Fascia is a connective tissue which forms a continuous sheath throughout the body from the top of the head to the soles of the feet. It envelops every organ, nerve, blood vessel, muscle and indeed every structure throughout the body.
The significance of this shows up when the body experiences trauma. Think of fascia like glad wrap, layers and layers of glad wrap. Between each layer is a thin layer of fluid so that they glide over each other smoothly.
When trauma happens it imprints on the fascia and inhibits the free movement of the fascia. The bruises may heal but the imprint remains in the fascia.
Because the fascia covers every structure in the body a trauma in one part of the body affects the whole body.
Think of a tin of beans sitting on a shelf in a supermarket. It is wrapped in a layer of glad wrap. The tin next to it is also wrapped in glad wrap. The tin on the other side is also wrapped in glad wrapped. All three tins are then wrapped together in a further layer of glad wrap. All the tins of beans on the shelf are also wrapped in glad wrap. On the shelf below all the tins of peas are wrapped individually and then in groups. Then the shelf with the beans and the shelf with the peas are wrapped together.
This process is repeated with every item on every shelf of the whole isle. Then the isle is wrapped together with the isle next to it. Then those two isles are wrapped together with the isle next to them. This process continues until every item in the whole supermarket is wrapped in glad wrap then the whole supermarket itself is wrapped in a giant sheet of glad wrap.
The supermarket is then wrapped together with the store next to it which has also had its whole contents individually and collectively wrapped in glad wrap. Every building in the whole suburb is similarly wrapped and then the whole suburb is wrapped in one giant sheet of glad wrap. It is then wrapped with the suburb next to it and the both suburbs are wrapped together with the suburb next to them and so on until the whole city is wrapped in glad wrap.
Outside the city a small boy tugs on the glad wrap. It doesn’t look like his tugging has any effect on city at all. One small boy tugging on this huge city wrapped in glad wrap. Nothing is affected except our original tin of beans. It is rattling on the shelf every time the boy tugs. If the boy keeps tugging it will fall off the shelf.
You are on the far side of the city. By placing your hands on the glad wrap (fascia) you can feel along it to the tin of beans and then following through you can feel the boy and his tugging.
Fascia is your friend.
It is like the glad wrap of the body and so much more. It is infused with the living energy of the person and can help you find and treat restrictions far from where your hands contact the body.
Connection to the cranio sacral rhythm.
This continuous fascial sheath forms a close connection to the meninges at the point where each peripheral nerve emanates from the spinal cord. As the spinal nerves penetrate the Dura they pull some of the Dura with them and this blends into the fascial sheath which covers the spinal nerve on its journey.
This transition point from membrane to fascia is called the epineurium. It is one of the ways the Cranio Sacral Rhythm is translated to the rest of the body.
In the video above I go through the difference between Attention and Intention and how we use intention in craniosacral therapy.
Here are some other aspects of intention to consider. We use intention to help restrictions release. Intention has the potential to sound almost mystical. Particularly when the therapist works on the head from the feet, which can happen from time to
time. Intention is similar to attention but includes intent.
You are in a forest. A young boy is hiding behind a tree about 1 meter away from you. 10 meter in front of him you can see a young girl whom you suspect is his sister. She is hiding behind another tree. In the distance you can see their father looking for them. You are enjoying the reactions of the children in their game of hide and seek.
What you are using in the forest is your attention.
You look at the boy close to you, then the girl in the middle distance and then the father in the distance. When you are looking at the girl you are aware of the boy and his father, because they are all in your line of sight, but your attention is on the girl. The same when you look at the boy or his father.
Attention has no intent in it. It is simply the focus of your observation. With intention we are talking about the focus of our palpation. What level or depth you are working in the person’s body. Like the princess and the pea, we feel through all the mattresses (layers of fascia) to the pea (restriction) at the bottom.
You are six years old. Your grandmother has sent you a Christmas gift in the mail. Your parents place it under the Christmas tree and say you can’t open it until Christmas morning. As soon as you are alone you pick up the package and start to feel it. It feels like it might be a doll. But Granny has wrapped the doll in something before she put the wrapping paper on. It feels like bubble wrap. It is kind of squeaky and plasticy.
You are palpating through two layers now, the wrapping paper and the bubble wrap.
Opps! You have popped the dolls leg out accidentally. You can feel it through the dolls clothing. (That’s three layers you are palpating through.)
After some wriggling and squiggling you manage to get the dolls leg back in its socket. You have done this without ever contacting the dolls leg directly. You have used a form of intention to put the dolls leg back in place.
In Cranio Sacral Therapy we use our intention in a similar way to help structures to release, that are impossible to contact directly.
You can read my answer to a question about intention in the newsletter archive here.
It turns out imaginary friends are good for
kids. Well not bad at any rate. Apparently kids
can use them as a practice ground for
“There is an amount of control over a
relationship with an imaginary friend that you
don’t have with a real friend.” says Stephanie
Carlson, a psychologist at the University of
Something I didn’t realise was that a lot of
imaginary friends are actually enemies. But
that’s good too.
“Children who have imaginary enemies are better
able to take on the idea that other people have
opinions and desires than you.”
In addition, naughty friends test parents
reactions, and come in handy as an ever-trusty
scapegoat, when kids misbehave themselves.
So next time parents tell you that their child
has imaginary friends it’s not necessarily a bad
If you were one of the many people who wrote to
me to let me know that the link to the back issues
of this newsletter didn’t work, I just want to
tell you that it wasn’t my fault.
The link I typed in worked but Timmy changed
No I didn’t.
