Connective tissue: Putting the Body Back Together Again
Helene Langevin, MD, Harvard Medical School, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA
Connective tissue forms a whole-body network that “connects” the body’s cells, tissues and organs with one another. The same connective tissue that transmits mechanical forces within the musculoskeletal system also constitutes the “terrain” where immune responses take place. Dr. Langevin’s research shows that connective tissue can function as a bridge between the musculoskeletal system and the immune system. Understanding this connection helps us understand how mechanical forces produced during acupuncture, manual and movement-based therapies can influence immune processes such as inflammation. Dr. Langevin’s presentation will highlight the development of methods for controlling the “dose” of forces applied to tissue in animal models has been key to advancing this field. She will also discuss how understanding connective tissue can help us overcome the artificial fragmentation of the body that handicaps modern physiology and medicine.