Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's All About the Stretch

At last, scientific evidence of what I and a number of the alternative health professionals I've worked with have known all along: it's all about the stretch.  More specifically, it's all about connective tissue.

"Connective tissue joins your thigh to your calf; your hand to your arm; your breastbone to your clavicle. As you move, it allows your muscles to glide past one another. It acts like a net suspending your organs and a high-tech adhesive holding your cells in place while relaying messages between them. Connective tissue is one of the most integral components of the human machine. Indeed, one could draw a line between any two points of the body via a path of connective tissue. This network is so extensive and ubiquitous that if we were to lose every organ, muscle, bone, nerve, and blood vessel in our bodies, we would still maintain the same shape: our  'connective-tissue body.'"

Increasing evidence shows a link between chronic pain and connective tissue, although this has not been well studied in the past.  In a recent article published in The Scientist, Helene M. Langevin, MD (quoted above) discusses the relationship between pain, connective tissue and acupuncture.  I was told long ago that my pain issues were due to "bunched up connective tissue" and "myofascial pain syndrome."  The only real relief  I've gotten is from the smoothing out of these tissues through manual manipulation and massage.  Acupuncture helps, too.  So it seems we were on the right track after all.