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Interstitium: Bringing It All Together

core connections fascia Jan 22, 2019

Many of you who have listened to a few of my Core Connections Podcast episodes, know how much I LOVE talking about fascia. In this episode, I’m kicking it up a notch and talking about your interstitium. What is interstitium? According to Tom Meyers of Anatomy Trains, interstitium is,

“The interstitium is a body-wide communicating system for the push and pull of mechanical information. A system of collagen and elastin fibers suspended in a mucousy gel that binds with interstitial fluid. This system is closely aligned with our lymphatic system and the white blood cells of our immune system.”

The great news is by improving the energy flow through your body you can improve the flow of you interstitium while improving your overall body function. Why you might ask? Because everything in your body is connected!

You better fasten that seatbelt because I am going to be throwing a lot of valuable information at you to help bring together the importance of interstitium.

INTERSTITIAL FLUID

LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

EPISODE QUOTES

TRANSCRIPT

Erica: Today’s quote of the day comes from Shakti Gawain,

“The more willing you are to surrender to the energy within you, the more power can flow through you.”

I felt like this quote really resonates with our topic for today which is all about your interstitium. If you’re like, “What the heck is that?” Don’t worry that’s why you are here! You know I love to talk about fascia and your interstitium is one and the same with fascia. Everything is connected through our body.

Interstitium was a really big thing back in March of 2018, where new research came out about this new organ in our body. I’m going to take this quote from Tom Myers of Anatomy Trains and if you are interested in learning more about fascia, he’s an incredible resource. He says,

“The interstitium is a body-wide communicating system for the push and pull of mechanical information. A system of collagen and elastin fibers suspended in a mucousy gel that binds with interstitial fluid. This system is closely aligned with our lymphatic system and the white blood cells of our immune system.”

This shows that everything is so interconnected in our bodies. What they were really finding from a scientific perspective was that people were having this aha moment of, “Wow, maybe we should look at the body as a whole system and not so independently.”

They were specifically doing research to better understand cancer in the body and how it can spread so quickly from one area to the other. And it all came down to interstitium which is basically a collagen matrix with fluid inside of it.

So, this is where hydration is so important. This is where everything is so interconnected because of the fascia, the interstitium, they go around all of our organs. That’s where learning how to breathe more deeply, more effectively, can connect you to your body and improve the flow of energy through your body as well.

There have been studies out there about energy, actual electrical currents flowing through our fascia. That’s why I think it is so important to learn a little more about the interstitium, the fascia, this collagen matrix and hydration.

This is where being hydrated is very important and water is very important, yes. But it’s also important to be getting lots of green vegetables and it’s good to do green juicing or even celery juice. The reason why that could be more hydrating for you is that the water in vegetables at a molecular level is already converted to be easily absorbed by our cells. 

The other piece of that is the movement. I’m going to read this quote from Science Direct,

“The movement of interstitial fluid from the tissue space into the terminal lymphatics requires a driving force.”

I’m not going to get super, super science-y and you’re welcome to dive in deeper, but I just want to help explain this a little bit more. This is where we can look at the interstitial space, our fascia as a precursor to our lymphatic system. Having good energy and fluid flowing through our lymphatics is important from a detox perspective.

This is something that I have really dove into a deeper understanding of this past year. What is so fascinating with breath work is when we learn how to breathe and how to activate from our deep core, we can improve the energy through our body. All the fascia that goes in and around our organs that we have the potential to improve the energy flow of, but you have to start with the littlest piece of bringing awareness to your body.

Let’s talk about your GI system for a second. This is where movement can be so effective for improving your GI tract. If you’re someone that feels constipated, but you notice when you do activity it helps, that could be the reason behind it because you are moving. You’re improving the fluid and energy flowing through the fascia of your abdomen. It could help to stimulate your large intestine to improve the motility and push all that stuff through because it’s all connected.

We can’t just look at the GI tract as the GI tract, right? We also have to look at it from a fascial perspective, from an energy perspective. If there are aches and pains that are happening when you’re moving, then those are signs that your body is telling you that something is off balance.

Fascia is involved in everything that we do. We can think of it from a movement perspective, but today I want you to think of it as an organ perspective because our organs are encapsulated with fascia. And in between all our organs lies interstitium but essentially, it’s one and the same when you start thinking about the fluid, hydration and your lymphatic system.

Our body naturally has these systems, and if one thing in our body is a little out of balance it can throw everything out of balance. I do find that the movement can be so, so effective with so many things because of fascia being all interconnected.

