Summary: Learn how healthy fascia can prevent disease and reverse symptoms of illness, including Long COVID and cancer. Experience WASHRAG to keep your entire fascial network healthy.
- Optimal cell distance is the Golden Ratio
- Pandiculation reduces tumor growth by 52%
- Stretchy arteries vs. atherosclerosis
- Fascia and Long COVID
- Motion – WASHRAG
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Hello, my friends. Pamela here. Welcome to Move Into Coherence. Today is our fourth and final part of the Fascia Series, the four-part series. And in today’s episode I’d like to bring to your awareness some of the research that includes and involves the fascia and how it may affect the outcome of a disease or illness.
[00:42] Dr. Jody Rosenblatt, optimal cell spacing, and the Golden Ratio
And we’re going to start with one of the pieces of research from a friend of mine. Her name is Dr. Jody Rosenblatt, and she works in a laboratory using zebrafish. They’re very small animals, and when they are very young, they are see-through, and so you can actually see what the cells are doing. And she’s a cell biologist and she studies these zebrafish so that she can look at their epithelial cells, which are one of the types of cells that we have in our body that creates a barrier. We find these cells in our skin and in the lining of our gut. The discovery that she made which I think is very important to understand with regard to fascia–and I’ll get to that in a moment–is that the cells will try to maintain a barrier. So if there’s a an empty space, they’ll divide more cells to fill up that space. And if there’s overcrowding, they will move cells out so that again we can maintain that spacing. The ideal spacing for cells that she discovered is the Golden Ratio [Golden Ratio = 1.618]. And we see the Golden Ratio in nature. We see it in plants. We see how flower petals will be in a certain arrangement to receive optimal sunlight and water from the rain as well as in the leaves of plants. We also see this in animal cells and in certain animal structures, such as in the snail and the nautilus where there’s a spiral. And this is all based on this mathematical number called the Golden Ratio. What does this have to do with fascia? Well, if the cells are in their optimal position, they will function well. If there’s a squeezing and the cells are too close together, then some cells will need to die, and that’s what happens. And also if their cells are too far apart, some will be divided—more cells will be divided—so that that barrier is complete. So in my thinking, if we have our optimal stretchiness and the liquid quality of the fascia, then the cells will be in their optimal positions.
[03:30] Dr. Helene Langevin, pandiculations, and reducing tumors by 52%
Another piece of research comes from Dr. Helene Langevin, who is a person who has studied extensively about fascia and its relationship to acupuncture. And one of the studies that she did very recently using mice and rats who had been given cancer so they had tumors in their body. And she found that by doing some gentle stretching, the tumors reduced their growth by 52%. Very significant. And this is a new piece of data that has been released within the last couple of years. I listened to her talk about how she did this gentle stretching and she described it this way. She said the mice or the rats were given something to hold onto—the edge of the enclosure or a little pole—and they would grab onto it with their paws and then the researcher would pull gently on their tail. And what the rodent would do is respond by going into a what we call pandiculation, which is a natural elongation of the body and an easy stretch. It’s like in the morning when you wake up and you bring your arms over your head and give your body a long sort of stretch. That’s a pandiculation, which releases the fascia. So by releasing the fascia, by having a smooth, easy, flowy, slippery fascia, these rats and mice their tumors were reduced by 52%. So I can conclude from that. I’m drawing a conclusion that says we can perhaps prevent the growth of tumors by keeping our fascia healthy. And if we do have tumors, perhaps by again doing this pandiculation, which is what we’re doing mostly in this show in Move Into Coherence. that allows the fascia to move and slip and slide. And it could potentially reduce tumors in humans. Humans and mice are very similar; that’s why they do study mice and rats in the laboratory.
[06:05] Stretchy arteries vs. atherosclerosis
The third thing I’d like to share has to do with the stretchiness of our arteries. The arteries are wrapped with fascia. And if we have a loose fascia system—this slippy, slippery, slide-y fascia, then the blood vessels will be stretchy. Now, as we age we’ve been told that our arteries get less stretchy, and they can get hard, and this is what we call atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. And when we have this hardening, the blood does not get through as easily. Capillaries, the very smallest arteries, are so small that the blood cells have to kind of bend and squeeze their way through. Now, if that capillary is stretchy, the blood cells can easily get through, and this will allow the nutrients to flow into the tissues and for the waste products to be easily removed. So keeping our fascia stretchy, by doing these gentle movements, will allow for the blood to flow. Things that can go wrong if the arteries aren’t stretchy are high blood pressure and also heart disease and stroke, which are, well, heart disease is the number one killer of humans. So I’m making again another conclusion that if we keep our fascia healthy, we can keep these blood vessels from hardening and we can allow this blood to flow easily through. As we learned in the previous episode [Fascia and Our Healthspan, episode 038], the movements of the fascia that are ideal are slow and gentle and varied in their different planes of movement. So that is one of the things that we’re going to be doing today. The motion that we’ll be doing today will involve that kind of movement.
