Ever wondered why your organs don’t bounce around when you’re running or skipping? Or why sometimes you feel pain in one place of the body but your therapist may treat you somewhere else? Or how you are just kept together, your skin doesn’t slide down when you’re pulling off a tight pair of jeans?
Fascia! Fascia is your guy!
Fascia (read fah-sha) is a complex network of connective tissue that surrounds and connects cells, organs, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and makes us one. There isn’t a single part of our body that is not connected or surrounded by fascia.
Types of Fascia
There are different kinds of fascia:
Superficial – this type is under the skin and surrounds organs, glands, veins, vessels and nerves as well as fills in empty spaces in our body. It can store fat and water and is a passageway for all our circulation. Due to these facts it pretty much gives shape to our body.
Visceral Fascia – this layer suspends organs within their cavities and envelops them.
Deep layer – this layer surrounds muscles and muscle groups. Despite previous beliefs it is richly supplied of blood vessels and sensory receptors.
What does Fascia do?
Well, besides keeping us together, connected and working as one unit, fascia decreases friction between muscles, blood vessels and nerves as they move. The nerve endings in fascia contribute to the role it plays in proprioception (body awareness in space), and pain sensation and it is speculated that it plays a key role in chronic pain cases. Is also responsible for stabilisation, load transfer, integrating activity of lower limbs and upper limbs and/or left side vs. right side facilitating coordination of movements in activities such as running or swimming.
Stiffness: Poor posture, lack of symmetry, uneasy movement, discomfort and poor flexibility.
Trauma: scaring from injury or surgery and adhesions.
How do we keep our fascia healthy?
Exercise modalities such as: Fascia Yoga, Mobility, Pilates.
Myofascial release techniques like massages and foam rolling.
Heat: Hot packs, Warm baths, Sauna.
Get professional help!