Because we’re making our energy flow more easily when we think of fascia, movement, energy, the meridians of our body, acupuncture, doing tai chi and having body work done can be very effective in improving the energy flow through our body. 

I’m sure many of you listening have done acupuncture before and if you haven’t, I love it! I think it’s absolutely amazing. Acupuncture is proof that different areas of our body connect with different organs. I’m kind of that annoying patient when I go to acupuncture who’s like, “What’s that for? What’s that connect with?”

It’s so fascinating to me how you can go in saying, “My digestive system is sluggish,” and your acupuncturist knows where to put the needles in those sluggish spots that are going to help improve the energy flow. Then, all of the sudden you’re lying there and you start to feel things happen and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’m not doing anything,” and then boom, things start to flow again.

I love acupuncture for so many things with the body because it’s really neat to understand that there are all of these modalities that all come back to the fact that everything is intertwined in our body and that we can improve the energy flow of our body.

I know for anyone of you that’s listening, that’s studying the core training I teach, I know you’ve felt that. Movement can literally improve the energy of your entire body while waking up your brain.

I like to use this example because it’s not about doing a lot to accomplish a lot. A little bit can go a long way. I love when someone says,

“Erica, I took your advice. I started doing 10 minutes of these couple exercises to connect my breathing with my body. To reconnect my deep core.”

And then the next thing you know that 10 minutes turned into 45 minutes of movement. It’s so incredible what a little body awareness is capable of. Even taking a couple deep breaths when you’re driving when you are super stressed. Your breath can really help you with that because it’s not just the breathing itself and getting more oxygen into the body. But it’s the act of taking a gentle breath and letting the air go in more of a flow state. 

I know you are kind of like, “Where are you going with this with the interstitium?” It’s because it’s all intertwined… at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to. By taking a deep breath, you are causing a response to the fascia and tissue in your body to chill the heck out. That then sends a signal to your brain that says, “I don’t have to be so stressed. I don’t have to be anxious.” 

I’m not perfect by any means. I have days, I have moments, but then there are also times where I tell myself that I can override this. I have the power. I want you to say that out loud.

I have the power to be less stressed. To be more in control of my actions. 

And if you respond in a way where you wish you could take that back, then the next time you are aware of it and can respond differently. 

There are times where you’re physically tired, but I think sometimes we push our bodies so much that they get into this stressed state and feeling low energy. This is also me giving my own advice because I have those days and this morning was one of them.

I did not get a great night’s sleep last night because I ate some food yesterday that my body was not loving. It was great at the time but then later my body was like, “Erica, you shouldn’t have eaten that.” I don’t eat much out and it tasted so good and it was in my ramifications, gluten-free, dairy-free all that stuff. And it was still too much. 

Anyways, I woke up so tired, but I had to tell myself that that’s okay. I still did a Pilates session. Was it the best Pilates session I’ve ever done? No, but I did it and I’m glad I did it because I felt better afterward. 

I’m here recording this podcast, where there’s always that part of me that’s like, you know, I want to do more research or it’s not quite where I want it. But I have to tell myself, “No, you are going to do this.” Because I have a lot of great knowledge that I hope I can teach you!

The next time you feel any stress or low energy, I want you to think about how everything is interconnected. Let’s use the GI tract as an example. If you are feeling constipated and you have a little more toxic load in your body, instead of allowing that stress snowball, you have the power to override that by allowing yourself to take a few deep breaths and encourage your GI tract to do what it’s supposed to do.

This is a crazy, powerful thing that we can do with our mind that can affect our body and vice versa. It’s not looking at the body as separate pieces, but it's looking at it as a whole, as one. 

This is where I’ve talked about movement before as the source of your pain might not be causing your pain. And I know you are saying, “Erica, that sounds so crazy,” but it’s not.

I’ve seen it time and time again. Looking at the fascia that runs through our body as it connects our toes to our fingers and the top of your head to the bottom of your foot, you start to see that everything is connected. Learn how to connect deeper through all of the things that I’ve talked about today including your movement.

One episode that I did that connects really well with this is the rotation episode. Rotations are so great to help reconnect and rebalance your body. They help to lengthen and bring your awareness back to your body.

Something else that could help you is to check out the anatomy of all of your organs. If you are having a hard time understanding it, it shows you how interstitium is one and the same with fascia; it is just another term for everything between our organs.

But I want you to be able to visualize it because when you are able to visualize how your body is functioning, you are able to connect with your body on a whole deeper level. Whether you feel it or not, I don’t care, don’t let it stop you!

With clients, especially when they first start working with me, it is very normal for them to say to me, “I have no idea. I don’t feel this. I feel really stuck. I feel really stiff. I feel really tired,” and that’s okay.

