Recent research has further clarified the relationship between the Fascial web and Lymphatic system and has again shown the importance of viewing the fascia as a global network.

It has for some years been believed that fascia existed between some non tightly-packed cells (intracellular interstitial spaces) and in the space in between capillaries but more recently this understanding has been expanded.

According to research by Dr. Neil Theise (see paper) ‘the fascial network is much larger, surrounding all cells of the body and containing 4x the fluid of the cardiovascular system’.

It was considered before that the different parts of the body were essentially ‘wrapped’ in fascial bags and those bags glided over each other, however what Dr. Theise is proposing is that the web is in fact more permeable, more continuous and that fluid would pass from the superficial to the deep fibers, unimpeded by any levels or segmentation.

The microscopy here shows the movement of purple dye from the most superficial (b) levels of the Mucosa to the deep levels of the Mesenteric fascia (f). Look at the images on the left and you can see the purple dye is present throughout: this indicates that the fluid is moving down deep through the fascial web (from b, to d, to f).

In the microscopy here you can see the closed purple rings, these are the capillaries, some wide purple circles, others more squashed ovals. In light blue however you can see another structure with a distinctly open end – this is the stoma (mouth) of the lymph gland: “It cannot be a closed tube as it has an open mouth” – reports Dr Theise

This is the first picture showing the relationship between the capillaries, the interstitium and lymphatics – all in one image – and what it shows is how the drainage of the system happens from the fluid that flows through the larger spaces of the body, a continuous reservoir if you like, not separately from each part of the body.

Again this shows us that the fascia network is one global system and needs to be treated as such – as we do in Kalari of course, in all aspects of training and treatment the whole body is addressed – either through full body movements in Kalarippayattu or full body treatments in Kalari Chikitsa – in both cases the fascial web is stretched and contracted in such a way as to essentially ‘squeeze’ out the toxins from the body through the lymphatics.

Watch this space for further insights into Kalari and Fascia Research.

Adam Phillips, 15th January 2024.