Maybe you have heard the word fascia and maybe you have a vague idea about what it is and what it does. Or maybe you have never heard of it before.
Either way I am here to share with you a little bit of information about the stuff that connects all of us.
Fascia, Fascia, Fascia… the missing link to helping to release deep tension in the body?
- Every structure of the body down to the tiniest nerve has it’s own fascia.
- Every part of us is connected through a web of this fascinating stuff.
- When fascia is restricted it builds up ceating “the fuzz” (warning slightly graphic but extremely interesting).
So what is fascia?
It is the connective tissue that holds us together. When fascia is normal, hydrated and healthy it moves easily and without restriction.
It is made up of layers of collogen and elastin. When it is healthy it glides and slides easily and it is incredibly important for supporting and holding the bodies structures.
Our lifestyles can often cause the fascia to develop restrictions, factors such as poor posture, inactivity, trauma, emotional trauma and repetitive strain issues.
Stifness related to aging can also be attributed to fascia. Maintaining healthy fascia can be helpful in order to stay feeling youthful and continuing to have full range of motion in all your joints.
I have a particular interest in the use of massage and yoga for keeping healthy fascia…read on to learn more.
How can massage help?
Myofascial release massage is a specialised area and style of treatment which focuses on that fascial layer. The techniques include low-load pressure and fascial stretches it is a subtle yet deeply powerful treatment .
My fascination with this treatment comes from a personal interest in becoming free from back pain. When I move into certain postures in my yoga practice I can feel the restriction in my back pulling on other parts of my anatomy. No amount of working into the superficial muscles has helped to releive this as the restriction is within the fascial layer.
I have personally found a great sense of relief from having myofascial treatments by working to release the restriction in the fascial layer the deeper muscles become free to slide and glide over one another as they were meant to.
If there is restriction in one part there can be no doubt that it is having an effect on the whole.
If you suffer from a sense of restriction in the body seeking out a myofascial specialist might be highly beneficial for you.
How can yoga help?
When you wake up in the morning instead of hitting snooze on the alarm get up and stretch it will feel so good. Better yet roll out your yoga mat and get a yoga practice in to free your fascia to have an amazing day.
Yoga is an excellent way to prevent adhesions and restriction and to literally breath into areas which we don’t normally think about
So next time your yoga teacher asks you to breath into a part of your body, really consider it. Take your attention to that area and imagine creating a sense of spaciousness, expanding the area to help release (melt) the fascia.
A good example of this is the intercoastal muscles, there is a fascial layer between each rib which can restirict the mechanism of breathing by freeing this fascia you can help improve your ability to breath naturally and fully.
Other ways to maintain healthy fascia?
- It is important to stay hydrated in order to maintain healthy fascia.
- Dance, free flow movement that allows you to move in all directions in a fluid way.
- Foam rolling, inbetween massages you can help reease the fascia through foam rolling.
- Breath, deep full breathing expand the internal spaces through concentrated breath work.
As always I love to hear your comments and questions.
Please like and share if you have found this interesting or know someone else who might.
Feel at ease