Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby marvin8 on Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:34 pm

From The Importance of Fascia in Martial Arts Movement: The Internal Fighting Arts Podcast Interview with Dr. Ginevra Liptan, http://internalarts.typepad.com/ken_gul ... with-.html:
Ken Gullette on December 31, 2017 wrote:
Fascia is the most important part of your body that you probably have never heard of, or at least you haven't heard very much about it.

In the past few years, as medical science has taken a closer look at part of the body that doctors typically ignored for centuries, a picture is beginning to emerge.

Fascia is a web of connective tissue that is made of collagen, elastin, and other tissues and cells that lies under the skin and runs from our heads to our feet. It forms a continuous network that covers and connects organs, muscles, even nerves.

Fascia allows us to move as a single unit -- a crucial aspect of tai chi, xingyi and bagua.

It turns out that tai chi and bagua in particular are outstanding activities for stretching the fascia and keeping it healthy.

During the past year, I have read some things by internal arts and qigong teachers that make it sound as if they knew about fascia all along. Well, they didn't. So I searched for someone at a level of medical education above a physical therapist, massage therapist or TCM provider -- someone who could tell me about fascia from a medical perspective.

Image

After months of searching, I found Dr. Ginevra Liptan, a medical doctor who is board certified in internal medicine and also practices a holistic approach to health that combines Western medical science with "alternative" therapies. She founded the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia, and as she has battled fibromyalgia herself, and researched treatments for her patients that involve the fascia, she has become well-versed on the topic.

Dr. Liptan is my guest in the final Internal Fighting Arts podcast for 2017. You can listen online or download the file here:

http://internalfightingarts.audello.com ... r-ginevra/

During the interview, she talks about a video called "Strolling Under the Skin." Here is a link for that video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky0BmGP ... e=youtu.be

Also, at the end of the interview, we talk briefly about "cupping," as it was done in the last Olympic games (remember Michael Phelps and his big red dots?). Here is a link to a presentation on fascia -- if you go to exactly one hour in, the discussion of cupping and fascia begins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raCBeQ- ... lONtxxgb_A

The research I have done for this interview, and the interview itself, has made me look at parts of my practices and workouts in a new way, especially certain movements and moving qigong exercises, and how effective they are for maintaining healthy fascia.

Tai chi has shown to be effective in maintaining flexibility, balance, coordination, among other benefits. It turns out that fascia and tai chi work together in excellent ways.
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby Yeung on Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:17 am

Review of Evidence Suggesting That the Fascia Network Could Be the Anatomical Basis for Acupoints and Meridians in the Human Body

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/260510/
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby GrahamB on Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:41 am

Internal martial artists seem so desperate to latch on to fascia as the ‘missing link’ between qi and science.

Why? It’s irrelevant theory when it comes to any of the practical ‘how to’ exercises.

Hold your arm out to the side and do a reverse breath - you should feel a slight pulling in along the inside of the arm. What is pulling in? I’d assume it is mainly skin, muscle and tendon. Fascia will be attached to that. You could call it qi if you like.
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby Yeung on Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:16 pm

Internal Martial Arts can generate impacts on the 12 regular meridians and the relevant organs but the flow of energy in the meridians is not detectable by our senses that is all. Science help us to understand what is going on in our body but it is the art we learn that helps us to differentiate between the impacts on different meridians and different organs.
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:46 pm

I agree Facia along with core are two of my most hated terms
It is just pseudo science for those that don't understand the internal
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:08 pm

I think scientists would argue the exact opposite.
That the study of fascia and the nature of core muscles is science, while "internal" arts lacking any rigor or process would be considered "pseudoscience".

Bridging the two mindsets might prove productive for some folks.
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby marvin8 on Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:25 pm

GrahamB wrote:Internal martial artists seem so desperate to latch on to fascia as the ‘missing link’ between qi and science.

Why? It’s irrelevant theory when it comes to any of the practical ‘how to’ exercises.

