What is Fascia?

Fascia is single three dimensional web of thick connective tissue that imbeds through your body from head to toe. It is a neurologic, electrically-charged matrix that not only connects every part of our body’s system (organs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones), but interpenetrates and envelops them. Imagine cutting into an orange- you see the membrane that holds each piece of the orange together, and spreads throughout the fruit- this is like the myofascial system inside your body. Every muscle, every muscle fiber, every bone, every organ, and even your nervous system (and other systems) is linked through your fascia. It is responsible for movement, stabilization, protection, and carrying fluids where needed. It holds everything together, giving our bodies support and structure while also helping our bodies move freely. In a healthy state, it is not just a solid structure; it is a tensional fluid system.

 

When fascia becomes too tight and is not released, this can create a binding effect on the body which is known as fascial restriction.  Over time, this binding-down on the body’s vital systems can cause pain, immobility, and dysfunction. Fascial restriction inhibits movement and can be caused by poor posture, bodily trauma, stress, and surgery, just to name a few. Because of how embedded your fascia is within every system of your body, it can lead to trouble breathing and restriction of blood and lymph flow, muscle movements, among many other issues. The pressure exerted by the bound fascia can measure up to 2000 pounds per square inch; it entraps everything in its path. Imagine wearing a straight jacket. It restricts movement, fluid flow and breathing become labored. This is how it can feel, in varying degrees, when your fascia is restricted, only that restriction is coming from inside your body. A full range of freedom of movement, blood flow, and all system functions is only possible when the fascia is healthy; this is why it is so important to address fascial restriction right away.

Example of Fascia

Because of the interconnected nature of the myofascial system, it is often necessary to treat parts of the body that you may not expect to be linked to your pain or restricted movement. When fascia constricts in one area, it can directly effect other areas of the body that may seem unrelated.

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