FA ARTICLE Fascia? Fabrica (structure) or Fabric (weave)? 2020

The Revolutionary Re-Vision of Jaap van der Wal

The Human body? Fabrica or fabric?


From 2009 to the present (March 2020) I have been able (in my opinion and the insight of many others) to make a meaningful contribution to the discussions in circles of fascia research regarding the image or concept of fascia and even regarding the possible definition of fascia. I do that from the two basic disciplines in which my scientific career is rooted: anatomy and embryology. But then in the sense of a phenomenological approach that is closer to morphology than anatomy

In 2009, my concept about the organization of connective tissue in the human body was well received. My argument at the second International Fascia Congress in Amsterdam broadly implied that the anatomical model that the body is made up of more or less discrete organs and components is in fact a technical but above all a conceptual and paradigmatic artifact. In order to be able to understand fascia at all as an organ or system, one should no longer think in anatomy but in architecture, that is functional spatial coherence. In fact, the term ‘the anatomy of fascia’ is a contradiction in terms. With anatomy it’s almost always about the WHERE, but with fascia it’s about the HOW. In connective tissue and fascia it is about the functional relationship of the connective tissue with neighboring organs and tissues: it is about integrity and continuity, qualities that in fact are disturbed and ignored by the anatomical approach and way of thinking.

I have been able to further propagate and elaborate this idea in many lecture publications and seminars. Gradually it was supplemented with my ideas that the origin of fascia lies in the ‘meso’. The ‘meso’ is the so-called third germ layer (usually called ‘mesoderm’) which on closer inspection is not a germ leaf at all, but where it concerns our ‘inner’ (“inner tissue” as the embryologist Blechschmidt expressed it).

The article published here, which will be published shortly (2020) in a second book by David Lesondak, can be regarded as a kind of will by Jaap van der Wal, handed over to the fascia community. Here is a brief summary of what I have contributed to fascia research and also to the image and theory formation of fascia. I have nothing more to say or to contribute to Fascia Research than this. Sometimes I doubt whether this idea, this concept, has been sufficiently understood, heard and further applied.

I have come to feel most closely related to the biotensegrity thinkers. I believe that this article not only provides an ‘anatomy’ but also an appropriate ’embryology’. In this article I try nothing more and nothing less than the old image of the human body as a ‘Fabrica Humani Corporis‘ as the title of the first genius anatomy book by Andreas Vesalius (1543) was, to build on the idea of Stephen Levin that fascia and perhaps the whole body can be thought of as a fabric matrix (‘fabric’) in which the organs are embedded and embroidered.

Below a link to an edit of the article in question. But perhaps first read the bustling pamphlet with which at the time in 2009 Tom Myers welcomed my ideas about architecture and anatomy as necessary complementary principles.

The Revolutionary Re-Vision of Jaap van der Wal

The Human body? Fabrica or Fabric?