Hold your arm out to the side and do a reverse breath - you should feel a slight pulling in along the inside of the arm. What is pulling in? I’d assume it is mainly skin, muscle and tendon. Fascia will be attached to that. You could call it qi if you like.


From a previous RSF OP, viewtopic.php?f=6&p=420942:
GrahamB wrote:Hopefully this thread won't descend into the pit, because Mike has recently been putting a lot of accurate and useful information on video for free, and it's too good not to share. If you're interested in internal arts you need to look at this stuff. To me it seems logical, straightforward and practical, and can only add benefit to your training.

Have a look at this one on silk reeling, for example:

https://vimeo.com/170493068

There's more like this you can get on the 6H forum on Facebook.

What are your thoughts on Sigman's thoughts on fascia?

Excerpts from Mike Sigman’s blog, http://mikesigman.blogspot.com/:
Mike Sigman wrote:Qi of Martial-Arts and Qi of TCM: Reconciliation
. . . The Qi of Magnetic Feelings and so on
The Troublemaker

It would be simpler if we could maintain a discussion purely about mechanics, but there is a troublesome contributor to the overall idea of what qi is. Much of what controls and connects the body is the fascia. Much of various Qigongs is aimed at conditioning the fascia and, in order to focus on the fascia, muscular tension is avoided (if you tense, you’re just working on the muscles, not the fascia). A slight stretching of the fascia is seen in most conditioning postures, but muscular tension is abjured.

There is an electromagnetic field in the human body and the fascia is involved in the strength of the magnetic field. The stronger and better-conditioned the fascia is, the stronger the magnetic field can be. James L. Oschman wrote a fairly focused book on this odd relationship of fascia and the body’s electromagnetic field: “Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis”. The book is not clinically rigorous, but it’s informative and well-sourced. There are some relationships between acupuncture needling and the body’s electromagnetic field, but that’s a topic that is tangential to this discussion about the origins of the channels. The main point is that the fascia-tendon contributions to the Sinew Channels and the body whole are somewhat involved with the electromagnetic field of the body.

Further Thoughts on Qigongs

In the immediately previous essay (Breathing Exercises, Yoga, Balloon-Men, etc.), the idea of conditioning of the body fascia, connective-tissues, and so on was prominent. In the early essays done on Silk-Reeling and Six Harmonies movement (on this blog) there were a lot of opinions about connecting the dantian to the muscle-tendon channels (from which the acupuncture meridians are derived) in order to control the body. The same principles apply to qigongs as do silk-reeling movement: control lines from the dantian to the extremities are developed through the muscle-tendon channels and through the “mind-intent” control of forces from gravity and the solidity of the ground.

. . . Qigongs like the Ba Duan Jin, also called the “Eight Pieces of Brocade”, rely on the development and conditioning of the eight extraordinary meridians/channels. The “Eight Pieces of Brocade” aka “Eight Pieces of Silk” is a metaphor for eight areas/layers/pieces of fascia.

Breathing Exercises, Yoga, Balloon-Men, etc.

Generally speaking, the main idea in strengthening the connective tissues and tendons is to stretch, stress, and hold them. In other words, by manipulating (including twisting) various fasciae in the body, you can strengthen them. Holding a stretched tissue in position helps to strengthen it; this is the core idea of a lot of various standing postures. You can also strengthen the fascia tissues in and around organs by stretching, stressing with internal pressures, twisting, holding, and so on.
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby GrahamB on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:10 pm

Honestly I don’t know - you’d have to ask him. He talks about putting a stretch on the suit a lot. I’ve always assumed it was more skin and tendon based but maybe he means fascia? I don’t know - you’d have to ask him. When he talks about magnetic fields it goes beyond me. I just try to stick to what I can feel - a slight stretch on the body.
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:26 pm

oragami_itto wrote:I think scientists would argue the exact opposite.
That the study of fascia and the nature of core muscles is science, while "internal" arts lacking any rigor or process would be considered "pseudoscience".

