New Facts (1-4) from the Fascia Research and Biotensegrity Congresses of September, 2015

The following excerpts were gathered by Dr Carol Davis from the Fascia Research and Biotensegrity Congresses in September 2015. Please note that the contents are based around new scientific findings and may require further validation by the reader.


Fascia Facts 1-4


1) From Paul Standley, PhD (Cao, TV, et al. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2015; 115:72-82 and quoted by Leon Chaitow, MD, DO

The ideal pressure and shear to influence the fascia in manual therapy is go directly to the restriction at 3% shear and stay there for 5 minutes.
3% shear is going right to the barrier, but not trying to push into it. Stay at the barrier…and wait. This is exactly what John Barnes has taught for over 40 years. How wonderful to see John’s work validated in both in vitro and in vivo research.


2) From Jean Claude Guimberteau as he narrated his latest endoscopic films of fascia– I paraphrase him here:

a. Fascia is not just connective tissue, it is CONSTITUTIVE tissue — all tissues seem to come from the mesenchyme of fascia and are embedded within fascia. We are constituted of fascia. We need to recognize a new ontology (nature of being or existence). “Fascia is the organizing ontology of the entire body, the vector of that most beautiful efficiency — life.”

b. There are NO LAYERS within the living fascial matrix. And, there are NO EMPTY SPACES in fascia. All the pictures of layers we see are merely two dimensional pictures (ultrasound, CT scan, MRI) of a three dimensional tissue. When we look endoscopically, there are no layers, only a biotensegrity complex of multiple polyhedral tubules where all spaces are filled with a hydrous gel.


3) Paraphrased from loved and admired Dutch philosopher, physician and academic, Jaap Van der Wal, MD, PhD:

Embryologically, we do not start as a cell, we start at a zygote – a human, undivided body. We are not organized into our form by our genes, we are organized by the organism.

The brain knows nothing about muscles, only movement within the architecture of the biotensegrity fascial web. The embryo moves in utero as it organizes itself and grows. The way we shape ourselves is the first manifestation of our form.

Muscles originate from the septal/fascial layers in series with the muscle, and muscle spindles are organized according to the architecture of the fascia, not within the muscle or joint. [That is, muscle comes from fascia, and not fascia later coming into muscle. Muscle only exists because fascia creates it.] [This is Carol Davis’ interpretation emphasizing Guimberteau’s quote: “Fascia is constitutive.”]

Tension and pressure are the only forces that impact the soft tissue, [and everything within our bodies is soft tissue, including the bones, which are crystalized fascia].

“The soul is dwelling in the fluids of the fascia.” (Direct quote from Van der Wal)

We need to get over our idea of “muscle man,” and think about the body as evolving in time and space, holistically. We destroy continuity by deconstricting tissue in gross anatomy cadaver dissection. Living organisms are a “process in time…always in the process of becoming.” Humans are always becoming human, over time, [embedded within a living, vibrating biotensegrity fascial web that supports and sustains life. – Davis]


4) Steve Levin, MD is the founder of biotensegrity, and his web site is very worth visiting. ( He is the author of one of the chapters in John’s blue textbook on Myofascial Release. I was fortunate to be invited to his First Biotensegrity Summit to be held in the US the week before the 4th International Fascia Research Congress.(FRC) in Washington DC area in September. I was asked to speak for 10 minutes about John F. Barnes myofascial release at his summit, and then Dr. Levin invited me also to present this information on a panel of presenters at the pre-congress course the day before the FRC. I was very honored to be there and to do my best to represent John and his work.

Biotensegrity is the name given to the unique architecture of the fascial extracellular matrix throughout our bodies. It involves bones, muscles and connective tissue integrated with the laws of motion in a floating compression system which dynamically adjusts to all the motions of our parts when we move, or locomote.

All of the tissue within our bodies is soft tissue, including bone, which is crystalized fascia. This tissue responds to two forces only — pressure and shear or traction. The physics we all learned in kinesiology courses in college is the physics of solids and water…..not the physics of soft tissue. Steven Levin maintains, “The physics of soft tissue has yet to be developed. The physics of solids (fulcrums, sharp angles, solid weights) do not describe soft tissue that demonstrates softening under pressure and strain, and thixotrophy. Anytime you see a graph illustrating a strength/strain relationship in a straight line from the bottom left corner up the graph to the top right corner–, this does not describe what happens with soft tissue. It should be a balloon distribution with great resistance at first yielding to rapid expansion, as when you first blow up a balloon.

The physics of the spring and dash-pot release of the type II gel ground substance that we recognize after sustained pressure and stretch for over 120 seconds has not yet been explained.

As I share this information I remember hearing John’s frustration with the inadequacies of his physical therapy education. And it is our increased understanding of fascial anatomy (Guimberteau) and function (Levin, and Donald Ingber, and James Oschman) that bring the brightest light to reveal these inadequacies. Won’t it be wonderful when faculty at our colleges actually start reading this science, and recognize that they MUST change their lectures to more accurately reflect the precise and actual nature of our human mind/bodies? And won’t it be wonderful when clinicians uniformly adopt this enlightened, accurate information to improve patients’ pain and dysfunction with much more positive outcomes…and John F. Barnes receives the credit he has deserved all along?

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