The extracellular matrix is part of a larger connecting system extending throughout the body that consists of the cytoskeleton (a "molecular scaffolding" that gives each cell its shape and ability to move) and the nuclear matrix within each cell. Combined, these matrices form a "tissue tensegrity-matrix system"—the living matrix—which provides the structures and abilities of the physical body, such as physiological regulation, memory, and awareness.

The living matrix generates and transmits vibrations in the form of mechanical waves, electrical signals, magnetic and electromagnetic fields, heat, and light.