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In this course you will see functional architecture as a whole, not just traditional musculoskeletal anatomy. Jaap’s phenomenological approach brings fascia to life as the “organ of innerness, biotensegrity, and wholeness”.

7/14/2018 to 7/15/2018
When: July 14 & 15, 2018
See Schedule Below
Where: Stretch to Win Headquarters
580 N. 54th St #1
Chandler, Arizona  85226
United States
Presenter: Jaap van der Wal, MD, PhD
Contact: Kristen Ernst

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Stretch to Win Headquarters, 580 N. 54th St #1, Chandler, Arizona, USA

A Seminar with Jaap van der Wal MD PhD - July 14 & 15, 2018

Cancellation/Transfer Deadline - May 31, 2018

Usually “the fascia” is presented as a complicated system of connective tissue layers organized in the locomotor system and the visceral organs of the human body. Up to some 20 years ago the fascia was not appreciated by regular medical anatomy as a specific or separate system or organ.  AT Still, the osteopath and “spiritual father” of fascia, presented the fascia however as far more than a biomechanical complex substrate of connective tissue and even mentioned the fascia as a possible “domain of the soul”.

Since the 2nd International Fascia Research Congress in Amsterdam in 2009 Dr. Jaap van der Wal (medical doctor and anatomist, specialist in the organization of the so-called locomotor system) continually presents unifying concepts between his scientific work about the architecture of connective and muscular tissue on the one hand and his phenomenological approach of the human embryo on the other. In this latter context he presents workshops on Embryo in Motion - The Embryo in Us teaching how the shaping of the body in the embryo (morphogenesis) is not only about the form of the human body but also about the human as a being of “mind, motion and matter” (AT Still) – a “biodynamic embryology”.

In the current two-day seminar, he presents the fascia as a primary matrix organ of continuity and biotensegrity originating from the meso-dimension (the so-called “mesoderm”) of the embryo.  As a consequence, the analytical approach of the anatomy will never be able to reveal the functional architecture of the body in general and the so-called locomotor system in particular. First Dr. Van der Wal will present the results of this more “holistic” approach of the anatomy in the adult body (resulting in an architectural biotensegrity model). Combining this complementarity “anatomy” with the “biodynamic embryology” that he teaches in his seminars on the embryo, brings fascia to life as the “organ of innerness, biotensegrity, and wholeness”.



Regular Price - $300

Early Bird - $250 if you register by June 17, 2018


Saturday, July 14:  10am-6pm

Sunday, July 15:  10am-2pm

Refreshments provided! Enjoy extensive snacks, coffee, tea and bottled water.


For those who want more information, please read on:



Jaap van der Wal MD PhD,


Usually the fascia is described in typically anatomical terminology of the spatial discrimination of structures. The dimension of topography: “where are the things situated?’. But fascia is about architecture and that has to do with “how are things related and organized?”.

Fascia is (besides of blood) one of the main appearances of the ‘meso’, which is one of the three basic germ layers of the human organism. But actually, the usual term ‘Mesoderm’ is not correct, because it does not value the functional architecture of ‘meso’ as ‘inner tissue’, therefore representing a different quality than the ectoderm and endoderm which function as body limiting dimensions (body walls). It are not the viscera that represent the ‘Inner’ of our body organization but that is done by the ‘meso’ with ‘fascia’ and blood as major representatives (maybe the viscera represent the “Inmost’). Such a (phenomenological) approach demands to understand the architecture ‘of the connective tissue in the body as a whole and the analytic approach of the anatomical mind is not appropriate for that. Moreover, there is the quote by AT Still regarding the fascia as the domain “where (“in the waters and the fluids of the fascia”) soul is dwelling”. What could soul and fascia have to do (and what NOT) with anatomy and topography?

From the phenomenological stance one may discern everywhere in the body and in various ways two main functional tendencies in the connective tissue (mesenchyme). Body cavities and joints e.g. represent the ‘dis-connecting’ and ‘shaping space’ quality of the meso which enables mobility; the ‘connecting’ quality on the other hand creates anatomical and mechanical connections between organs and body parts. In the so-called musculoskeletal system those two aspects of the connective tissue are clearly discernible. An architectural description of meso respectively connective tissue is therefore necessary, because the anatomical mind neglects the continuity of the connective tissue as integrating matrix of the body.

Such an approach also leads to an alternative architectural view of the substrate involved in the transmission and conveying of forces over synovial joints as well as to the distinction of other functional units in the locomotor system than the traditional triad of muscles, ligaments and bones (van der Wal, 2009). For example, an architectural description of the muscular and connective tissue organized in series with each other (as to the transmission of forces) is more appropriate than the classical concept where ‘passive’ force guiding structures like ligaments are organized in parallel to actively force transmitting structures like muscles with tendons. ‘Dynaments’ (conceivable units of connective and muscular tissue in series to each other) are capable of movement and force control throughout the entire range of movement. Such a concept is also more in harmony with the emerging of fields and forces during the embryonic development of the body (as described by Blechschmidt) as well as with the modern models of syntegrity as organizational principle of the so-called locomotor apparatus. In the latter model not motion but spatial posturing is the issue, performed by the architectural interaction of stiff space shaping elements (e.g. skeletal elements) and flexible connecting elements (like muscles, ligaments and ‘dynaments’). This also accords with modern neurophysiological concepts where it is clear that not muscular anatomy is represented in the cerebral cortex but locomotor functionality (“the brain knows nothing about the muscles”). Muscles are not THE contractile organs, muscular tissue also represents the mentioned ‘meso’-quality in a more dynamic way than connective tissue since it is able to connect and shape space dynamically by means of contraction and relaxation. In this way muscles (or ‘dynaments’) control the spatial positioning of the anatomical (skeletal) elements between which they are organized. In this model emphasis is laid upon the system as a “Posture ánd Locomotion System (PLS)

