The importance of connective tissue has only recently begun to be understood. As in the universe, space is not empty. It is the same inside the cell and between one cell and another. The interstices are full, there are no empty spaces, there is a precise multi-dimensional structure, known as connective tissue. The connective tissue is the largest and most extensive interconnecting organ in the body and represents 20% of its total weight. This dense solid, fluid and gelatinous network covers and intertwines with the muscles, wraps organs, nerves, bones, blood vessels and extends to every part of the body. The CT is the habitat where the cells of our body are immersed and live, it connects the body systems and allows them to operate in an integrated manner.
Once the nerves were considered the only routes by which each cell communicated with the other cells. Countless scientific researches have proven that communication in the body take place in multiple ways. It is shown that cells in connective tissues, not only exchange information with other tissues and organs through the synapses of the nervous system, but communicate chemically directly between them. This unified state of the connective tissue creates a network system or “matrix” throughout the body that acts as an instant communication system. Szent-Gyorgyi (1937 Nobel Prize for medicine) defined it as “a continuum of energy throughout the body that functions as an information / communication system outside of all nervous pathways.” Thanks to the connective tissue that functions as a semiconductor, all the molecules, the bio-energies (electricity, magnetism, light, sound, heat) travel through this matrix informing and instructing the organism.
CT is incredibly differentiated, it has many faces. It comes in the form of a solid (the bone tissue is a type of CT), of liquid (the blood is a fluid CT) and of various intermediate gelatinous states (cartilage, membranes, mucous membranes). Some of its best known forms are: superficial and deep visceral fascia, tendons, ligaments, myelin sheaths, adipose tissue, joint capsules, meninges and periosteum.
Two fundamental constituent components of CT are: plasma, now called ground substance and fibres.
Plasma is a semi-liquid, amorphous, viscous, which resembles egg white and surrounds all tissues up to the cellular level. It is the ocean in which every cell of the body is immersed and swims. It is the medium within which all bodily functions take place. In situations of intense stress, of physical and emotional suffering, a plasmatic contraction occur which creates dehydration. The nourishment does not pass through and into the organism to expel its toxins and to clean itself. The metabolism, the energy exchange decreases and inflammation arises.
The fibres. The main fibres of the CT are collagen fibres. Collagen is the “glue” that supports most tissues, a fibrous protein produced naturally by our body, which represents 25% of the proteins present in the body.
Functions of CT in the body.
The main function of connective tissue is to connect, unite all parts of the body.
The CT system goes from under the skin directly to the nucleus of each cell. CT is a transport system, it receives and transmits, energy impulses in a non-linear manner in all parts of the body. Electric, magnetic, luminous and acoustic signals, heat, nerve impulses, hormonal secretions move through collagen fibres, plasma and water molecules. All biological processes, including mental activity, take place within some form of connective tissue. The quality of the CT is therefore fundamental. If the flow of energy that passes through the CT is contracted, hard and dry, information, sensations, feelings and mental activity will be distorted, diminished or blocked.
CT is involved in wound healing and activation of the immune system. For example, when viruses and bacteria invade the body tissues, they are “surrounded” and encapsulated by the CT fibres that prevent them from spreading.
The CT creates space for each organ and separates them. For example, in the embryo, before the organs begin to form, the CT creates habitable space for each organ. An empty cavity is formed where the heart will lodge. The same applies to the lungs, stomach, brain, etc. The CT creates a place within which each organ can carry out its function. Without this space created by the CT, the cells would collapse on each other.
The connective tissue functions as a support. When we think of our support structure we think of the skeleton and the muscles. In reality, if we compare it to a tent, the central pole is the skeleton, the ties that hold the tent upright are the myo-fascial tissues.
CT bears the stress.
When we are under stress due to a physical or emotional injury or a combination of the two, the muscles contract instantly, but the muscle can only maintain the contraction for a few minutes. To resist the stressful event the CT comes to the rescue of the muscle, developing further fibres inside and around the muscle therefore the envelope that surrounds the muscle thickens. If stress is intense and repeated over time, other muscles are involved and the adjacent muscle wraps stick to each other and the contraction remains for a long term, for life. This is the armour of which Reich spoke about: areas of the body that are chronically stressed thicken to resist physical emotional or psychic stress. In the chronic contractions of myofascial tissues is contained the frozen emotional history which sought protection there.
This tension, this thickening and deformation of the connective tissues, matured over time cannot go back on its own.