Fascia has recently begun to gain greater understanding in the wellness world, with increasing numbers of people exploring how maintaining healthy fascia can provide the key to a healthy body. A definition of the fascia can be found in the PDF attachment to this post.
Michael Kern of the Craniosacral Therapy Educational Trust has written about fascia, dispelling the myth that this part-liquid, part-solid tissue has little or no significance and instead referring to this element of the body as a ‘living matrix’.
The science of fascia is still in its infancy, but the evidence from researchers, medical experts, alternative therapy practitioners, yogis and sports people is increasingly suggesting the importance of fascia as a body-wide system that has a significant influence on our health.
Benefits of the Healthy Fascia
There are many benefits to maintaining healthy fascia. It provides a support system for the muscles, protects the organs and connects every area of the body. When the fascia is healthy, our risk of injury is reduced, and blood flow is increased, which means we recover faster after exercising. Fascia also acts as an important communication system and is rich in sensory nerves that help to regulate the central nervous system. Body alignment and symmetry are improved when fascia is motile and supple, and many people report improved performance in sporting activities. Healthy fascia can also reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks and help us break down scar tissue more quickly.
There are three main types of fascia in the human body, which you can see in the infographic attachment.
When fascial motion becomes inertial it can form distortions, adhesions and restrictions in the body like knots in muscles, and its consistency becomes dense, clumpy, flaky or sticky. Lifestyle factors that can result in poor fascial health include dehydration, an unhealthy diet, poor sleep quality, postural issues, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and over-use or injury. Some also believe that cellulite can occur because of unhealthy fascia.
Stretching and mobility exercises help to keep fascia in good condition, with the added benefit of helping us become more supple and flexible and raising our overall fitness level. Regular stretching helps to ensure that fascia is able to move freely without seizing up or becoming tight.
Therapy for Fascia
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy works on the principle that in a state of health everything within the body expresses subtle rhythmic motions, but these subtle rhythms may become inertial as a result of stress or overwhelm from a variety of causes. As fascia is the connective tissue that joins and communicates with everything else in the body, it is a system of great interest to Craniosacral practitioners, whose gentle hands-on treatment skills can help restore normal motion and consequently normal function. An overview of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can be viewed in the embedded short video.