What is Fascia and why is it important?
A buzz word over the last couple of years has been what is called ‘fascia’ pronounced like ( FASH-AA) not ( FACE-AA), just a technicality but I figure the pronunciation is pretty important. In this post we’ll be diving into the basics of fascia and its structure and function, how as a Registered Massage Therapist ( RMT) I work with the fascia, and what I’ve come across in the past 10 years of my practice working with this intriguing and mysterious tissue. I’ll be referencing the Book Anatomy Trains by Thomas. W. Meyers but also trying to simplify the material so that my readers can gain a thorough knowledge without getting confused. I’m also throwing a bit of a esoteric/spiritual spin on it as that’s just me and also a very important aspect in my work/practice with the myofascial and craniosacral system.
Fascia is the glue that holds the body together. It can also be termed “ connective tissue” as it acts to connect the human form in multiple ways. The fascial system spreads like cobwebs throughout the entire body and engulfs the organs, ligaments, and musculoskeletal system. Without this system the human body would be gel like with no apparent/solid form. This connective tissue is made up of fibroblasts which help produce collagen fibers and lay down the “tracks” of fascia all across the human form. The part that really fascinates me is the fact that dense fibrous tissue tends to accumulate around injuries, joints with decreased range of motion, and pathological cells. It’s like this innate intelligence that the body has to protect itself but left unchecked and immobilized can start a cascade event in which more dense connective tissue is deposited resulting in more immobility and a pain tension cycle.
This is why Myofascial Release Technqiues ( MFR) and Structural Integration (SI) are so important for the human form and should be of access to everyone. Great respect is paid to the inherent knowledge of the body and skilled practitioners who have come before me.
With that basic introduction lets get into what I’ve noticed working with this wonderous tissue over the past 10 years. I remember when I first started my journey into working with the body I was fascinated by fascia and knew that it was the technique I wanted to focus my attention on . I knew this tissue was special and that it had its own intellgeince. I began “listening” to what this tissue was telling me and following its often strange release patterns and effects on my clients.
Keeping everything confidential lets name this patient “Jane Doe”; Jane came to me with years of chronic lower back pain and was exhausted both physically and emotionally. From my study in Anatomy Trains I decided to do a postural/soft eye assessment and found that her right Spiral Line was holding a faulty pattern. I released the external abdominal oblique and the left serratus anterior myofascial unit and the patient had a massive release. This included a large shift in pelvic position and also a emotional release from the trauma of a car accident that occurred when she was 10 years old. She was flooded with the memories of the accident and was physically shaking, this got me thinking about the connection of trauma and how its stored in the body. I continued with the patient for several more treatments and am proud to state that the chronic lower back pain/faulty strain pattern has left her body and she’s been pain free for the past 4 years! This isn’t some magic technique but rather a different approach that encompasses the whole body instead of “ chasing the pain.”
My experiences working with this system has continued over the years and not a day goes by that I’m not surprised by its profound ability at adaptation.
I’ve simply had to many experiences related to emotional releases with this form of work to deny a mind, body, spiritual connection. Also, when I tune into the fascia/human form their is a sort of electrical sensation that I’m able to pick up within the clients body, it will usually come in the form of waves or pulsations and is usually a indicator of a strong release about to occur. This is what really excites me! When this occurs I usually view it as a type of “ dance” with the human auric field. I’m blending my vibration into the clients body for balancing and healing, none of this is scientifically backed up “yet’ but I am in the process of finding some way to measure this field and observe the human auric field. Stay tuned for more blogs about this in the near future.
I also want to lay out some tips and tricks that can help assist you in releasing some of your own fascial restrictions and aid in releasing stored trauma/emotions.
1) Stay hydrated! This helps lubricate the fascial system and will make the process less painful and assist in quicker releases
2) Get yourself a foam roller/lacrosse ball and watch some videos on basic “foam rolling techniques” this takes practice to nail it but having the power to release your own body is something that you want in your life, trust me on this one. Also, trust your own intuition! Your body is trying to speak to you ALL day and were often to busy to listen. Quiet yourself before sitting down and allow your body to speak.
3) Meditation- start with 5 min/day and work yourself up to 30 minutes. Getting the body into a parasympathetic state ( relaxed) greatly aids the fascia and its ability to melt like butter.
4) Visit your manual/movement therapist and request MFR or a referral to someone who treats this way.
Well I hope you enjoyed this blog post and that you walked away learning something new. Connecting into the human body through the fascia has put me into a state of appreciation and awe at how beautifully complex we as humans are. I will continue to learn and grow on along these fascial planes and am happy to answer questions you may have. Please add me to Instagram @ resonance_wellness or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org