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The Fuzz Speech

5/5 - (6 votes)

This is a talk given by Gil Hedley about the binding of fascia and the importance of stretching and bodywork.

Gil Hedley’s videos are online at

Here is a description of the “fuzz” by Gil Hedley – February 7, 2009:

Gil Hedley, Ph.D., of gives a lesson on the importance of movement and stretching to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body, as well as the value of bodywork modalities and yoga when movement potential has become inhibited.

I made this little clip when I was filming my DVD series in 2005. My thoughts have matured a little bit as compared to the way the ideas are presented in here, as might be expected from anyone engaging their learning curve and involved in a process of discovery, but I am also glad that so many people enjoy it “as is.”

The relationship between the superficial fascia and the deep fascia consists of a variety of transitional tissue configurations, sometimes very loose (normally) and sometimes very fixed (normally), and I have found these differences are quite predictable from one area of the body to another, and from one body to another, whether the tissue is fixed or not.

Also, it is normal for there to be “fuzzy” tissue between “individual muscles” within the muscle layer. As with all tissues of the body, all the matter of which it consists is transitioning at various paces, some quicker, some more slowly. “Fuzzy” tissues indeed cycle more quickly then some more dense tissues. By example, the stomach lining sloughs off in 3 to 5 days, the skin cycles in 2 to 5 weeks, bone is cycling over the course of months.

There are what I call “filmy” fasciae all over the body, and when the dissector pulls on these “filmy” fasciae, they have the appearance of “cotton candy” when in traction (I show this in the fuzz speech), and this demonstrates the normal structure of the tissue: filmy and loose, usually found between layers of muscle, and sometimes between deep and superficial fascia.

I used this type of “normal fuzz” in my video as a way of providing an illustration for the
fact that, at a level which is initially beneath visual recognition, there is bonding (covalent bonding and hydrogen bonding) occurring throughout the body under various conditions, and this bonding is occurring amongst the connective tissues at large.

By using something visible to illustrate something invisible, people are helped to understand the importance of stretching, but for those wanting to understand more precisely, it is important to comprehend the difference between my illustrations using normal tissue “fuzz,” and the kind of bonding which is taking place invisibly in connective tissue which can, in some instances, represent a pathological progression of tissue growth limiting movement.

That having been said, there are some areas of the body which do indeed demonstrate the possibility of tissue binding at the gross, visible level, such as accumulations around the thoraco-scapular interface, “normal” scar tissues, and visceral adhesions.

I recently wrote an article for the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, ed. Leon Chaitow, on this very subject, called “Visceral Adhesions as Fascial Pathology.” In this article I discuss normal and abnormal types of adhesion in the viscera, as well as their causes and their effects, with illustrations provided. I think you can look this article up on line or will be able to once the print version is officially published, though I’m not sure that the print version has “hit the newsstands” yet, as the article was just accepted for publication in November 2009.

I mention this article because it is a concrete demonstration of examples where the inhibition of movement results in tissue binding and pathological states of mobility.


There are students of the body who are oriented towards the research literature, while I am oriented towards the very practical efforts of observation in the laboratory. I consider myself more of a sculptor and philosopher than a scientist. Still, those involved deeply in the professional conversations surrounding these matters (and I have many such colleagues) assure me there is ample scientific research and support backing the general implications of statements I make in “the fuzz speech,” which itself is offered not to “prove” anything scientifically, but rather to inspire folks to expand their inner horizons and outward relationships with this inspirational bit of fun. Thank you for watching!

More videos with Gil Hedley can be seen at:


Also, on a related note:

An orthopedic surgeon wrote that normally when…one opens a thigh to remove fascia for surgical procedure, one will be struck by the smooth surfaces of contact between the fascia and the underlying muscle and that these surfaces fairly glisten and are not adherent….On the other hand, when one opens a thigh that has been at rest, either in a cast or in a splint, or as a result of rest in bed, one finds that the fascial surfaces, as well as the surface of the underlying muscle, is dull and does not glide; often times many small adhesions have formed between the muscle and fascia.
Ralph K. Gormley, ‘The Abuse of Rest in Bed in Orthopedic Surgery’, J.A.M.A., August 19, 1944
Quoted in ‘The Encyclopedia of Health and Nutrition’ by Max Warmbrand, N.D., D.O. Pyramid Books, 1962


Member Comments:

Ruth Hooper commented on 23-Feb-2010 06:52 AM5 out of 5 stars

Wow! Learned something very useful, reinforces myfeelings about incorporating stretches during my massages.

Thank you very much,

Tina Johnston, RN, CMT commented on 22-Mar-2010 09:34 AM5 out of 5 stars
A very common sense approach about the binding of the fascia. I can use this analogy in my practice as a nurse and a MT.
Teri Grisler commented on 26-May-2010 01:14 PM5 out of 5 stars
I love this video. I share it with many of my clients as well so help them understand how important it is to stretch. Thank you
Tyciol commented on 16-Aug-2010 11:51 AM5 out of 5 stars
This makes me want to learn more about what fuzz is, I figure maybe glycoprotein adhesions or something… but anyway yeah this guy seems like a great teacher.
Anonymous commented on 19-Aug-2011 07:42 PM5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for sharing, I like the simple explanation and not so technical.
Darla_Halterman commented on 10-Jan-2012 05:56 PM5 out of 5 stars
this was great insight into human stretching. if we as massage therapists do not do it why should we expect our clients to know they should


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