Are you confused?
I know I am. It is 2021 and the state of the world and peoples opinion of it have me absolutely perplexed. What’s up is down, what’s down is up. Stay home, go out. Close down, open up. The pandemic is almost over and yet a third wave is coming.
It’s exhausting. I don’t know what to think or who to believe right now.
Thankfully, what isn’t confusing is this…
The need for human beings to move in order to be healthy. This message is consistent and clear and hasn’t changed.
See what I did there? 😉
I have never doubted this concept but it was reinforced for me yet again this week when I took a webinar on fascia. Not unlike our bones and our muscles and our brain, fascia responds to demand. If we want it to be healthy (and consequently for us to feel good) we need to place demands on it.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is connective tissue. It connects every part of the body with every other part, wrapping around muscles and holding organs in place. Addressing issues in the fascia can reduce pain, increase range of motion, and help nourish muscles and nerves.
There are 12 fascial lines in our body. These lines wrap around muscles, separate muscle fibers, and muscles from bones, as well as connect them. They are involved in all movements the human body is capable of performing. That includes the movement of internal organs like the diaphragm, which is needed for breathing.
As you can see from the image above, these lines connect from the top of the head to the tips of the toes and so when there is a problem at your left toe, it could in fact impact you all the way up to the back of then neck.
In simple terms, you can almost think about fascia like a tablecloth on your table. If you pull on one corner, the entire cloth and everything on it shifts. The same can be said of our body. When your fascia is tight or restricted in one are of your body, it can pull somewhere else and that somewhere else needs to compensate. This compensation can lead to pain and tightness and even injury.
If you want to avoid that, you need to move and you need to do mobility work. It organizes our fascia. Or, sticking with the analogy above, it straightens out the tablecloth, and therefore everything attached to it.
When it’s unhealthy: fascia is sticky, clumpy, tight, and flaky. It forms restrictions, adhesions, and distortions (think: muscle knots).
When it’s healthy: fascia is malleable enough to slide, glide, twist, and bend, pain-free.
So how do we keep our fascia healthy?
1) Stretch for 5 – 10 minutes every day
2) Try a guided mobility program
3) Stay hydrated
4) Learn how to use self myofascial release with a foam roller or massage ball
5) Get regular massages
6) Do yoga
7) Move regularly, in all sorts of ways
Fascia may be a new concept to you and while healthy fascia is not a life or death situation for anyone, unhealthy fascia can cause you to have aches and pains that can diminish your quality of life. So let’s pay our fascia a little love right now and let it love your right back with better performance, less pain and better mobility.
If you are interested in learning how to get your fascia healthy, book an appointment with one of our coaches today!