In science, fascia is now seen as possibly our richest sensory organ, with approximately 250 million nerve endings. Additionally, resident cells in fascia, the fibroblasts, play an important role in linking our autonomic nervous system, our immune system, and our musculoskeletal system.
Fascia is a central tissue hosting processes which determine health and disease states: By acting on fibroblasts, stress hormones can induce fascial stiffening potentially leading to myofascial pain syndromes. Additionally, the fact that chronic stress can impair our immune system, seems to be in part mediated by fibroblasts.
Fibroblasts react to mechanical influences like touch. Recent research by a group around Certified Advanced Rolfer® Robert Schleip has shown that manipulation of the fascial system, similar to the Rolfing® method, may have anti-inflammatory effects.
Rolfing is a manual bodywork acting on fascia to align the body in gravity, reduce and balance tensions, and improve coordination.
Read more about the anti-inflammatory effects of fascial manipulation:
Manipulation of the Fascial System Applied During Acute Inflammation of the Connective Tissue of the Thoracolumbar Region Affects Transforming Growth Factor-β1 and Interleukin-4 Levels: Experimental Study in Mice