Understanding Fascia

Has anyone seen Bodies the Exhibition (also known as Body Worlds) that’s touring the country? It’s amazing to see the “real” bodies displayed in a way that exposes each muscle, organ, vein, and artery. This exhibition also shows diseased human organs, like a gallbladder with stones. This revealing exhibition may not be for everyone but if you are interested, it is both fascinating and educational.

There is one part of the body not included in the Bodies Exhibition: fascia. Fascia is a complex system of connective tissue that holds everything in its place, including the organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and bones. Fascia varies in texture and thickness throughout the body. Recently fascia has claimed more and more attention from the health and medical industry. After all, fascia is essential to keeping every part of the body in its proper place as well as being integral and all-encompassing throughout the body.

The Bodies Exhibit uses a technology called plastination. This technology was invented in 1977 by scientist and anatomist Gunter von Hagens, MD. Plastination stops the decomposition process thus preserving anatomical specimens for research and education purposes. The Facial Net Plastination Project (FNPP) is a project dedicated to the preservation of fascia through plastination. This is no easy feat! Fascia is everywhere, wrapping around vessels, under the skin and over the muscles, surrounding organs and bones, interlacing the entire body. The Fascial Net Plastination Project (FNPP) is comprised of a well-rounded group of professionals, including The Fascia Research Society, Somatics Academy, and the Gubener Plastinate (GmbH). The FNPP includes anatomists, bodyworkers, movement educators, acupuncturists, physical therapists, academics, professors, physicians, and dissection enthusiasts from around the world. The ultimate goal of the FNPP is to bring fascial anatomy education to all.

Fascia specimens will be on exhibition for the first time at the Fifth Fascia Research Congress in Berlin, Germany, in November 2018. This will be the first phase of a 3-year plan to create the world ‘s first all-fascia, whole-body plastinates. These specimens will become part of Body Worlds. Hopefully this exhibit will be help us fully comprehend the complexity and importance of fascia in our bodies and our lives.


Acupuncturist, herbalist, Maya abdominal practitioner, and reflexologist Christina Morris is the founder of Element Natural Healing Arts. Writing about health and wellness gives her an outlet to express her care and concern for her beloved community. She believes everyone can achieve better health and happiness–emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.