Bridging the two mindsets might prove productive for some folks.



I am not saying fascia is pseudo science
It is fact
It is the way that it is applied to the internal arts that lacks credibility
Show me one way of moving the fascia that is new
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:18 pm

Show me the old way first
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:40 pm

I don't know what you mean there are thousands of way of movement that if they follow the tai chi classics move the fascia
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby marvin8 on Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:31 pm

wayne hansen wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:I think scientists would argue the exact opposite.
That the study of fascia and the nature of core muscles is science, while "internal" arts lacking any rigor or process would be considered "pseudoscience".

Bridging the two mindsets might prove productive for some folks.



I am not saying fascia is pseudo science
It is fact
It is the way that it is applied to the internal arts that lacks credibility
Show me one way of moving the fascia that is new

Here is an article by TREVOR AUNG THAN on JULY 13, 2012, TCM meridians and fascia: what does it have to do with the internal arts?, http://circusconditioning.com/?p=275.

Excerpt from a line-by-line reply article which has agreement with your above statement, Are Anatomy Trains Acupuncture Channels?…, https://eightgatesinternalarts.wordpres ... e-channels:
Eight Gates Internal Arts on August 10, 2014 wrote:I’ve seen this article linked to numerous times since it was put out on the web. It recently reared its head again.

I understand the central point that the author is trying to convey but there are big problems with the various models the author is trying to tie together. Weirdly, the author actually omits a final conclusive attempt to bring the models together, instead presenting various facts (sometimes out of context) and attempts to allow the reader to paint their own picture.

What follows is (mostly) a line by line reply, I have omitted the final section on Fascial Fitness, because my main issue is with erroneous conflation of terms, ideas and concepts between the emerging fascial research and the Chinese medical model. . . .

– Practice –

“For internal martial arts practitioners (Tai Chi, Bagua, Xingyi, Yiquan, etc) like us, what does this mean for our own practice? How can we manipulate our meridians and thereby the fascial system through movement?”

The idea of “manipulating” the meridians is a misnomer, the same as the erroneous thinking that has evolved since all Chinese practices were placed under the umbrella term “qigong”. Mainly the excessive focus and emphasis upon “qi”.

I’ll turn to the late Master Feng Zhi Qiang to explain a little about qi;

“Qi is a kind of driving force (Dong Li). For example blood circulation can be explained with the term “Qi”. Internal styles say: “exercise Intention (Yi), not Qi”, “when you use Intention, your channels will not be blocked”, “exercise Qi, not physical strength (Li); when you exercise physical strength, it will easily break”; “Intention should be focused on Spirit (Shen), not Qi; when it is focused on Qi, then Qi will become stagnant”.”

If your art uses the whole body, engages it, stimulates it, then you will be ‘awakening’ or ‘stimulating’ the acupuncture meridians.The same as you will be stimulating the Anatomy Trains, or the ‘muscles’ of the bio-mechanical model.

We can get into the fact that it is how a movement art does things that makes it differ from another movement art. And this is what arguably makes the Chinese arts, and or the “internal” arts different. That said, there are other methods that engage with and work with the body in similar ways, and whether or not they know about or care about ‘meridians’ or ‘channels’ the body will still be getting stimulated and changed accordingly.

Regardless of any changes in our view of the theory underpinning things, there shouldn’t be any change in how the art is being done, if it is being done correctly.

“We, probably more than anyone else, already use our fascial systems whenever we practice jibengong (foundational exercise) or via forms practice without many of us realizing it..”

Really? You use fascia more than other people? Yes there are movement modalities that are more muscle-centric, but there are a great many movement modalities that fit into current ideas and concepts of “Fascial Fitness”.

“At the base level, everytime we were told to fang song (relax) what was our laoshi or sifu really trying to tell us?”

They were telling you to relax. Relaxation was a hallmark of old school strength training in the West, nothing esoteric or Asian about it.

