Discussion #4037

Fascial Net Plastination

30 min - Discussion


What is the Fascial Net Plastination Project (FNPP) and how does it relate to movement? In this discussion, Elizabeth Larkam talks to Rachelle Clauson, who is the Media and Communications Coordinator for the FNPP, to learn more about this project and how it has evolved since it began two years ago. They discuss how the fascia is part of the integrative whole and how they need to dissect the body in order to show its connectivity. After watching, you will be more informed about the complexities of the myofascial system.

Note: This video includes images of human specimens which have preserved through Plastination..
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Mar 15, 2020
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Welcome to [inaudible] anytime. I'm Elizabeth Larkam. Thrilled to be here in discussion with Rochelle Clawson. Rochelle is the new media and communications coordinator of the fashion net plastination project. Participation in this project has transformed the way that I understand teaching. We're shell. Please. Would you explain to us just what is the F N P P I would be glad to. The Fashional net plastination project is a PR collaboration of the fashion research society, somatics Academy, the plasta Nerium and the world famous body worlds.

They're coming together to create the world's first 3d human Fashional plastinates and plastination is the act of taking plastic and infusing it into real acumen cadaver tissue so that it can be taken outside of the lab and seen by a wider audience in a beautiful and understandable way. Even though I've been a part of it, it's still amazing to me. That's so many. Um, so many expert or organizations that are at the forefront of anatomy education are investing in this. What was little known tissue? How did all of these organizations come together? That's a actually a long story of time because, uh, as the research of fascia has continued to develop throughout the years, as it turns out, quite a few people have approached the plastic Nerium seeing if they would be interested in plastinated facial tissue. Uh, truly the emphasis in most fashion plastinates if you've seen a body worlds exhibit has been on the muscular system dominantly.

And then also the vascular system or the nervous system, the must be a the bony system, but the fascist typically fully removed. Um, so people don't really have a good concept in their mind generally speaking of what the fascist system looks like or where it lives or how it connects to the other structures. So over the years, about 10 years, actually, people have been approaching the plastic Nerium and nothing's ever really connected up until recently. So in the end of, uh, or it was around I think 2017 that dr Robert Slipe approached again and said, would you be interested in doing this? Of course, fashion research has progressed so far in the past 10 years that they were. And so, uh, magic happened and they finally got a plan together to actually bring fascia into a project for the plastic Nerium. Since you've used the word plastination and plastinates a few times now, despite the fact that it's a very complex and lengthy chemical process, could you, you touch on the highlights of what creates a plastinate? I'd be happy to.

So the beginning of the process is similar to if you were doing a class that you start with to preserve tissue and so that's preserved with formaldehyde. Like it would be in a normal dissection class and then dissection. So dissection that can take a long time because these are so detailed, it can take up to six months to do a full body cadaver, dissecting it into the final form as to what they want to show or highlight. In our case, the facial system. After that, it goes through a series of Babs high and low temperature acetone pads for defunding and dehydration. And then B plastic infusion where the acetone is replaced with plastic and it's fully infused to the cellular level. That takes six months, and then you have another six months process of positioning.

And that's where the positioners are meticulously with pins and, um, all kinds of different props and pulleys positioning this form into its final position. And so many of these are dissected down to the level where they're showing, um, nerves and veins and arteries. All of those have to be pinned into place exactly where they go, uh, after that it's fully cured through gas curing and that makes it harder. So it's more like a harder rubber. Uh, and that's how we can then position and see them without them collapsing or falling apart. You know, I had never heard it explained so, so simply this complex process and it makes me realize that the, um, this patented process, this intellectual property of the plastic Nerium, which has been used to create the body world's exhibits that orbit our globe, um, educating people about anatomy that now for the first time, these processes are being applied to the fascist system. That's right.

That's right. And going through Von Hoggins actually developed this method in the 70s so it's not new, which was a surprise to me. But the full body plastic nets were never really created until the 1990s which is when body of worlds started to tour. And when we saw all of those, um, hits inspiration actually came from seeing a kidney and a block of plastic and saying it's backwards. It should go the other way around. The plastic should be in the kidney. And he went right to work. And sure enough, he started to develop the method we use today. So for our project, we started with proof of concept because of the fact that fascia hadn't been plastinated in isolation and a lot of fascia has a heavy back content. So they weren't sure if that was going to be problematic for how the body would cure once we did a full body.

