Fascia (pronounced ‘Fasha’) is the connective tissue system that permeates your body. It’s commonly recognised as the white, sinewy stuff that can be seen surrounding the muscles in meat (in chicken, for example).
Specifically, fascia invests in, surrounds and supports all of the structures of your body; from the joints, joint capsules, bone, muscles, ligaments, sheaths, to the lining of nervous tissue and the blood vessels. Healthy fascia under the microscope shows an extensive, loosely packed, web-like structure, which supports and ‘cushions’ the organs and body under normal conditions.
Your fascia is comprised of collagen fibres, elastin and is supported in a gelatinous fluid called the ground substance (glycosaminoglycans molecules and water). These polysaccharide chains have a high affinity to water, which makes up over 90% of the ground substance and this makes the extracellular matrix very good at absorbing compressive forces.
A continuous network of connections
There is communication throughout your body systems via the fascia and the extracellular matrix, which surrounds each cell, forming a continual network of connections. Much like a 3-dimensional web. If you imagine a snag in a woollen sweater, the defect in one part affects the whole. Fascia behaves in much the same way.
Over time, prolonged overloading, traumatic stresses, strain, chronic adaptive changes, or poor habitual movement patterns all exert stress on the mobile fascial system. Your fascia then becomes more rigid and less adaptable to internal or external forces, as it loses its ability to counter and resist these forces. The result? Your whole system goes out of alignment.
These conditions can lead to painful syndromes, poor movement patterns, overall fatigue, reduced performance, poor neuromuscular control and stiffness.
The solution? Fascial ‘Release’; the technique by which soft tissues reorganise themselves with the aim that your whole system achieves a more aligned, balanced state, thereby optimising the body’s physiological processes. Strictly speaking when we say ‘release’ the fascia doesn’t actually do this. It is the reorganisation of the connective tissue by mechanical stimulation (massage) that augments an alteration of the general tone of the tissue, so it feels looser. Fascial techniques works by facilitating:
- increased blood flow
- increased endocrine function
- improved sensory-motor responses
- a general feeling of relaxation, by regulating both the conscious & non-conscious aspects of the nervous system.
Fascia techniques facilitate your healing
What’s particularly clever about applying fascial release techniques is that they facilitate your body’s own healing processes. It re-balances and aligns not only the body parts in question, but simultaneously, the whole body system within this dynamic, integrative process.
And the good news is you can get this treatment from fascial release therapist Andrea Wright at Integra Therapy.
The Fascial Release therapist senses and feels the body’s subtle energetic movements with their hands, identifying areas of dysfunction which are blocked energetically and physically. With a soft or firm touch (which may include shaking, stroking, high-speed vibration, tapping, holding, joint distraction or compression and general movement) restoration is encouraged to be restored globally.
After treatment there is an IMMEDIATE CHANGE to how the injured body-part not only feels, but how it moves! It will generally feel less painful, easier to move, lighter and more aligned. You will experience a sense of relaxation during and after the treatment, which after some time will give you a sense of invigoration and increased energy. Count on it!