“How can I best be of service?”

“How can I best be of service?”

It’s the world’s best question. Like any good question, it is a good one to keep asking because the answer will change.

To be of service to science is to trust primarily what has been proven by the modern scientific method. Modern medicine in the West feeds off the evidence. The phenomenologic data should tell a robust tale all by itself.

Let the world speak, and I will listen.

Following science is an honorable path but not one without pitfalls. Bias and assumptions are very destructive on this path. Dishonesty is catastrophic.

To be in service to humanity is broader than honoring science. It’s to acknowledge that knowledge can be found through the empiric sciences but also from other sources.

Tradition holds profound knowledge. Integrative health looks not only at valuable traditional “pre-science” knowledge but also at the methods used to attain it. Before the modern scientific era, there was the prevalence of a thing called revelation. Intuition, in its various forms and stages, was a key to the past approach.

Science and revelation can seem worlds apart.

We are always looking for bridges. There is much talk about bridging the West and the East in health philosophy. To me, that means bridging outer science and inner vision knowledge.

East Meets West

How does the scientific West understand the non-physical system of energy flow along the meridians — a system mapped out for thousands of years by traditional Chinese Medicine? The West has struggled with this because they have had no anatomic basis to understand the meridians. 

Until now.

“There is an entire scientific revolution set to unfurl.”

— Jennifer Brandel

In a few recent pieces journalist and entrepreneur Jennifer Brandel does a terrific job detailing science’s next big paradigm shift, the biggest since reorienting to the microbiome. It connects East and West in some interesting ways and gives Western science the ability to consider how energy can travel through previously unseen channels in the body.

She lays out the discovery of a new organ in the body on a Radiolab podcast named “Interstitium” (well worth a listen) and in an article for the locally-headquartered magazine Orion (which builds on the podcast).

So what is the discovery?

o summarize, new technology is allowing scientists to study living human tissue in new ways. Studying dead tissue in the anatomy department or pathology lab has led us to some incorrect conclusions. A new type of microscope used on the living body led researchers to discover a next-level understanding of “the body as a dynamic, fluid-oriented system.”

“Underneath the skin, and wrapping around organs, arteries, capillaries, veins, head to toes,” basically everywhere, is a matrix of connective tissue that is set up in a fractal honeycomb pattern and “moves four times more fluid through the body than the vascular system does.” Scientists didn’t even know it was there.

“We didn’t pay attention to all of the dynamic, fluid phenomenon, unseen and in between, which connects the organs, and allows the whole system to communicate and stay in homeostasis,” says Brandel.

This system collapses and all but disappears in the dead body. It was hiding, only visible in vivo. This fluid system with an abundant collagen lattice framework provides structural integrity but is also active in:

  • sensing, 
  • messaging, 
  • and detoxifying.

You can imagine if this system stagnates due to physical trauma, chronic stress, or emotional trauma (and that is exactly what it does) then toxins build up, messages fail, and sensing is disrupted. Pain and dysfunction ensue. What is its role in every illness, please?

This connective tissue matrix makes up a part of the fascia and is a whole new frontier for the West. Water in the living body is special. It carries voltage and frequency. Doctors in the West now for the very first time have a way to understand acupuncture and meridians when all they could do in the past was shrug.

One of the biggest questions now becomes: What is good for the fascia? My answer is => you’ve got to keep in flow. Here’s a list of activities for healthy connective tissue: laughter, walking, dancing, meditating, being at ease, just being, acupuncture, myofascial release (massage), fascia massage tools, fascial foam rollers, stretching, collagen supplementation, organic diet, hydration, somatic experiencing, trauma release exercises to name a few.

In my opinion, the constant stream of trauma we endure is an attack on the fascia and interstitial fluid matrix. It takes a deliberate lifestyle to be in flow. I say go for it. Be a health nut! Why not?

Medicine and science are getting smarter. More discoveries are around the corner, I’m sure. Operating with an incomplete understanding, as we do, should keep us cautious, humble, and respectful of diverse opinions!