So we did 10 smaller specimens that were both the superficial fascia as well as deep Fashional structures. And you and I met there to do this dissection and that was January of 2018 we had a team of about 14 people that volunteered to come together and create these specimens and then send them through the plastination. Now in addition to Gunther van Haagen, who are the, the principals and the advisers, because there may be some overlap between these people involved in the project and Pilati is anytime experts. I think there are. Now what's amazing to me is that there's an, in addition to these expert advisors and principles of the project coming together in an interdisciplinary, um, inter organizational collaboration, they're also an international cadre of volunteers, experts in their individual fields who choose to use their own resources to travel to Guba and Germany to spend a week or more at a time involved in this project. Now, some of these international, um, volunteers, some say for example, our experts in the, um, uh, fascia treatment for horses, for large animals. Um, others are, um, professors at schools of osteopathy still.

Others are leaders in their home community. As massage therapists. We have movement educators. We have experts in a anatomical dissection. It's a a whole range of people. Could you talk about how it is to be the communications coordinator of [inaudible], this wild group? Well, the role has been mostly just getting information out to people to make sure that we're all getting in the place, the right place at the right time, but what a pleasure it's been to be working with people from all over the world on this and to see how the passion for teaching about fascia learning more about fascia is an international effort. It is not local.

We had people that came from Brazil and Singapore and Finland and Canada and the U S all came together. It was amazing actually how far people travel in order to participate in this. Yeah, it's been a pleasure. It's a rare opportunity to be in a dissection lab with fascia dissection leaders, Carlos deco, for example, and to observe their techniques and to see what has never been seen before in an even in an anatomy dissection lab. It's new information. I think what's really unique about this project is that truly the delicacy of fascia and uh, is, is, is, is a hard thing to preserve, right? It's a hard thing to be able to show.

And not everyone is really down for going into a dissection lab. Not everyone's down for even seeing pictures of cadaver tissue. It is, um, it can be intense and, and I don't know that it's necessary exactly to see and to be able to understand the anatomy of fascia. So we're reliant on images of drawings or of computer generated images. And at this point in time they are mostly devoid of fascia because they aren't really recording that layer very well. So plasta nation is such a unique way to be able to take the actual tissue and preserve it so that it is, um, you know, it loses some of the same quality. It's not as supple.

Obviously we've hardened it with plastic. It's not quite as clear. In many cases it becomes a little bit more opaque, but it's very approachable. And that's the thing about body worlds is that they are remarkable at at helping us to not see dead bodies in front of us there. We're seeing living bodies and I feel the plastination process takes tissue that's deceased and makes it alive again. You know, it helps us to see what, imagining what we would look like under the skin in motion and it does a beautiful job at that beautiful job. Now, as the meeting communications coordinator of FNP PP, you have amassed an amazing library of images, some of which are being shown in conjunction with our discussion, but let's just say that people watching us and listening to this discussion with Palladio's anytime are interested in doing some of their, their own research to find out more imagery. Where would you direct the curious to go?

There's a quite a few places actually. One of the, the obvious first places is the Odo cast app. And we did this amazing collection of images with descriptions and audio being read by the actual team that we have them reading the scripts who was developed as an audio guide that was used at the very first expression of the exhibit of these first 10 pieces that we created, uh, at Berlin's fifth international research, sorry, fascia research Congress. Uh, we did a beautiful exhibit there and so we were able to create an audio guide to go with it. So it's free, it's up forever. You can access it from wherever in the world, but if you on either Android or Apple devices, you can go to Odo cast, it's O, T O, C a, S T and um, just search for fascia and you will see that you can listen and read in German, Portuguese or thank God English as well as the collection of images of these plastinates as they currently exist. Now, after that exhibit ended, wait, after that exhibit ended body worlds actually took six of those pieces and added them to their permanent collection. So they are currently on display at the body worlds exhibit. If you happen to in Berlin or in Heidelberg, they have a permanent exhibit in both cities and, and three pieces are in each one of those locations right now.

