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  Fascia is the term used for the envelopes and separating layers of musculature that are composed of connective tissue.  Fasciae consist primarily of tough collagen connective tissue, which is combined with elastic fibers, to a varying degree.  The proportion of collagen to elastic fibers depends upon the functional demands placed upon the tissue in that area of the body.  When there is strong tensile stresses on the tissue, then the collagen fibers are predominant.  If the area of the body is one that changes shape repetitively, then more elastic fibers are layed down, proportionally.  As the demands on the body changes over a lifetime, so does the combination of elastic fiber to collagenous fiber, in various parts of the body.  As we age, the tough collagen fibers predominate more and more.2

     The body is constantly changing its connective tissue through new tissue formation, fiber realignment, and changes in the hydration of connective tissue.  Rolfers can assist a client in influencing how this change occurs.  Our goal is to tap into the wisdom of the body that is always present, but sometimes dormant in our awareness.  We influence the tissue so that the inherent self-regulatory tendency is reinforced.  In this way, pattterns can shift and the body can continually reinvent itself.

2.  Schwind, Peter.  Fascial and Membrane Technique:  A Manual for Comprehensive Treatment of the Connective Tissue System.  Edinburgh:  Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2006.