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Conversations with My Body

Next Generation of Trainers

Conversations with My Body

By Bill Stewart on July 24, 2013

Connective tissue largely defines the shape of our body. How does this information impact your movement and the way you perceive + relate to your anatomy?

One Nia's most unique features is our continual focus on Awareness and Sensation. Movement stimulates Sensation; Awareness of Sensation changes the way we Move. It is an ongoing conversation with our bodies. The body speaks in Sensation, we reply in Motion.

Connective tissue defines and facilitates both sides of this conversation - it holds the shape of our muscles and organs, allows our muscles to contract, relax, and slide over each other, and holds many of the nerve endings and sensory organs that connect us to Sensation.

The golgi tendon organs support movement and sensation in two ways - they trigger reflexive contraction for stability when the muscle experiences a sudden shock (which is why we don't fall down when we jump), and trigger the muscle to relax when exposed to gentle, slow pressure (which is why stretching and massage are such effective relaxers).

Connective tissue is not passive - experimentation has shown that connective tissue in the skin actually contracts to grasp an acupuncture needle upon a small amount of rotation. It is such an integral part of many of our systems that many people (including Doctors and researchers) largely ignore it; but without it, we would be literally shapeless and unable to move.

Connective tissue in the cell walls provide communication between the cell and the intracellular matrix, activating or deactivating signaling molecules, and affecting gene expression - and thus managing the proteins and structures necessary for life, growth and healing. For example, Fibroblasts within connective tissue help bind injuries back together.

Without connective tissue, I could neither move nor sense that movement. My body could not maintain its shape, grow, or heal injuries. We are what we are because of connective tissue.