But you can see them from your phone as well, which is great. And I think that you have a publication and an upcoming book chapter in a book, but how about this publication because it may be available for, it's at the [inaudible] massage. Yes, massage and body work magazine. Right. So if you go to massage and body work magazine, that's a production of the ABM P they, I wrote an article for there and we have some beautiful pictures in there as well. And it's also for free available online and it's in the October, 2018 issue. So if you go there, you can download and take a look and hear a little bit more of the story.

And there's a photo montage of a lot of us as well telling kind of our journey right now. You might be wondering that since we're on Peloton anytime, why haven't we done any movement? Yeah. Because people come to [inaudible] anytime for moves they can use. And all of the science that we're so interested in integrating with our teaching, um, needs to live in our movement. I understand where you're coming from because as a, as sort of a shuttle ambassador between the movement studio and the dissection lab, frequently I'm, well if not at my wit's end, I'm a little depressed because I go to the dissection lab that, um, where we, we, we dress in all these lab protective gear and there's not a lot of movement going on.

You're standing four hours in a fairly cold room. Fortunately, it's well ventilated oftentimes on concrete, um, in, um, a flection posture like this. Oftentimes the tall fascinated, you know, with, with what you can uncover. And at the end of the day, I am a mess because I'm out of my own alignment, but also because I, I've been a wash, so to speak in this incoming information that is tactically fascinating and visually fascinating, but I have no idea how to translate it into movement. What are we going to do about this? That's the next frontier. I think so as we approached this frontier of translating the dis of the, the discoveries and the visual beauty of the human neuro myofascial system, I think it's so important to keep an on the shoulder saying, Oh, don't jump to conclusions. Don't think the, just because you saw today the continuation of the different layers and levels of tissue in this area of the arm, don't think that you understand how to teach movement according to what you just saw. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. So this is a cautionary note because, um, it is my tendency and all of our tendencies I think to try to simplify the complex. And one thing we're discovering in the FM PP is that the complexity of the neuromod Fashional system is absolutely, is virtually infinite. No.

But that the human mind and especially the human movement mind in my case, um, does not deal well with complexity. I would rather simplify things and say there is a linear force transmission between your big toe and your pubic bone. Right. Well, maybe it's not so linear. Yeah. How do you, in your work as a massage therapist, how do you square or how do you integrate what you discover in the lab and what you feel with your hands? I think it shows up in so many different ways. One of the most obvious is that when you're not looking at a page in a book, which does very much add to that two D perception of lines, you're get into that three dimensional sense that I feel because I've been in the lab and I've seen between the muscles and around, I've, I'm understanding the shapes three-dimensionally more, which guides my palpation a lot I think. And um, you know, recognizing the density changes and, and knowing how things taper and blend because I've now seen that I can perceive that with my fingers more. Um, but it's, uh, it is, it is a challenge to even see how things work in movement, uh, when people are even lying on the table passively. To be honest. Like as soon as somebody starts to shift, I'm like, Oh, I didn't even know when they tend to that muscle, it's gonna pull all the way down here. I'm not telling, I'm not touching people in movement as much as I am in passivity.

But I think that not having the fashion system clearly in our minds and not having a sense of the, where it lives, how it connects and that it isn't necessarily, muscles don't go all the way to their insertion. Oftentimes or at their origin, they actually are attaching to the fascia, the changes. Everything is to what you think, you know. So we're adding a layer at least by getting the images clearer for people that they can understand their stuff. And it's not just filler bags that fill in spaces, but there's um, you know, some things that are very strong and some things that are very wispy and you can feel it that when you're doing massage as well, the three D part I, the 3d I think is essential, which is why I'm so passionate about our project cause it brings it into that three D space. The phrase what you think, you know, that feels very, very valuable to me. I do my best not to get attached to what I think I know.

Because as a result of being at the dissection table with you and being guided by these experts, what I think I know was probably over-simplified and maybe frankly might've been misguided because so much of the anatomical education available when I was first learning in my first cadaver dissection lab at Stanford in 1973. Right. Um, too much formaldehyde there. Um, but that, uh, the, the fashion fashion just didn't exist then. We got it out of the way as fast as possible and now we're discovering that it is such a, an integral aspect of our proprioception and our interoception. Yeah. I played such a role in being able to perceive and coordinate that, that, you know, through its neurological connections to be able to coordinate what the muscles actually do. And that's something we didn't really understand. As I understand it. I'd actually like to comment about something that you said about, um, what we think that we don't know and oversimplifying, even the work that we're doing with the special net plastination project as groundbreaking, as remarkable as it is also runs the risk of Oprah over simplifying because we've removed something from everything, you know?

