Something just had me wander into the photos on my computer and this showed up. Isn’t it beautiful? In LA where I visit occasionally, I see these exquisite Humming Birds darting around gathering nectar from the flowers surrounding the gardens.
Did you know that if a humming bird relied upon muscular energy to beat its wings 100 times per second (that is seriously quick) to balance in rapid motion, while keeping its head still to drink the nectar, it would explode into flames? Serge Gracovetsky (hug to you dear Serge) presented this simple fact at the 2007 Fascia Research Congress).
What has this got to do with us? A LOT! This simple fact points out that the science explaining motion via muscles and bones is largely wrong. I used to be more polite when I was writing about the domain of musculo-skeletal mechanics, suggesting that the story of “the musculo-skeletal system is insufficient terminology in the face of Fascia Research.”
In fact: No muscle exists as an entity without it’s fibre, holding its proteins together at every level; from the microscopic to the macroscopic.
For that matter, no bone exists either without the fibre in which it formed and is wrapped; “starched” as it may seem: It is all fascia of one type or another. Embryology teaches us that the fascia around the bone (known as “periosteum”) guides the bone formation. Fascia cannot be left out of the equation; it is not separate. Not ever. Not anywhere in the body. The end.
Back to the hummingbird – it is fascia that animates the wing motion, without costing the bird so much metabolic energy that the heat generated would effectively explode it. Using muscles to explain motion is like using the keys tuning your guitar to explain music. They play a role – but not on their own. They tend to sit there meaningfully, but dumb!
Notably, the hummingbird doesn’t care how we describe it. It just naturally maintains the dance of seeking nectar and cleverly using its spine to hold its head still while everything else moves to varying degrees.
That makes me happy; knowing that the science of what the Humming Bird is doing anyway, is something of a mystery to us. We only think we understand. Gaia has other ideas, obviously, and I love the idea that watching the humming bird is actually teaching me something I don’t know; despite many centuries of books on biomechanics of bird flight! Wrong math!! Giggle. THY x