Visualize what you want for your body. Whether it’s doing anything for you right now or not, that doesn’t really matter. Because if we ride this wave of, “Well, my body can’t do that. It’s not connecting. I don’t know if I’m ever going to get this,” I’m going to be the one to tell you that that’s a load of crap. 

It’s okay to accept the fact that you’re not connecting right now, but there’s huge power in you telling yourself, your body that you can function more effectively.

I love the fascial movement because it is able to teach you how to connect through your body. When working through my Core Rehab Program, start to implement and visualize the pieces that I teach.

I know it sounds crazy, but it’s not. I’ve heard different stories out there about people being told they are never going to walk again and the next thing you know they are able to through the power of believing in yourself. By visually rebuilding their bodies, by their mind telling their body what it’s supposed to do, these changes happen quickly.

We can change our beliefs system and it’s so interconnected with our fascial system and the energy that flows through our body. That is the biggest point that I want to get across with everyone today is how interconnected our body is. No more thinking of it as individual pieces.

You might have an ache or pain somewhere in your body, but what is it caused from? Is it physical pain, emotional pain? There are so many things that it could be and the easiest thing that you can do today is to start connecting deeper with your body. That’s the mind-body, body-mind connection. It takes time.

Someone was ranting in my Core Connections Facebook group about all the people trying to sell her these quick fixes. She was so over it and I am right there with her because there really is no such thing as a quick fix. What I am here to teach you is these little nuggets along the way to dramatically improve your lifestyle. Improve how you connect with your body, how you feel about your body and how your body actually feels. 

A lot of the pain that we feel in our body isn’t caused by that physical spot. The pain where we fell it is usually that why the pain is there. It comes down to reconnecting with your body and finding how to carry your body to improve your energy flow. 

I know that mid-back episode was so powerful for so many of you, but when we talk about it in relation to posture and just by understanding how to lengthen and carry your body you start to improve your energy flow. You are creating more space through your abdominal and visceral cavity. When talking about interstitium, there is a lot happening in there with your organs and digestive system. So, if you are sitting crunched all day, you are not moving that fluid through your body.

It’s really about getting our body to communicate as one while bringing more awareness to the mind-body and body-mind connection because we are actually able to create new wiring through our brain because we can actually do that. There’s research out there that shows that now, which is amazing.

No matter what age you are, you can absolutely continue to improve not only your brain function but your brain-body, body-brain connection. It’s so fascinating, I love that. 

Especially with the women who have been able to experience this with my programming and they come back to me after how many babies and say, “Oh my gosh, my body awareness is at a whole new level than I have ever experienced.”

If you are really young and you are learning this now, more power to you. I wish I had half of the information that I know now in my early 20s. I definitely would’ve been further along, but that’s okay, it’s never too late. 

Think about how you can integrate these things into your life. It’s not about doing more, it’s about learning to be more effective through our day because it’s all interconnected. Eventually, you will start to incorporate these things on a day-to-day basis.

You will start to be more aware of how you’re moving, how you’re connecting with your body. By all means, go out and do a high-intensity workout if that’s right for you now. Probably not every day unless you are training for something specific, but rest is still important.

By doing this, you actually may be able to create more space between your organs and allowing more protection for your organs. I mean, crazy idea, but when we’re training fascia in a way that works to wake up the interstitium you will have more space to help protect our organs and to help the energy flow through your body instead of feeling so stuck. 

It’s okay to feel stuck in our body because we can work on that. We can change our body at a cellular level. To think that as we get older we can improve everything. In a couple of years from now, your fascial and collagen matrix will be a whole new system. It’s up to you today to say, what do I want that to be?

Let’s throw out that old mindset that it’s normal to experience aches and pains as we get older. It may be societally normal, but to me, I’m like, no, no, no, no. If you’re suffering from aches and pains, you don’t have to.

The first step is awareness of it and telling yourself that you are going to do something about it. When we move, we should move more fluidly. Look at a professional dancer. When you see them move, pay attention to how effortless it is. That’s how I want you to be.

You don’t have to be a professional dancer, that’s a little extreme but if you need a visual that’s a good one to look at. They are really connected to their body whether they know it or not.

Experiment with it and let me know what you find for your body. I’m going to end it with stop looking at your body as individual pieces and start looking at it as one. That’s so powerful. Thank you all so much for joining me today. I would love it if you shared this episode with a friend and leave me a review on iTunes. If you’ve got additional questions, please reach out to me on Instagram @ericaziel. Thank you so much and I will see you next time.

RESOURCES


The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).

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