supports the whole body.

Fascia on the underside of the sternum. Note that in this picture the fibers look like crystals:


Fascia extends between individual muscle fibers. In this photo they have been teased out from the gluteal muscle:


Healthy fascia is a smooth coating that allows neighboring structures to slide over one another. With inflammatory illnesses, traumatic injury or continued strain due to the way you move or your posture, the layers of fascia adhere to one another preventing them from sliding. Instead adjacent structures tug on one another. The muscles also become undernourished and their ability to function properly is reduced as nutrients and chemicals struggle to make it to their intended cells.

footprints in the sand

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