Also the usual distinction between so-called joint receptors and muscle receptors appears in this way to be an artificial one. Mechanoreceptors (also the muscle spindles) are arranged in the context of force transmission circumstances i.e. of the architecture of muscle and connective tissue rather than organized along the ‘classical anatomical units’ like muscles, capsules and ligaments. The proprioception of ourselves as bodies with an ‘inner’ (‘body sense’) is not simply synonymous with the mechanical proprioception active in the locomotor system. The latter represents the sensing mechanism essential for the steering and the handling of forces and leads to statesthesia and kinesthesia (the sense of posture and motion). Psychological proprioception (‘body sense’) is a different category and may be linked with the ‘meso’-dimension of our body and is therefore not topographically localized, It happens (or “dwells”) in the meso. Why not extend the concept of fascia to the ‘intermediate man’ of ‘meso’?

Tom Myers on the Morphodynamic Embryology of Jaap: “The best and most salient course in shape you will ever take. Jaap presents the most comprehensive and comprehensible account of how the body shapes itself in the womb, and how that relates to our consciousness, our movement, and our psycho-emotional states.  Every practitioner of ‘Spatial medicine’ – meaning all bodyworkers and movement teachers – needs this information to understand the problems and opportunities that appear in our practices every day. From Aristotle to Da Vinci to Goethe to Blechschmidt, this is a mind-blowing tour of the embryological morphology that modern science has ignored.

If you are reaching for a deeper understanding of what the “fascial body” might represent beyond practical knowledge that is now commonly known about fascia, you are in the right place.  Put aside your anatomy book and read the record of the living body, the embryo.





Saturday 07/14/2018


Sunday 07/15/2018

10:00 am

12:30 pm

(with break)

Philosophical introduction. Fascia, tissue, organ, system? The “Death” of the Muscle man? Bones, Ligaments and Muscles as the “Holy Trinity” of the so-called musculoskeletal system are outdated? Architecture, NOT anatomy is the appropriate way to describe the organization of fascia.

Architecture and continuity are complementary to the anatomy. Muscles are not functional units.


(with breaks)

The origin of muscle- and connective tissue: the meso. Fascia as the meso-kinetic organ. Fascia in strict and broad sense. Fascia as a possible “organ” (system) of innerness’. Fascia and blood as major appearances of mesenchyme constituting the dimension of the Middle. Not by brains and muscles alone. The triune man: Man is Mind, Motion, Matter.


Evaluation. Questions and debate.




(with breaks)

The role of fascia in the organization of the “Posture & Locomotion system” and of proprioception: “The brain knows nothing about the muscles”. The “dynament” as functional and architectural unit. Tensegrity & architecture: it is about TWO. Blechschmidt’s view on the formation of “biomechanical” kinetic fields in the body.





In principle it is possible to download a few PowerPoint Presentations that Jaap developed for several congresses on Fascia Research from his website (also in English). This also concerns articles about the fascia, architecture and proprioception that he published When you register for this seminar a complete package of articles and audiovisual material (including some PPT-presentations) is made available via a link to Dropbox or, if you take with you an USB-stick, via a direct download.

Some of the articles you thereby get access to:

1       2009, Wal, J.C. van der, The Architecture of the Connective Tissue in the Musculoskeletal System - An Often Overlooked Functional Parameter as to Proprioception in the Locomotor Apparatus, International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (IJTMB), Vol. 2, number 4, December 2009: 9 – 23.

2       2010, Wal, J.C. van der, Kontinuität und Konnektivität - die Architektur des Bindegewebes als Ergänzung der Anatomie der Faszien. In: Liem, Torsten an Dobler, T.K. (eds.), Leitfaden Osteopathie, Parietale Techniken, 3. Auflage: 726 – 737, Urban & Fischer.

3       2012, Wal, J.C. van der, Proprioception, Mechanoreception and the Anatomy of the Fascia. In: Robert Schleip et al. (eds.), Fascia: The tensional Network of the Human Body, Chapter 2.2: 81 – 87, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-7020-3425-1.

4       2014, Wal, J.C. van der, Propriozeption, Mechanorezeption und die Anatomie der Faszie, In: R. Schleip et al. (eds.) Lehrbuch Faszien, 2 Die Faszie als Kommunikationsorgan. Kap 2.2: 58 –63, Elsevier Urban & Fischer, ISBN 978-3-437-55306-6.

5       2015, Wal, J.C. van der, 2012, Some Considerations as to Nomenclature in the Domain of the Fascia and Connective Tissue - Van Der Wal’s response to Stecco's fascial nomenclature, Journal of Body work and Movement Therapy (JBMT), Vol 19, January 2015: 304 – 309.

6       2017, Wal, J.C. van der, The Fascia as the Organ of Innerness – A holistic Approach based upon a Phenomenological Embryology and Morphology, In: Torsten Liem et al. (eds.), The Fascia in the Osteopathy Field: Chapter 10 87 - 100, Handspring Publishing Ltd,  ISBN-978-1-909141-27-8.

A few weeks before the start of the seminar you will also get access to Jaap’s PowerPoint Presentation that he will use during the seminar

Written notice 45 days prior to the workshop is needed to transfer or withdraw from a workshop.  Please read our Cancellation/Refund Policy for more information.