And so we're still in that space of needing to be careful that we still explain this is not how it is in the human body. If you want to know the human body, look at this, look at your own. This is the continuous connections that things have. When you soon as you take a scalpel to it, you've changed it and then you've taken it through plastination you've changed it more. So there's something lost when there's something gained. And what the phrase we've been using in the project a lot is how we're taking things away in order to show other things that we have to dissect, which means cut apart to show connection. How the heck do you do that? You know, I'm separating to show connectivity.

And so we're trying to do it in very clever ways and we're trying to do things in partial ways so that you can still understand that this part was touched. This part wasn't, this is, you know, how the two relate, but it's, it is a constant challenge, which is why things have evolved so much even as we've been going. I'm so glad that you brought that up, that seeming that conundrum. Um, I remember when the concept of fashion and the acknowledgement of fashion was first trending. Um, people got so excited. People like who people this people got. So if this people, they got so excited that for a while there we were misguided again thinking, Oh, fashion exclusive fashion only. But no, it's not fashion exclusive.

These plastic units are fascia focused, which means that the fashion is part of the integrative whole. Yes. The coming one. We segue into this. So where are we today? I think it's a good, an interesting question. As this thing's been evolving now for two years. So we started with the first fascists specimens. They were fashion only.

I'm going to still put in quotes because in the superficial fascia you still have veins and arteries and nerves which you can see through them, which is why we lit them and call it facet in a new light. So exciting. Um, but beyond, um, removing, I would say the, the muscles have been removed. Let's just say that there was no muscle tissue in these, but the fascia is very much isolated from the muscular tissue to give a really different view. But we can't do a whole body that way. We thought we could and then we thought about it and realized it's absolutely impossible at this stage in the game, we still are thinking about that one. But right now where we are as in the middle of what is the full vision of this project when we started, which is to create a whole body plast in it and it's to demonstrate the fashion system, but we quickly saw it needs to be called a fashion focused plastic in it and not just a fashion class in it because of how seamless everything is at the moment. We don't have the technology or chemistry to just dissolve out.

Maybe you could say everything that's not fascia. So we have our fingers crossed. Something like that can eventually come along. Like I said, we have some clever ideas, but at the moment we're having to leave some of the other tissues, a lot of the other tissues in place. And we actually think it's probably more informative this way because you're not just getting now another false idea of a separate thing, but you're understanding that this is connected to muscle here. This is connected to skin here.

This is connected to bone or ligament or tendon or nerve system. And so those relationships I think are as important to understand as the fascia by itself. Cause like you said, that's a road we really don't want to go down. It's not an isolated thing. It's fully integrated perhaps more so than any other system of the body on this wise note, let's transition now into a move you can use and we'll discuss it from the standpoint of the, the conductivity of forces through the neuromod Fashional system. Fabulous. That sounds great. Okay.

So this is bridging with rotation. You can it with me. Come to lie on your back. You'll bend one knee, tuck the other foot, the other ankle behind your uh, lifted knee foot. And since I'm the, in my case this foot is on the ground, the same Palm is going to go on the ground. And as you inhale it's a bridge with RO tation turning the pelvis around the head of the femur. Now Rochelle, if you were from your wise standpoint of viewpoint of the, of such an experienced dissector with the fashion that plastination project, which you speak a little bit about where the forces might be transmitted through the system here, I'll just move along while you speak a little bit.

There is a challenge, I know, get a massage therapist on her toes. Well clearly this final rotation I think is the clear part of this and we understand that there's a lot of fashion involved in the spine and most particularly in the low spine where you have the lumbar dorsal fascia, which also, you know, the thoracolumbar fascia runs all the way vertically. And I think one of the most fascinating things about the lumbar dorsal fascia that I have learned is that it's not just a single layer of connective tissue, but it's multiple layers and each one of those layers have fibers that run in different directions. So superficially there is the connection of the gluteus Maximus to the [inaudible] store sigh and there are fibers that actually conduct force on that diagonal path that you can really see in Elisabeth's body, how she's creating that diagonal line with her twisting. And you know, when we don't add rotation, we're kind of missing perhaps these sorts of lines of force. Um, if we're thinking only inflection extension with the spine, um, the secondary layer of the, that Fashional plane is more in the vertical alignment and that's what runs along the erector spinae muscles.