Yes he did. He tells lies too. Big fibber.
Not me, him.
Anyhu, on with the mailbag.
Dear Mr Dalton,
I receive your newsletters gratefully and with interest. I have also
read your book and found it excellent, both for myself and my patients.
In a number of your responses to questions you have referred to
I have heard and read about intention from different sources
but I am curious to know what it means to you.
Can you explain exactly what you mean by intention and how it is used.
I’ve had a few letters like yours over the months so I’m going to
address it in detail.
To explain how intention works we need to take a little trip through
quantum physics. Let’s take your common or garden subatomic particle.
The thing about subatomic particles is they need heat to move.
The more heat, the more they move. So if you remove all the heat
there should be no movement.
Or so you would think.
What physicists have found is that even at absolute zero,
that’s really cold to you and me, there is still some movement.
The subatomic particles keep passing little parcels of energy back
and forth between themselves.
So your empty space is not so completely empty after all. It turns
out it is full of energy. Physicists call it the ‘Zero point field.’
The idea is that if the universe were cooled down to absolute zero
and all particle movement was frozen out, this energy would still remain.
This is not your normal quantum physics stuff, with train ‘A’
traveling at a certain speed and someone throwing a ball out
the window and depending on where you are standing and
so on and so forth and what’s on telly tonight anyway, yawn.
No, this is not just theoretical. There are scientists, like Dr Hal Puthoff,
working to find ways of harnessing this energy right now.
To give you an idea of how much energy we are talking about.
If you and I were standing one metre apart there would be enough
energy in the ‘empty space’ between us to boil all the oceans on the planet.
Not that you’d want to. Enough to make a cup of tea would be
fine for me but you get the idea.
This energy is common to ALL particles which means they are ALL at it.
Passing energy parcels back and forth to each other and because of it
they are ALL connected. That’s why the physicists call it a field.
It means ALL subatomic particles are connected in a HUGE field
that connects EVERYTHING together.
Together now ‘We are the world.’ Everybody! ‘We are the children. . .’
This, everything being connected idea, is no news to most of the
older philosophies. I’m told a lot of Buddhists go to quantum
physics symposiums just so they can sit in the front row with
a smug, ‘I told you so.’ look on their faces.
What is exciting about now is that our science is finally getting
around to the view that all is one and one is all.
The other thing to know about subatomic particles is that they
don’t exist as a thing, as such. They exist as a potential of a thing.
Kind of like a neurotic friend I used to have, who, when introducing
himself to women he was interested in, would say ‘Hi my name is
Mark and if you don’t like me. . . .I’ll change.’
Subatomic particles have the potential to be many different things
but are none and all of these things simultaneously. They only
become one specific thing when something particular happens.
And that particular thing is usually wearing a white coat. Yes,
you’ve guessed it, it’s our old friend the observer. As soon as the
observer shows up and takes a measurement or makes an
observation the subatomic particle becomes a specific.
That the presence of the observer affects the outcome has been
known since the beginning of quantum physics. Niels Bohr,
one of the granddaddies of quantum physics, would frequently
throw a tantrum if Albert Einstein ever came in to observe his experiments.
That was a quantum physics joke.
Observing the experiment . . . . never mind.
What has been happening lately is the physicists have been asking
the next questions, questions like. . .
If subatomic particles only exist as potential till we show up,
are we in fact creating what they become?
If we are creating what they are, does that mean we create our
If we are creating our reality can we influence that creation?
How does consciousness affect matter?
Bloody good questions, if you ask me and I’ll buy the next round of drinks.
And here’s Fritz Albert Popp from Germany, he has figured out
that DNA in its structure, is essentially a crystal and, like a quartz
crystal, for example, produces a highly coherent signal or field.
This DNA emission is known as a biophoton. Put another way,
it is light produced within the cell.
There is a direct link between the light the cell produces and the
activity of the matter in the cell. Not only that but the light or
field of each cell is in communication with every other cell in
the organism. This means the whole organism KNOWS what every
cell is doing and every cell KNOWS what every other cell KNOWS
at the same time.
Now how does all this quantum mumbo jumbo amount to a hill
of beans when it comes to intention?
Well, quite a bit actually. First of all it adds a whole new level
to the reciprocal nature of the system. Not only are all structures,
big and small, connected through the fascia, everything is also
connected at a subatomic level through the zero point field,
and all the energy in it, and also through the interconnected
biophoton fields of each cell in the body.
All that stuff could be going on all the time and you would never
be the wiser. It becomes incredibly powerful when you know you
can influence it with your consciousness.
Put simply, it means that what you think about has a direct
influence on what you are thinking about.
It means that when you have your hands on a person’s ankles
and you are thinking about their sphenoid, for example, you
are actually CONNECTED to that person’s sphenoid.
It’s not just in your imagination, it is REAL.
If you feel like their sphenoid is restricted it’s because you’re
feeling it through the fascia AND through the interconnected
biophoton fields of the cells AND through the zero point field.
It means that if you feel the person’s sphenoid needs support
as it goes into a restriction pattern and you think of holding it
into the lesion pattern your thought ACTUALLY holds it into the
lesion pattern as sure as if you had your hands inside the persons
head and were holding the sphenoid in your hands.
It means that your intention is capable of doing whatever you
THINK of. Not only is it as adaptable as your thinking it also has
access to unlimited power to accomplish whatever you are
working to achieve.
The only limitation on what you can do with your intention
is the limitation you think is on your intention.
Think about that,
. . . but don’t sprain anything.