Fascia. It's only as important as air!
Many people treat and think of their bodies as static, dumb and rigid machines. This if far from the truth. Myofascial Release is a system that works with the whole body. It uses the bones, joints, connective tissue and fascia to release, mobilize and improve. When studying anatomy it is necessary to remove, separate and uncover parts to be able to view the areas and structures that are being studied. As you open up a body it is quickly revealed how many parts, structures and systems are working in the living body.
Because anatomy is traditionally taught on dead bodies fascia really wasn't valued for it's structural and functional integrity and importance. When a body is dead the fascia dries up. However in a living body the fascia and connective tissue is very liquid, adaptable and powerful. While there were people who believed in the important role it played and created modalities and approaches to work with it, scientifically is was more of a hard sell and sometimes looked at as alternative therapy.
Recent developments in ultra mini video cameras, technology and imaging has allowed a view into the living body that has only been possible for the last few years. It shows a very adaptable, intelligent, resilient and strong system that connects and communicates through our whole living body. It is like a liquid web that surrounds and supports every structure in our living body. Every tendon, bone and joint in your body is encompassed in fascia. As well as your heart, lungs, gut and brain. From your nervous system, your muscular system and every organ and blood vessel in your body, it helps keep things functioning, providing space, tension and energy where it is needed.
Watch Video below. We are much more fluid and dynamic than we believed.
Fascia is so important. But so undervalued. It can be responsible for many dys-functions and ailments. It creates pain, restriction and immobility. Many times it can camouflage the true source or cause of dys-function, because one part is connected to another and if a patient or therapist gets too focused on the site of pain, leaving the real cause disguised and ignored. It sets us up for referral pain, when pain is caused from one area but you feel it in another. Two examples of this are: the stomach or rectus abdominis muscle creates low, and mid back pain as well as increased pain during a woman's cycle. The little muscles in your neck called the scalenes can create pain, numbness or discomfort into the chest, upper back, arm and hand.
Every moment in your life is registered and remembered by the living body and the fascial web. This is usually a good thing except when we have injuries, traumas, stress and habits and jobs that pull us out of whack and we don't recognize how it tightens, cinches and pulls to protect and guard us. When left over time little things and large incidents start to accumulate and we are left with unexplained pain, chronic conditions and dwindling energy and performance and much frustration.
Fascia in our body is like air in our environment. It surrounds everything, you can't usually see it, it does it's job automatically and we usually don't pay any attention to it. Air is important. If you are not sure just hold your breath for a few minutes and see how you react. What happens to your heart rate, your mental focus, your calmness, your tension and your energy. Most of the time you don't see or sense your fascial system as such because it is involved with everything else. Because it surrounds your heart it effects and is affected by the functioning and space of your heart. Because it surrounds your lungs it is influenced by the fullness, rhythm and quality of your breathing. It contains each and every muscle so when our muscles are tight, out of balance and restricted it alters the muscle strength, functioning and all of our movement. Recognizing, honouring and utilizing our living body and fascial system correctly is essential to living a joyful, productive and healthy life.