And then the deepest layer of lumbar dorsal fascia actually comes around and wraps through the transfer versus um, so likely all of these are getting some kind of gliding and sliding planes going on as she moves through. And I think one of the things we are learning about fascia is how important glide is to the areas where these planes pass each other. They're not fully free, but they need to have glide in order to allow movement along with the support that they provide. Yeah, that looks like, that felt good to add on to, um, your brilliant discussion about this, um, off the cup so to speak. Um, being in the [inaudible] world, I've been steeped in the importance of core control and movement being initiated in the core with proximal initiation as a result of the fashion net plastination project. I've, uh, it's, I've been shown, I've been seen, observed the delicacy of the whole body con, um, connections between the distal areas, between each of the fingers and each of the toes through the whole structure. So even though my first accuse were always, uh, from a proximal initiation standpoint as a result of FN PP, I'm now quite fascinated in how to articulate the transmission of force from distal to proximal.

Take it, Rochelle. It's my turn to bridge again. Okay. Last night we were discussing [inaudible] about the continuation in different layers through the forearms. Yes. And how it's not just muscle to bone, muscle to bone, the part you're talking about. Yeah. I actually worked specifically in the forearm and uh, to show how much strong Fashional structure there is on um, the extensor group doesn't for muscle people, the extensor digitorum of the forearm actually doesn't embed directly into the bone but embeds into a very strong connection to the fascicle bag that runs, it's called the antebrachial fascia of the lower arm. And the antebrachial I should say there's that deep fascia bodysuit, maybe you've been hearing about that or did fascia.

There's the fascia Lata which is wrapping our thigh of which the ID band is a thickening of, and then you have the faster recruits in the, in the lower leg you have the brachial fashioned antebrachial fascia in the arms and the muscles actually embed in certain areas directly into that outer bag as opposed to continuing on and only connecting to the tendon end range. So the external communicates with the internal in the internal communicates with the external, and it's a, it makes sense as soon as you hear it, I think, but you heard it here first from Michelle Clawson, the media and communications coordinator of the [inaudible] F and P. P, please stay in touch with us. Follow up with the references that are listed as part of this discussion. And you too can be informed and fascinated with the intricacy, the complexity of the neuro mal Fashional system. Fantastic. Thank you Elizabeth. My pleasure.

Thank you everybody for being with us on [inaudible] anytime. Let us hear from you. Bye.


Fascinating information and gorgeous images presented by Rachelle Clauson. Media & Communications Coordinator for the Fascial Net Platination Project show fascia in a new light.  Thank you Rachelle for bringing your expertise to Pilates Anytime. Congratulations on your brilliant debut on this platform!
2 people like this.
This was absolutely fascinating!! Thank you!
Sadly I cannot open any of the above references on my computer!  Can this information be available on any other platform?  Thank you
2 people like this.
That was so interesting! Thank you!
2 people like this.
Thank you both for introducing us to this fascinating work!  
Thank you Sharon. I think Pilates Anytime will post more of our references next week.
Mary, the Pilates Anytime wizards will answer you about downloading references. One of the references is a list of Pilates Anytime workshops taught by members of the FNPP advisory board. You can search this website by instructor: 1. Robert Schleip, 2. Gil Hedley, 3. Tom Myers with Larkam. The last slide of the discussion includes a website with references. Thank you very much for your interest in further study.
2 people like this.
Knowing I run the risk of over simplifying here 😊 — but did I hear Rachelle say something to the effect that “we’re” beginning to discover a neurological connection with fascia? I mean, I guess everything in the body has some neurology involved, but that’s pretty mind-blowing! (Unintentional pun. 😁) Or did I confuse something?
Mbrown, the voices you hear may not be in your head (my attempt at humor). I will search for a reference from a paper by Carla Stecco🤓
Mary ~ I have emailed you this attachment so that you can access them more easily. So glad that you enjoyed this discussion!
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