‘So you have heard of ‘nadis’ and heard of ‘fascia’, but the nadi-fascial system? I would like to officially coin the term. Let me start with fascia….
Scientists are only really figuring out what fascia is and what it is not. Until recently, it was stripped off cadavers by scientists and thrown in the bin, so that they could study muscles, bones, organs etc., believing them to be more important. In the last 15 years, science has realised that fascia is so much more than what used to be referred to as ‘the white stuff beneath the skin’. In the following reading, I propose that western science is starting to catch up with something that the ancient yogis have known for thousands of years already….
The fascial system is now recognised as one continuous structure that connects everything in the body from the undersurface of the skin, through the muscles, tendons, bones, organs all the way down to the nucleus of the cell. Fascia can be divided into cells such as fibroblasts, adipocytes and white blood cells. and a colloid gel-like substance called the extra-cellular matrix or ECM. The ECM is defined as a three dimensional network of extracellular macromolecules, such as collagen, enzymes and glycoproteins.
Fascia is highly innervated. There are 3 times as many sensory neutrons as there are motor neurons embedded within the fascial matrix. The amount of sensory information is greater than that of vision. Thus, fascia can be thought of as the body’s largest sensory organ. Because of its sensory proprioceptive nature, some scientists like Joanne Avison refer to it as the ‘6th sense’. This definition acknowledges fascia as a bridge between the physical and metaphysical. Similarly, in his book, Fascia, what it is and why it matters, David Lesondak takes the definition a step further and asks us to ‘consider the extracellular matrix as being the Higg’s field in the body’.
In 2012, quantum physics proved the existence of the Higg’s Boson particle, also knows as the God particle, which validates the existence of a field which permeates the entire universe and is the basis of all matter. Like the Higgs field, the ECM connects and interpenetrates everything in our inner universe. Lesondak refers to ECM as “the space inside the body’. We find space in the oesophagus to help absorb food, the gut to absorb essential nutrients, in the heart to pump and receive blood to name but a few examples. We tend to think of space as the nothingness in-between the reality that we live in. However the wisdom teachings also tell us that space or Kala is also a container for a field of existence referred to Akasha. This is an invisible field of intelligence that fills the vacuum of space and can be described as the central nervous system of the universe. It is an invisible energetic network that connects every living thing. Pythagoreus referred to it as “the music of the spheres” (planets) as the nature of Akasha is sound. The Vedic teachings also refer to Akasha as “Indra’s web”. Indra’s web is the layer within the vacuum of space that reaches into the infinite, where past, present and future exist simultaneously. The web is composed of small pearls, like drops of dew on a spider’s web. Every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops and each reflected dew drop reflects the reflections of all the other dew drops and so on, ad infinitum.
Modern research also suggests that the Akasha is also conscious on some level, expressing itself as an all-seeing eye and holding a record of events known by psychics as the Akashic records. Similarly, it is the fascia in the body that ‘keeps the score’, recording our traumas, thoughts, emotions and as fascial expert Tom Myers would say “our issues in our tissues’..
According to the ancient yogis, we have 3 body layers, the physical, subtle and causal bodies. When we look at fascia in relation to these body layers, a new perspective emerges.
The physical body
In relation to fascia, the physical body expresses itself as ECM and cells such as fibroblasts, adipocytes and white blood cells. The physical body operates through the elements of earth and water and relates to our conscious mind and sense of separate ego..
The Subtle Body
In subtle anatomy, this is the electrical circuitry or nervous system response in the body. It also relates to our unconscious mental and emotional processes and therefore expresses itself through the Meningeal fascia that surrounds the nervous system and the brain. It operates through the element of light.
The Causal Body
In subtle anatomy, this is the causal magnetic layer of the soul. The part of us that is connected with everything in the whole existence. It operates through the element of sound and relates to our subconscious mental processing.
All body layers overlap. The physical is a vessel for the electric and magnetic energies of the subtle and causal bodies. According to the ancient yogis, our physical body houses a network of 72,000 nadis or channels that connect everything in the body, as does fascia. Can we deduct therefore that the network of nadis in the ancient mapping of the fascial matrix? We could argue dualistically that the nadi layer is more subtle than the fascial network, operating on the level of the magnetic, which is the language of the soul. That the nadi network is only concerned with spiritual evolution and therefore separate to somatic operations. Or we could take the more integrative non-dual approach, which acknowledges that the soul channels interconnect with our mental and physical operations, via the fascia, bridging the subtle and causal body layers.
Thus the fascial system is so much more than the body stocking that surrounds the muscles and organs. Its is even more than the largest sensory proprioceptive organ. The fascial system, or nadi-fascial system if we integrate the language of the soul and science, is also the container for Indra’s web within, connecting our inner and outer worlds and reflecting our divine essence as dew on a raindrop in the endless web of existence.
Om Tat Sat