Fascia forms a 3D matrix that surrounds, connects and supports every organ, muscle, bone, tendon and ligament in our bodies. This system is an interconnected web or membrane across all systems within our bodies.
Fascia is the head to toe, arm to arm, inside to out connective tissue system that surrounds and penetrates every nook and cranny of our bodies. Like any other tissue, fascia contains sensory and pain receptors. When it’s not in the best shape, you’ll feel the effect. When it’s unhealthy, fascia is sticky, clumpy, tight, and flaky and forms restrictions, adhesions and distortions.
We like to give tension a bad name but tension itself is not what causes pain. It’s uneven tension that does. When the tension in our body is not evenly dispersed, we become a system of compensation. And this is when physical discomfort begins. A tug in our fascial fabric communicates across the entire network. It’s like the pull of a thread in a sweater. Our fascial strings alter our performance and change our physical appearance in space.
So the tension associated with fascia helps transmit force and information across the entire network as evenly and safely as the network allows. Whether it’s efficient or not depends on the pre-existing health of our fascia.
Our fascia is healthy when our body feels like all its parts are working together harmoniously.
What causes unhealthy fascia?
a sedentary lifestyle
overusing or injuring your muscles
unhealthy eating habits
poor sleep quality
Keeping Your Fascia Healthy
1. Vary your workout
Machines and free weights work your muscles, but ropes and balls work your fascia. Life doesn’t always come at you at the same angle so working out with movement that isn’t repetitive prepares your body better for all of the possibilities of situations that happen in everyday life.
2. Roll out your tight spots
Foam rolling will help break down the fascia helping a person move more fluidly. It’s a great way to check in with your body to pinpoint where exactly your fascia is tight and holding tension. Just get onto the roller and let your muscles talk to you. When you hit a trigger point or tight spot, sit and work on that spot for 30 to 60 seconds as it slowly dissipates. Over time this will help restore the fascia to optimal health.
3. Get professional help
If you’re chronically stiff and sore, or you have a muscle injury that just won’t heal, consult a specialist to see. Because fascia is so interconnected, one area can affect other areas. Massage therapists, PTs, and chiropractors are all types of fascial therapists that may help melt away a person’s stiffness.
Tom Myers, whom you can find on YouTube, is a well-known expert on fascia if you’d like to learn more.