Functional Anatomy Investigated: The Connective Tissue Web PDF Print E-mail


Functional Anatomy Investigated:  Breathing - The Connective Tissue Web

Column #38, 1st March 2008

The body’s Connective Tissue includes the tendons, ligaments, periosteum and all fascia that supports and connects the various structures and systems in our bodies. Through a deeper understanding of the integrated nature of our bodies we can achieve greater gains from training, improve technique, benefit from freedom of movement throughout the day and avoid injury.

The Connective Tissue

When any part of the body moves, the whole body responds.  Being mindful of this should have a great influence on the way we train.  Healthy connective tissue will impact on our structure, movement, organ health and cardiovascular efficiency.  It is a connective web that integrates us.  Think of it as a sling that holds everything together and in place.

A Stiff and Knotted Web

It matters a great deal if your connective tissue is not in good condition.  In a world of occupations and lifestyles that are shutting down our systems and ability to move freely, the connective tissue suffers, leading to aches pains, stiffness, joint problems and even deteriorated eye sight, reproductive difficulties and digestive dysfunction.

An integrated view of the body enables us to appreciate these varied influences.  The link between your muscular and skeletal system and your digestion may not be immediately obvious.  However, our intestines and other organs have an ideal space and environment in which they desire to work.  When structure changes due to muscle imbalance and tightness, this inevitably leads to a compression of the visceral organs and a disruption of function.  Applying this may provide relief from problematic digestive disorders.

Free Movement > Free from Pain.

So, it is hopefully clear that we gain a lot from viewing the body as a whole, but how do we apply this?  Here are a few approaches you can use to maintain a healthy connective web and enjoy freedom of movement, increased performance gains, reduced aches and pains and increase vitality:

  • Keep the connective tissue warm.  Hours of sitting still will encourage it to tighten up and become rigid.  If you have a sedentary job then ensure that you make a point of exercising lightly/moving every half an hour or so to prevent this.
  • In conjunction with lifestyle and exercise habits consider how integrated and functional your training is.  What is it that you need to improve and does your training encourage quality movement patterns?
  • Bodyworkers are practitioners who are trained to recognise the connective web and are skilled in releasing problem areas, allowing greater performance in factors such as movement, strength, power and coordination.
  • Without sufficient quality recovery, the body will inevitably breakdown, causing problems such as injuries and reduced health and performance.

Jack Walton
Written on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 14:33 by Jack Walton

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