Moving Your Mind: Fascia as a Sensory Organ and Its Connection to the Autonomic Nervous System and Emotions

Thursday, March 30, & Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Until recently, fascia was mainly seen as a supportive and protective tissue, one that held muscles, bones, and organs in place. This view of fascia has been challenged in the last several decades as researchers have taken a closer look and have begun to uncover the true complexity of this multi-layered tissue.

Those involved in manual therapy have been quick to dub fascia as “the forgotten organ,” and for good reason. The fascia’s purpose extends well beyond its shock absorption, ligamentous support, and hydrodynamic properties. Research is now revealing that it may be one of the fundamental sensory systems in the human body, with broad capabilities and implications that are just beginning to be understood.

The fascial network consists of multiple layers of connective tissue, forming a continuous structure throughout the body. New research suggests that the cells within this network can sense, respond to, and communicate information with other tissues and cells more deeply embedded than itself.

This causes the fascia to function in a previously unappreciated way. Due to its dense composition and connected network, fascia provides both mechanical and chemical surveillance, which can be described as a dynamic nervous system.

It’s long been known that fascia holds a remarkable ability to respond and adjust dynamically to various loading pressures, which has earned it the moniker of “living tissue.

New research suggests that the sensing cells of fascia can detect movement, pressure, and temperature inputs. This means the fascia functions as an integral part of the sensory system, much like the skin does.

Fascia as a Regulatory Organ: Connection with the Autonomic Nervous System

Just as groundbreaking, research indicates that the fascial network may be an extension of the autonomic nervous system and that it has an active role in its regulation.

In other words, the autonomic nervous system is not simply composed of nerve cells but, in fact, goes far beyond this simplistic view.

The extended model of the autonomic nervous system implies that the fascia has incredible regulatory and communicative capacities.

Research is only just beginning to scratch the surface of what this means for our bodies. It suggests that this living tissue may be just as important for involuntary functions such as breathing, digestion, and heart rate, as it is for voluntary ones such as movement control and awareness.

What’s more, it may help us further understand the connections between the physical and emotional aspects of our being. Many fascia-based practitioners view the interconnectedness of the body’s fascial components as the missing link between how we think, feel, and behave, which goes deeper than traditional approaches to the body.

As research into fascia continues, the current view of its primary function as an organ of movement will likely evolve. The evidence suggests that the real power of fascia lies deeper, with an essential role in the sensory systems, communication pathways, and physiological regulation of the body. The further value of this tissue stretches far beyond our current knowledge and holds exciting implications for the health and well-being of humans in the decades to come.

In this course, leading fascia researcher Dr. Robert Schleip will highlight new findings on fascia and a sensory and emotional organ, as well as a dynamic mediator between the autonomic nervous system and immune regulation.

Dr. Robert Schleip is a leading pioneer of current academic fascia research. In this course, he will highlight the most important insights from the field of fascia research related to this intriguing topic. He will discuss some practical applications for yoga teachers as well as for other movement therapy applications.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions – both MP3 (downloadable) and MP4 (streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of All Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note-takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the webinar sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

This course qualifies for 3.25 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

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Robert Schleip PhD is an international Fascial Anatomy teacher and Rolfing instructor. He is a leading voice in fascia research and has been the director of the Fascia Research Project at Ulm University.

$127/ Lifetime Access

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