What in the world is fascia and why am I seeing/hearing about it everywhere?
Fascia, is a thick, sticky, wet fibrous connective tissue. It is everywhere in our body. It holds our organs in place. It is like plastic wrap around the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons.
Fascia can contract and impact the way you move. It’s our richest sense organ, it possess the ability to contract independently of the muscles it surrounds and it responds to stress without your conscious command. That’s a big deal. It means that fascia is impacting your movements, for better or worse. It means that this stuff massage therapists and physical therapists and orthopedists have right at their fingertips is the missing variable, the one they’ve been looking for.
In its healthy state fascia is smooth and supple and slides easily, allowing you to move and stretch to your full length in any direction, always returning back to its normal state. Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that your fascia maintains its optimal flexibility, shape or texture. Lack of activity will cement the once-supple fibers into place. Chronic stress causes the fibers to thicken in an attempt to protect the underlying muscle. Poor posture and lack of flexibility and repetitive movements pull the fascia into ingrained patterns. Adhesions form within the stuck and damaged fibers like snags in a sweater, and once they’ve formed they’re hard to get rid of?
How to care for your fascia:
1. Before getting out of bed…roll around a little and stretch.
2. Drink plenty of water. Fascia is wet and sticky and will move better when hydrated.
3. Stretch your muscles.
4. Stretch your fascia. Fascia needs to be stretched by holding the stretch much longer…3-5 minutes.
5. Get regular massage therapy. A good massage therapist will loosen that fascia and get circulation to the tissue.
6. Spend 15-20 minutes in a warm Epsom salt bath regularly. Epsom salt has healing properties that can be absorbed.7. Use a form roller regularly.
8. Rest your body to heal thru an injury. Coming back to soon…that fascia will jump in to protect your injured muscle causing lingering effects.
9. Work on your posture! Poor posture all day long put stress on muscles, bones and fascia! Foundation Training will help correct posture and get the posterior muscles to help stand you up better and create better movement patterns.
There you have it. Work on your body!