Confessions of a Fascia Nerd (Part One)
You may be noticing the word “fascia” (aka: connective tissue) is a hot topic right now in all body-related fields. But before we get into why fascia matters, here is why it’s getting so much attention these days.
John Barnes (father of Myofascial work) describes fascia as “a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpreting every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.” (WOW, it gets better…)
Many see it as a body stocking – a seamless piece of tissue that saran wraps you just underneath the skin. While this is true of the superficial fascia, it’s important to understand that it is a richly multi-dimensional tissue that forms your internal soft tissue architecture.
From the superficial “body stocking” fascia, it dives deep and forms the pods (called fascicles) that create your musculature like a honeycomb from the inside out. Image what it looks like when you bite into a wedge of orange and then look at those individually wrapped pods of juice. We are like that too!
Fascia also connects muscle to bone (tendons are considered a part of the fascial system), and bone to bone (ligaments are also considered a part of the fascial system), slings your organ structures, cushions your vertebrae (yep, your discs are considered a part of this system, too) and wraps your bones.
To say it’s everywhere is far from overstating things.
Body pain in any capacity, and at any age, is never fun. But we can help you if you are suffering from any muscular pain. Muscle pain can be addressed by a body worker who specializes in any form of myofascial work (Neuromuscular, which is what we specialize in at Body Blueprint, Cohasset, a combination of myofascial work with trigger point tend to be faves) will do the trick.
Luckily, you can also work on your fascia at home with the array of self-care tools that are on the market. I don’t like the harder tools (lacrosse balls) as they are less effective at actually “unkinking your hoses” – we work with Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls which we have for sale in our office. Acumobility, which we will have in our office soon, or others such as The Melt Method, Yamuna and Stickmobility.
Confessions of a Fascia Nerd (focusing on fascia and the athlete) Part 2 – coming soon…