Archives for May 2012

Liquid Crystalline Properties of Living Tissue

Fascia's Connective Tissue Fibers

Fascia’s Connective Tissue Fibers

Liquid Crystalline Tissues

When I first became acquainted with Mae-Wan Ho and James Oschman‘s theory that the human body’s connective tissue matrix is liquid crystalline in nature, I was completely intrigued.  This made so much sense to me since I was already aware of the body’s bioelectrical capacity to move blood and transfer energy or Qi between body systems and the extremities via acupoints along meridian pathways.  I had also been exploring the use of microcurrent  and colored light therapy to address chronic pain in my clinic.  All these modalities proved effective because the human body is bioelectric as well biochemical in nature.  However, at that point in my career, I was applying treatment according to the principles of meridian theory even though there were no coherent scientific theories in place to explain how energy could travel between the skin and the muscles—the first principle of meridian theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  The chief reason that it was so difficult to identify the mechanism of action is that the meridian system is not an actual physical structure.  Instead, meridians behave like a series of interconnected energetic pathways.

Eventually, as scientists began to research acupoints found along the meridians pathways, they noticed that the points and the meridians each possessed distinctive electrical properties when compared with surrounding skin.  This finding correlated with research into the properties of the body’s connective tissue matrix which gives the body, body tissues, organs and cells their shapes.  Many years ago it was discovered that the proteins making up the structural components of cells and tissues were closely aligned in an array of atomsSzent-Gyorgyi, an early pioneer in connective tissue research, predicted  that this molecular array would enable electrons to mobilize and form an energy continua that would belong to the whole system. He also suggested that with adequate hydration, the cytoskeleton of each cell would behave like a semiconductor, able to support high-speed communication across the body through the conduction of electrons, protons, and other subatomic entities across the collagenous protein network.  The discovery of these properties led to the conclusion that the connective tissue matrix behaved like liquid-crystalline tissue and was the likely means by which energy and information moved instantaneously across the body.  This working theory may well be the mechanism of action by which the transfer of energy occurs in acupuncture’s meridian and acupoint system.

Liquid Crystalline Properties

In the image below you can observe the molecular order of liquid crystals in organic tissue.  Mae-Wan Ho and David P. Knight identify the following properties inherent to liquid crystals and suggest that these also apply to the body’s connective tissue matrix:

  • liquid crystal molecules have an orientational order
  • liquid crystals are malleable, flexible, and responsive
  • individual crystals can flow or have the properties of a solid
  • liquid crystal molecules respond when exposed to changes in hydration, pressure, shear forces, and temperature
  • exposure to electric and magnetic fields can cause changes in orientation
Organic single crystal arrays with controlled crystal orientation in large scale.

Organic single crystal arrays with controlled crystal orientation in large scale

As a holistic practitioner, I feel it is extremely important for me to stay open to novel ways of understanding the human body and its systems in order to remain progressive in my chosen field of holistic medicine.  Since change is the one real constant that we can depend on, how do you stay current with changes in your field?

Light Therapy for Health

As a practitioner of holistic medicine, I really enjoy talking about non-invasive methods that support health and resolve illness.  One of the tools that I use is LED color-light therapy.  LED is the acronym for light-emitting diodes which act as semiconductors, releasing electrons in the form of photons or little packets of light.  I use LED color-light therapy (light projects through colored gels) with patients on a near-daily basis to ease pain, restore internal balance, and support vitality.

Were you aware that the use of light or phototherapy in medicine is well established? According to the Mayo Clinic, specific wavelengths of light evoke specific responses in the body.  Some of the common medical uses of light therapy include treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep/circadian rhythm issues, and even depression.  For example, full-spectrum light is thought to effectively address SAD because it appears that its wavelengths alter brain chemicals linked to moodUltraviolet light has been effectively used to treat skin disorders such as eczema, acne vulgaris, or psoriasis while a specific frequency of blue light successfully treats neonatal jaundice.   Light has even been found to accelerate the healing of wounds.

Even if we don’t completely understand the science behind light therapy, we all know how good it feels to step out into the sunshine and be warmed by its radiant heat. Ponder for a moment how sunlight travels through space at the speed of light to influence all life processes on this earth. It is no wonder that the properties of light have intrigued scientists throughout the ages as highlighted in this quote from the Photon Science Institute at the University of Manchester:

Photon science encompasses all aspects of creating, measuring and using light for science. Photon science allows us to discover new things about the properties of all kinds of physical and biological matter, enabling us to answer questions of what things are and how and why they work.

I suggest that understanding some of the basics of how and why the body responds to the therapeutic application of light is empowering since it offers us one more non-invasive tool to support our health or to treat illness.  The series will explore newer theories of biophysics such as the bio-electrical nature of body and the crystalline-like properties of body tissues which are thought to sustain a body-wide state of energy continuum.  I find this new line of research to be exciting and thought-provoking and I hope you will ‘catch the wave’ of excitement with me!

Electromagnetic Spectrum of Light

Question to ponder:  Do you think that understanding the marvels of the human body motivates people to take better care of themselves and their health?

%d bloggers like this: