Muscles and Bones are important, but FASCIA is the BIG KAHUNA!
Did you know that you have a spider-web like system of connective tissue inside your body that not only hold things together, but serves as a communication system from head to toe? Originally believed to serve as a supportive and structural role, dense with nerve endings, the now the fascial system is thought to serve a very important role in protection, communication, as well as emotional, physical, and mental well-being. It makes sense then, doesn’t it, that working on your fascia can release emotions or memories, and that any effort to heal from emotional or physical trauma must involve release of fascial tissue.
Until recently, fascia was considered just another connective tissue, holding muscle fibers together, keeping our organs tightly in our abdomen, and connecting synergistic muscle groups together. It was basically seen as an inactive, or “passive” system that played a structural role in our body. Today, fascia is considered to be one of the most important systems to consider in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, postural syndromes, or repetitive injury. Injury or imbalance in lines of fascia can be the cause of chronic pain, as well as stress fractures, postural asymmetry/scoliosis, or recurring injuries.
Recent studies now reveal the importance of fascia in our awareness of movement, or alignment, and coordination. Filled with more nerve endings than our muscles, the facia is thought to be involved in chronic pain syndromes.
When fascia is restricted by injury, inflammation, or disease, the muscles are not able to be turn on and off effectively as a group, or individually.
Superficial and deep fascial layers are comprised of collagen and elastin primarily. Like a dense spider’s web, or perhaps a layer of tissue paper, the fascia separates sections of the body, but is pierced by blood vessels, nerves, and lymph ducts, that travel between sections. For example, the front of your thigh is like a separate compartment holding the four bellies of your quadriceps muscle as well as the sartorius, pectineus and iliopsoas. These muscles are held together with fascia, but need to be able to slide against each other to function independently. When fascia is restricted by injury, inflammation, or disease, the muscles are not able to be turn on and off effectively as a group, or individually. Fascial injury leads to muscle dysfunction. And, when muscles can’t fire on and off with precision during movement, joint pain or “arthritis” develops.
Get the picture? Healthy fascia is essential for the prevention of muscle and joint pain and injury.