A New Organ, You Say?

Okay, okay, I know, you don’t have to send me another email about this newfound organ. I’m as excited as you, but as an investigator of human science, trust me, I’m already on it. First off, I want to start by stating how exciting it is to see any aspect of fascia getting such noteworthy press! And to be honest, I kind of like this new word, interstitium. But let me assure you, there’s not much new, and really, there may be some holes in the original research paper. That being said, there’s some cool stuff that I think is being missed in the hype of restating the paper and using the word organ.

It’s kind of amazing how much buzz can come from one scientific paper. The media amplifies anything and everything today. I must have gotten 50 calls, about 200 emails, and at least 1,000 Facebook messages pointing me to this “new discovery.”

I want to point out here, I’m not a researcher and I don’t spend hours in a lab looking under a microscope. That said, I have spent thousands of hours reading research papers and understanding histology for no other reason than that I’m curious about science. To be honest, I should have a PhD in longevity by now. Instead, I live in the trenches of helping real people on a daily basis. So if you dare to read on, I appreciate that!

“A new organ is discovered!”

First, how could an organ get missed? Although there are people out there hellbent on telling you they know it all, science has its dark matter just like the universe that’s still being discovered. Things get missed and fascia is one of them. It’s the stuff that’s outside of cells and most of research is confined to cells. For a long time, fascia was considered to be a passive packing material, so there wasn’t much dedicated research going into it for a long time.

So, it all started with a scientific report. The title of the peer-reviewed paper was “Structure and Distribution of an Unrecognized Interstitium in Human Tissue.” I want to note that there isn’t any mention about a new organ in the title, and I didn’t see that word mentioned in the research at all. I would bet that when an interview was done, the word organ came up and the concept of it being unrecognized. They called it a universal bodywide system – not an organ.

The first thing I did was read the original paper – about 10 times, because to be honest, it’s based on histology. I wasn’t sure what CD34 or D2-40 were (more on that later) and it took me a few days to decode. If I were Thomas Findley or Helene Langevin or Jean Claude Guimberteau, perhaps I could read it once and create a great blog. Alas, it took time to understand what’s really new, what’s a bit reaching, and how this one paper could create such a buzz.

Keep in mind that the authors are pathologists (people who do biopsies and such), where they stain the tissue and process it so you can view it and see the crosslinks. You have to realize that histology distorts things – and lots of research that people still hold to be true has been refuted because the staining process itself alters what they were looking at. No one really developed ways to view tissue without killing it until only recently. I’ve been talking about this fluid flow I felt with my hands since I was a kid, but until I saw the work of Jean Claude Guimberteau, I’d never seen fascia on a cellular level that was still alive.

There are some amazing researchers who I think most of you don’t even know – one of them a brilliant woman– so for sure you don’t know her unless you are part of the fascia community.

Join me Monday when we’ll be posting the 2nd part of this blog series to dive deeper into the specifics of fascia.

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