Understanding Fascia

What is it?

You may not know it, but the inside of your body is wrapped in a thin sheath of fibrous tissue called fascia. