Defining the fascial system

definition of fascia

For years fascia has been used as an ambiguous term by many, myself included.

There were many inconsistent definitions used in the literature which lead to confusion for researchers and therapists. A new article posted by the Fascial Research Society hopes to provide some guidance to researchers and therapists. The Fascial Research Society  "recommend that the terms a fascia and the fascial system are widely adopted and used in oral and written communications about fascia".

What is a fascia?

"fascia is a sheath, a sheet, or any other dissectible aggregations of connective tissue that forms beneath the skin to attach, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs."

What is the fascial system?

"The fascial system consists of the three-dimensional continuum of soft, collagen-containing, loose and dense fibrous connective tissues that permeate the body. It incorporates elements such as adipose tissue, adventitiae and neurovascular sheaths, aponeuroses, deep and superficial fasciae, epineurium, joint capsules, ligaments, membranes, meninges, myofascial expansions, periostea, retinacula, septa, tendons, visceral fasciae, and all the intramuscular and intermuscular connective tissues including endo-/peri-/epimysium."

"The fascial system interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, endowing the body with a functional structure, and providing an environment that enables all body systems to operate in an integrated manner."


Adstrum, S., Hedley, G., Schleip, R., Stecco, C, Yucesoy, C. A,. (2016) Defining the fascial system. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.