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Fascia Digging Deeper....

Fascia, I talk about it all the time. Fascia is much more than what we once thought. Back in the day, it was thought to be this packing material. We would just cut it out and set it aside and just keep working on what needed attention. Over time thank god for the pioneers back in the day they believed there was so much more to this tissue. Presently their research and information are making waves.


Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917), a physicist said it best " The fascia gives one of, if not the greatest problems to solve as to the part it takes in life and death. It belts each muscle, vein, nerve, and all organs of the body. It is almost a network of nerves, cells, and tubes, running to and from it; it is crossed and filled with, no doubt, millions of nerve centers and fibers to carry on the work of secreting and excreting fluid vital and destructive. By its action we live, and by its failure, we shrink, or swell, and die."

Fascia has many duties such as insulating the body (weaved in with adipose), the body's largest sensory organ, and the mechanism that envelops each and every single one of our circulatory structures, lymphatic structures and it provides the ability for our tissues and organs to slide and glide. The list goes on and on. We are slowly uncovering the amazingness of this extraordinary tissue through research and education.

I have always wondered why and how diseases develop if our amazing bodies know exactly when something is wrong and when something is off. Our amazing Lymphatic system (Immune System) knows exactly what it needs to do. I like to compare our bodies to a road map. When you look at the circulatory system and our Lymphatic system on an anatomy diagram these are exactly what they look like. My favorite app is Essential Anatomy 5. (No affiliation)

The body is always scanning through signaling itself on a daily basis to make sure we are healthy and performing at optimum levels. So why and how does dis-ease come about in the first place? Well, it begins with our Fascia. From my experience working in the Massage Therapy field, the body gives us all the signs necessary to know something isn't right. It goes beyond the visual signs like Cellulite and Dents in our skin.

It's much deeper than that. I've experienced this firsthand with many of my female clients. What started as an aesthetic consultation ended up being a medical massage consultation. Assessing the body and their "problem areas" (cellulite) ended up being a deeply rooted issue that they thought just went away.

When restrictions are found within Fascia our body communicates this with us through pain signals. We quickly nod off the pain and reach for Advil or Anti-inflammatory meds to help us feel pain-free and quiet the body which in fact doesn't help. We are adding more wood to the fire. The body is a powerful machine, built to survive it will certainly do what it needs to do to do just that SURVIVE.

By not addressing the pain and ignoring the signs we are setting the perfect environment for dis-ease to thrive. It truly is a vicious cycle when the body is trying to heal. The body begins to compensate and addresses the problem the best way it knows how through support and

stabilization.


At this point, Inflammation has already set in. Inflammation is the body's way of healing. Through inflammation, the body's healing mechanism all the necessary troops (specialized cells) come into play. This is the body's emergency squad (ambulance and firefighters) trying to put out the fire. But what happens when the ambulance and the firefighters can't get through the roads or highways? You guessed it. We have a real emergency on our hands. The same goes for Fascia. When Fascia is restricted it adheres to neighboring tissues compressing vital structures, and the healing process becomes a state of chronic inflammation.

The image to the left shows how fascia envelopes every structure in our bodies providing protection, stabilization, and support. When Fascia is in its healthy state it glides and moves freely.


Dr. Helen M. Langevin is the director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) she stated "If you take, for example, Advil or some other anti-inflammatory agent, it suppresses both the inflammation part but also the resolution part. But if you have your sort of natural built-in inflammation resolution, which occurs in any scenario, say, if you cut yourself and you have initially for the first three or four days, the cut is red and sort of tender and painful, and eventually it kind of stops being painful, and then the swelling resolves, that’s inflammation resolution. It’s part of the inflammatory response. From the very beginning of the inflammatory response, there’s a program that starts itself in order to terminate it so that inflammation doesn’t keep going on forever. And what we found is that stretching encourages that, that resolution.

Focusing on the resolution and digging deeper into the issues within our tissues allows us to bring balance to the body through every means necessary and what will determine the overall health of our bodies. Maintaining the slippery "microbiome" of our Fascia is what allows our system to thrive. Movement, self-treatment, and mobilization of the tissues are the keys to keeping our Fascia happy and for us to live a healthy, comfortable, and happy life.


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