Yoga Anatomy

Get The Fuzz Out

My friend Joanna, was at the Vancouver Yoga conference last weekend where she took a couple workshops with Leslie Kaminoff (author of Yoga Anatomy) and he showed Gil Hedley‘s, Ph.D., (founder of Integral Anatomy Productions, LLC, and Somanautics Workshops, Inc.) video “The Fuzz Speech” explaining why stretching is necessary for our body, perhaps an explanation you have never heard before. Outstanding!

Joanna told me about this video. I thought it might be a helpful addition to the fascia series I’ve been building on. Thank You, Joanna!

Warning: there are some images from a human cadaver which is helpful in understanding the topic. If you’re squeamish, close your eyes and just listen.

Here is a link to Gil Hedley’s YouTube Somanaut’s Channel.

Below, I have typed out Gil Hedley’s The Fuzz Speech, for those unable to view the video.

“Here’s the thing about the Fuzz: You can see it now, I’ll put it in [the video] over my voice.

The Fuzz yields to my fingertips. Sometimes I come across a stronger or thicker strand that doesn’t yield to my fingertips – that represents older fuzz sometimes, or maybe that represents the nerve. But each night when you go to sleep, the interfaces between your muscles grow ‘fuzz’, potentially – and in the morning when you wake up and stretch the fuzz melts; we melt the fuzz. That stiff feeling you have [in the morning] is the solidifying of your tissues, the sliding surfaces aren’t sliding anymore. There’s Fuzz growing in-between them.

You need to stretch.

Every cat in the world gets up in the morning and stretches its body and melts the fuzz in the same way that the fuzz melted when I passed my finger through it.

When you are moving it’s as if you are passing your finger through the fuzz, just like I did on the cadaver form here.

So you have to stretch and move and use your body; in order to melt that fuzz that is building up between the sliding surfaces of your musculature. The sliding surfaces, those shiny white surfaces, of the rectus femoris sliding against the vastus intermedialis. So, these sliding surfaces are all over your body and the fuzz is all over your body and as you move you melt the fuzz.

Now, what happens if you get an injury? Ah-ha! My Shoulder! [He grabs his shoulder] My shoulder is stiff now, I’m holding my shoulder. I go to bed, I wake up in the morning, I don’t stretch my shoulder – I’m afraid, it hurts. So, I’m wandering around like this, [demonstrates walking with his arm stuck to his side] – last nights fuzz doesn’t get melted. I go to bed; I sleep some more. Now I have two nights fuzz built up. Now, two nights fuzz is more fuzz than one nights’ fuzz. What if I have a weeks’ fuzz or a months’ fuzz? Now those fuzz fibres start lining up and intertwining and intertwangling and all of a sudden you have thicker fibres forming. You start to have an inhibition of the potential for movement there, It’s no longer simply a matter of going ooh-ahh stretch. Now you need some work. Now you might need to do a more systematic exploration of that place to restore the original movement that you lost; usually this is the case – we have a temporary injury then we restore movement but sometimes we call this ageing. The build up of fuzz amongst the sliding surfaces of our bodies so that our motions become limited, that limit cycles become introduced into our normal full range of motion and we start to walk around like this [he mimics frozen robotic movement]. We’re all fuzzed over, our bodies are literally solidifying. We’re reducing our range of motion in the individual areas of our body and over our entire body in general.

So, I believe that one of the great benefits of body work – whether it be massage or structural therapies or physical therapy or any kind of hands on therapy – These types of therapies introduce movement manually to tissues that have become fuzzed over through lack of movement, whether the lack of movement is because of an injury and a person is protecting that injury or because of personality expression. There was many years I just walked around like this: I was very still and monk like. So, then I became more dynamic in my personality when I realised what I was doing to myself and the kind of life that I wanted. So, you can grow fuzz by choice or by accident or whatever and yet here, now that you have heard the fuzz speech, you know that you can take responsibility for melting the fuzz and if there is too much fuzz in your body and it’s frozen up, you might want to seek help in order to introduce movement so that the new cycle is a little more movement and a little more movement and a little more movement instead of a little less movement and a little less movement and a little less movement.

Fuzz represents time. The easier it is for me to pass my finger through the fuzz, the less amount of time it’s been there. If I’ve got to whip out my scalpel, to dig my way through one otherwise sliding surface and another, you know that that’s been building up for a long time. So you can actually see time in fuzz.

That’s The Fuzz Speech.”