Extracellular Matrix and Ground Regulation
Basis for a Holistic Biological Medicine
Publication Date: July 17, 2007
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The workings of the suitable environment for cells—called the extracellular matrix (ECM) and ground regulation—has occupied the European medical tradition since the early part of the 20th century. As it has become more clear that the origin of disease and its first signals register in the connective tissue, or myofascia, cellular pathologists and biochemists have sought to circumscribe networks of cell communication and microcirculation in the ECM.
Alfred Pischinger (1899-1982) continued this line of work by further studying, in work published from 1926 through the late seventies, the connections of the ECM to the hormonal and autonomic systems. In the last twenty years Professor and Doctor of Natural Sciences Hartmut Heine and his colleagues have carried on Pischinger’s work, here summarized in one volume. Part One encompasses theoretical underpinnings; Parts Two and Three address applications and directions for further research.
This updated English-language translation not only is an account of the work of Pischinger’s successors—Heine, Otto Bergsmann, and Felix Perger, (the three editors of this volume) and their many colleagues—but notes the positive development of complementary therapies based on this understanding of histology. Acupuncture is referenced directly. Both in Europe and the States the work of manual therapists, including Rolfers, cranio- sacral therapists, and other somatic disciplines have been informed for many years by Pischinger’s outsider model of how changes in the EMC register in the central nervous system and the brain, and are conveyed back to the periphery and connected organs. Heine’s exciting recent work shows that the regulation and construction of the ECM have relationships to cybernetic non-linear systems and phase transitions.
“Alfred Pischinger’s work in matrix regulation gives us not just a glimpse, but a detailed panorama of the vital, dynamic, regulatory terrain of the body: the human fascial system. This refutes the prevalent understanding of connective tissue as inert filler, or packing material. With Pischinger’s work we’re transported to a whole world of function taking place on a cellular level. To better understand many of the operations that manual therapy interacts with, we’d be hard-pressed to find a more relevant and significant resource.”
—Frank Lowen, founder of BioValent Manual Therapy, Albuquerque, NM
“Pischinger’s classic book gives alternative health-care practitioners the scientific evidence and detailed physical structure of the basic principle of their disciplines. In chiropractic this principle is called the ‘innate intelligence’ of the body to heal itself; in naturopathy, homeopathy, and other natural healing arts, it is called the ‘terrain’ of the body, and is considered crucial to health. Manual therapists (physical therapists, massage therapists, and others) will gain new insight into how touch affects fascia and other connective tissue. There is a large section on how acupuncture regulates the extracellular matrix, and the mind-body connection is explored.
“This new revised translation deepens the health-care professional’s understanding of both the complexity of fascial relationships and the simplicity of the healing process.”
—Ingeborg Eibl, translator, DC, ND, Rochester, NY