“I know, personally, it was a difficult concept for me to comprehend – movement without muscular activation – or movement without a reliance on overt muscular activation.”

Yes the latter, “without a reliance on overt [excessive] muscular activation”.

“If the muscles were not to work, how was I moving my body through space? How were my arms ‘parting the horses mane’without my deltoids, pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi co-activating the movement required?

One word – Fascia”

Not really. This implies that the fascia alone can move the body. It can’t. Can we argue that fascia has a bigger role to play than we have been giving it credit for? Most certainly. But no-one in fascia reserach states or claims this. And you can’t jump from a relationship between meridians and fascia to how that somehow implies the fascia moves the body. Am I jumping the gun and being unfair? Maybe, lets continue and see…

“It was my fascial network all along that was driving the movement.”

Hmm, are you sure? Lets review Dr Schleip’s understanding;
“martial art teachers… worldwide who wish that we would sanctify their claims that [the small size] fascial contraction provides the explanation for their observed miracle powers.”

So it would seem that one of the world’s leading experts in Fascial research and a key developer of a fitness method based on engaging with the health of the fascial system, does not agree with many of the appearing claims by those jumping on the fascial bandwagon.

“Fascia has long been neglected as just the ‘white packing stuff’ around our muscles – anatomy labs around the world have been in competition as to who can clear out the fascia best so that the muscles are left pristine for examination and study. In the last few years, there has been a paradigm shift in how we look at fascia and what it means for movement, health and dysfunction.”

Which is certainly a good thing.

“The traditional model of the human spine was based upon the post-and-beam model of a skyscraper (Schultz, 1983) and the soft tissues (muscles, fascia, tendons, etc) were always regarded as just curtain walls or stabilizing guy wires. If we assume our bodies as non-living organisms, this may hold weight but as biological structures we are mobile, flexible-hinged, low energy consuming, omni-directional structures that can function in a gravity-free environment (Levin, 1995). Skyscrapers are immobile, rigidly hinged, high energy consuming, vertically oriented structures that depend on gravity to hold them together. Similarly, the lever model we have previously used to explain muscles and joints in the body is flawed. See below.

A load of 200 kg, (not unusual for a trained weight lifter), located 40 cm from the fulcrum requires a muscle reaction force of 8 x 200 = 1600 kg. The erector spinae group can generate a force of about 200 to 400 kg, a force of only one quarter to one half of that necessary. Even a weight of 25 kg would put an average man at risk of tearing his back muscles. Muscle power alone cannot lift moderately heavy loads close to the body or light loads extending out from the body, such as a fish on the end of a rod (Courtesy of biotensegrity.com)

The calculated forces of these actions would rip muscles, break bones and severely deplete energy stores (Levin, 1995). The model nowadays agreed upon which most closely resembles our bodies’ is based upon a tensegrity model, a type of truss system, which is omni-directional so that the tension elements always function in tension no matter the direction of applied force (Fuller, 1975).

A balloon is a great example of tensegrity; the skin of the balloon is the ‘tension member’ pulling in, the air is the ‘compression member’ pushing out; replace a series of rubber bands in lieu of the skin and dowels for the air in the balloon and you have a classic tensegrity structure (Myers, 2012). If we substitute bones for the dowels and our fascial and myofascial membranes for the rubber bands/skin, that is the fascial integrity of our body.”

This however does not refer to or mention or discuss the problems that exist in trying to understand or explain the human body in terms of a tensegrity structure.

” Understanding how tensegrity actually operates at the level of vertebrate anatomy has proven to be difficult to conceive. Bio-tensegrity theory is not superficial but it’s adoption has been. Many clinicians use the term in their practice without any comprehensive understanding of how it might actually work. The complexity of vertebrate anatomy demands a more complete and encompassing explanation-and must include the role fascia plays in seamlessly meshing the tensile elements with the harder, denser tissues….A topic worth examining is the contentious issue surrounding simple joint articulations such as the finger, toe or knee. The challenge takes the form of two related questions that must be addressed: can tensegrity describe the articulations of joints, and can it demonstrate that loads are carried by a continuous tensile net with the compressive elements floating inside it? In other words can we describe a means by which a linked series of compression elements is suspended and/or supported by a tensile net rather than acting as a compressive column guyed down by muscles, tendons and ligaments.” T. Flemons.