[[08:25] Fascia and Long COVID
The final piece of information that I’d like to share, comes from John Sharkey. He studies human anatomy, and specifically he focuses on fascia. And what he has concluded, based on the symptomology of people with long COVID—this is a series of symptoms that can include pain and lethargy or fatigue—he concluded that the symptomology comes from the fascia and the fascia system, the network, being difficult to move. And when it’s difficult, in other words constrictions have occurred, and when these constrictions occur, the fascia gets tight, gets dried out, as we learned from the previous episodes [Fascia and Trauma, episode 037]. It gets dried out, and doesn’t allow for this freedom of movement. And because there are 10 times more pain receptors in the fascia as compared to muscle, he concludes that this is why there’s chronic pain in people with long COVID. What can we do about this? I believe by moving in these gentle ways, slowly and with lots of different varied movements, varied planes of movement, we can keep our fascia again in this liquid state and reduce pain, reduce these constrictions, and even reduce inflammation. So we gotta keep our fascia healthy so that we can stay healthy, and we can prevent disease, and we can heal from disease as well.
[10:20] Background for WASHRAG
The motion for today is called the WASHRAG. This comes from Hanna Somatics, which is an offshoot of the Feldenkrais Method. And in this motion you will be lying down on the floor with a yoga mat or a carpeted floor, preferably. Not on a bed that’s very squishy, because we want to feel our contact with the floor. The movement will begin with you lying down but your knees are bent and your feet are flat. Your knees and your feet are about the same distance apart and about in line with your shoulders. The arms will come out from your shoulders, straight out from your shoulders, and forming sort of a T shape. Your body will be in a T shape with the palms facing the ceiling, and we start in this position and we end in this position. In the first set, we’ll be moving to a maximal distance which is also comfortable for you. So you don’t have to go too far, just to the point where it’s still comfortable. In the second set, we’re going half as far as we did before. And in the third set, we’ll be doing just a tiny little bit of movement. One of the things that’s important here is in the undoing. This is when we really get this fascial movement to release and the slipperiness to happen. In the undoing, we want to combine all four parts of the body that are moving, so that they undoing the movement simultaneously, synchronously, so that we end up back in our original home position at the same time. Our head is moving; our legs are moving; and our arms are moving. And with all of this movement coming back at the same time, opening back up to this home position, we are training ourselves. We’re creating a neural pathway that allows for any one of those parts, if we release any one of those parts as we go through our life, then the other parts will also release. That’s why we’re doing this synchronously, so that they will all get the same information.
[13:00] Motion – WASHRAG
Please come to lying and join in as we do WASHRAG. Begin in the T shape with your arms straight out from your shoulders, your knees are bent, your palms are facing the ceiling. And then slowly and gently let your knees fall to the left; let your feet roll; let your head move in the opposite direction. And the arm that you’re looking at rolls back towards your head; and the other one rolls palm down. And then slowly undo this motion, so that all the body parts are moving back to that resting position. Take a break; take a breath; turn off all your efforts. And then slowly and gently let the knees fall to the right. Your feet will roll; the head moves to the left; and the arm you’re looking at rolls back; the other arm rolls so the palm is facing the floor. And then slowly moving back, synchronously back to our neutral starting position with the palms facing up. And then pause here. Take a break; take a breath; turn off all your efforts. And now in the second set, we’re going to let the knees fall again to the left, but halfway as far as we did before. The head looks right; the arm you’re looking at rolls back again, halfway as far. And the other arm rolls towards the floor. And then ease yourself out of this synchronously so that all the body parts come back to that resting position with the palms facing the ceiling. Take a break; take a breath. And then the knees fall gently to the right, halfway as far as the first set. The head looks left; the hand you’re looking at rolls towards the back wall; and the other arm rolls so that the palm is moving towards the floor. And then slowly undo this, so that all the body parts are moving at the same time—coming back to that original neutral T-shaped position with the palms facing the ceiling. Take a break; take a breath; turn off all your efforts. And now in our final set, let the knees fall slightly to the left; the head looks slightly right; the arm you’re looking at rolls slightly back; and the other one rolls slightly down. And then slowly undo, coming back to neutral. Turn off your efforts; breathe. And then the last one. Knees fall just a little to the right; the arms roll; the head rolls. And then return back to neutral; turn off all your efforts; take a break. And then let the legs go long. Bring the arms down by the sides and notice how you feel.
That was WASHRAG. Thanks for joining in. I hope you enjoyed that. It’s one of my very favorites. This is a motion that you can do in the morning, in the middle of the day, or even at night and allow yourself a full-body/full fascial network movement. There are many planes of movement, and it’s all very gentle and slow—ideal for keeping the fascia liquid and slipping and sliding over itself. We have learned about the different pieces of research that are out there and have been done. Lots of information to say that by keeping our fascia healthy and slippery—liquidy—we are not only able to keep our cells in the right positions so that they don’t become cancer cells, but also if they are cancer and we have a tumor, we can do this movement and the tumor will decrease in size. We can also keep our fascia healthy so that the blood can flow easily through our arteries. And by having a system, facial system, that is comfortable and without constrictions or stretch, we can heal from the symptoms of long COVID. So there’s a lot of really good information out there right now that is supporting our findings that this healthy fascia equals a healthy life. Thank you so much for joining today and send yourself some appreciation for doing so. This has been Move Into Coherence. I’m Pamela Stokes. Take it easy.