Pollutants (toxicity) suspended in cell membranes help cause energy starvation and lead to chronic fatigue. The immune system gets overloaded, leading to more of the same. (Candace Pert, Molecules of Emotion, 1997)  In his groundbreaking series of diet books, Dr. Robert Atkins makes a similar point.
Toxic diet?

One of these 'pollutants' appears to be excessive levels of the natural hormone known as cortisol. Generated by long-term and low-grade stress, cortisol actually begins to dissolve connective tissue itself. Several "stress-related diseases" list high cortisol levels and poor recovery from stress as leading factors. The problems can present themselves as chronic fatigue, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, fibromyalgia and depression. (Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March  2006)

Connective tissue

Chronic stress creates a sort of adrenaline/cortisol
poisoning/overdose that interferes with our natural healing processes. Too much adrenaline keeps our
organs on constant alert, fatiguing them and thus
leading to quicker dysfunction.
From 'Job's Body, A Handbook for Bodywork'
(2003 edition) by Dean Juhan
(It's been said we can actually develop an addiction to this high-stress state, as if it's a reassuring old friend.)
Bite me


A day after someone's first reflexology session, the most common response is "I've never slept so well." From "The New Reflexology" (2006) by Inge Dougans  (A good night's sleep is one of my own most common 'field reports' as well.)

'Massage-induced sleep is usually so profound that people in it seldom move at all.'
"The New Massage: Total Body Conditioning for People Who Exercise" (1980) by Gordon Inkeles
Deep massage/sleep connection

From "Soft Tissue Massage for Pain Relief" (2001)
by Bernard Schatz:
Contracted tissues tightly grip and squeeze pain receptors, nerves and blood vessels, thereby causing the symptoms of pain, fatigue, and weakness.
Looks like a spider web

Fascial tissue webwork

A geodesic dome is a tensegrity structure. Any
external force will be transmitted omnidirectionally to all parts of the structure. As a corollary, fatigue at one point within our myo-(muscle)-fascial webwork can and will transmit itself throughout the entire system.
In the evolving literature of bodywork, the body is seen more within this model of tensegrity, a system known for its high degree of structural efficiency. In terms of contracted tissue, the experience of fatigue can travel through the entire body.

Bucky dome
Stress lines

From "Soft-Tissue Manipulation"
(1980/1988) by Leon Chaitow:
'Chronic low back pain, more often than not, is accompanied by generalized
fatigue. The body is losing its ability to withstand the stresses placed upon it.' (Echoes of Hans Selye as the body is
losing its long-term battle to retain its
reservoir of adaptation energy.)

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