Can we say the old ‘Newtonian’ mechanical model is outdated and needs to change, yes for sure. But bio-tensegrity is not a perfect model either, there are flaws in its application as well, and these should not be overlooked in our eagerness to replace something and follow something ‘new’, and shiny, did I mention it was shiny?

Can these flaws be ironed out, hopefully, but we have to be honest and work to do so.


“If we take a look at the drawing of ‘spiral Qi lines’ by Chen Xin taken from his book, Illustrated Explanations of Chen Family Taijiquan, what seem like random circular drawings around the body were possibly an early attempt to explain the concept of fascial integrity with what was familiar to Chen at the time – spiral Qi.
Image
Chan Si

Chen Xin’s famous drawing from his book on Chen silk reeling, circa early 1900s
Illustrating the importance of developing the use of torque, a movement pattern also largely ignored in many (not all) “Western” approaches to movement for some time, is one thing. We could easily make an argument either way.”

Spiral qi? Interesting, because spiralling the qi does not yunqi (move qi) through the acupuncture meridians, which are longitunidal not spiralic in nature. So how does this illustrate or support the assumption that the Anatomy Trains and the fascial planes they depict are related to the acupuncture meridians? Further, in Myers model there are no trains spiralling the arms.

What is interesting here is that although Myers himself states that his model is not exhaustive, only illustrative of possibilities. I have seen many approach it is though it is a reflective of a our whole anatomy, a complete and contained system.


“Essentially, the Anatomy Trains map provides a ‘longitudinal anatomy’ – a sketch of the long tensile straps and slings within the musculature as a whole….

Though some preliminary dissective evidence is presented in this edition, it is too early in the research process to claim an objective reality for these lines. More examination of the probable mechanisms of communication along these fascial meridians would be especially welcome.

As of this writing, the Anatomy Trains concept is presented merely as a potentially useful alternative map, a systems view of the longitudinal connections in the parietal myofascia. “ Myers (2009)

In personal conversation with my medical teacher he told me to explore the standing practices that involve spiralling to fully understand the jingjin from an experiential perspective. Yet when discussing using daoyin to correct structural issues, it was a different unrelated set of moving practices that was recommended most highly.

“Another way to look at his drawings are a rather accurate ‘force-map’ for the major fascial connections in the body. A small excerpt from his book reveals his deep knowledge;
Coiling power (Chan Jin) is all over the body. Putting it most simply, there is coiling inward (Li Chan) and coiling outward (Wai Chan), which both appear once (one) moves. There is one (kind of coiling) when left hand is in front and right hand is behind; (or when) right hand is in front and left hand is behind….once Qi of the hand moves to the back of the foot, then big toe simultaneously closes with the hand and only at this moment (one can) step firmly…


It’s amazing to think that 100 years ago, Chen was already alluding to things we now know about integrated movement (connectivity of the big toe to the rest of the body) and kinetic awareness (left-right hand interplay).”

Well surely it is more a case of isn’t it amazing we are 100 years behind! in understanding the body. And what else did people in the past “know” that we keep overlooking in our arrogance that modern science understands things best?

“These things play a big part in the new sub-science of Fascial Fitness, or in other words, how to train our fascia to be resiliant and elastic as to perform optimally and prevent injuries (Müller and Schleip, 2011).”

The rest of the article discusses the proposed principles of ‘Facial Fitness’ in relation to the martial arts. There is little point doing a line by line here.

Similarities between the two make sense, Chinese arts were developed in a culture and at a time when the body was viewed and experienced differently, they do not come from a ‘muscle-centric’ view.

But just as I have seen muscle-centric bio-mechanical explanations of the movements of the Chinese arts, are any of these models accurate?

So lets wrap this meandering blog post up.

The Chinese mapped and discussed the jingjin, ‘channels’ of a “neuro-myo-fascial” nature as far back as the Ling Shu Jing (part of the Huang Di Neijing). Although the exact nature of these is not readily clear solely from reading that text.

The jingjin were named after the acupuncture meridians which implies a relationship. Yet the pathway descriptions differ, the ‘directionality’ of them differs, and the cycle of qi through them also differs. So while there is a relationship, and superficial similarity they are clearly not the same thing.

Although modern research disseminating the relationship of inserting a needle to subsequent positive effects upon the fascia and related tissues is fascinating, it should be viewed within the bigger picture of Chinese medical theory. Which would imply an effect upon what the Chinese mapped and discussed primarily as the “jingjin”.

The jingjin, while omitted in early TCM for simplification, classically was the hallmark of the training for bodyworkers. This shows the importance and relevance of this aspect of the jingluo system over and above the acupuncture meridians when engaging and dealing with the body. And this is how such things were viewed and mapped in classical Chinese medicine.

Any discussion of the similarities between modern fascial research and the old maps and models of Chinese medicine, should surely then be more productive if it was focussed upon the jingjin and not the acupuncture meridians.

Although to reduce the whole jingluo system down to only the jingjin, would be to make the same error as doing so with the acupuncture meridians. The jingjin need to be viewed as the gateway into the bigger picture, not as a stand alone system.

That the differences between modern TCM concepts and ideas related to the nature of qi and the jingluo should be understood for what it is, and how it differs to Classical Chinese medicine. This should then be kept in mind when attempting to use TCM to explain arts that pre-date it, like the Chinese martial arts.

Finally, that the research into the role of fascia is valuable and fascinating and can be very helpful. Using something to better understand what we do is one thing, is not the same as changing what we do based on something else. Improving our understanding of fascia is important, especially if you’ve been ignoring it, but it isn’t the holy grail, as with anything it is simply a piece of the bigger puzzle or picture.

Lets not confuse ourselves.
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby middleway on Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:49 am

This again .... What you will always find on a thread about Fascia. I almost know before i open it.

Graham saying its not needed. Others saying its not relevant etc etc. :P

Normally it will be followed by a lot of ignorance about what Fascia is, what it does, why we have it, and how it relates to using other tissues like muscle.

This has happened a thousand times on this forum. I think maybe we need to all just accept the fact that some of us prefer to coach people with modern terminology and models, and some prefere the old traditional models and words.

There is room for both of these models.

Personally, because i rarely teaching internal martial artists now, it is a VERY useful model of explination for methods that I teach. It is concrete, can be felt and can be researched by participants away from my sessions in a very clear and concise way ... all i need to do is point them to some anatomy books.

To each their own.

Note: I am also in the process of designing a study on connection training with the Sports Science department at a local university and we are currently working out how to actually test the hypothesis of connection via fascia ... it will be interesting to see the results!
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby wayne hansen on Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:19 am

Just show me one exercise that employs fascia that hasn't been around for the last hundred years
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Re: Fascia with Dr. Ginervra Liptan — Ken Gullette Podcast

Postby middleway on Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:47 am

Just show me one exercise that employs fascia that hasn't been around for the last hundred years


Everything we do employs fascia so the question is non sensical ... you can pick ANY exercise or movement created in any time. Plus the age of an exercise is completely irrelevant.

Lets flip this around. Show me one exercise that employs Chi.... i guess first we need to agree on a definition of the word Chi ... and that is the point where the conversation breaks down entirely in every discussion.

It is really amusing to me that people are completely fine with using words like 'Muscle' 'Bone' 'Joint' 'Tendon' 'Ligament' 'Skin' .... But are allergic to 'fascia'. haha if you dont see the irony there, then i dont know what to say.
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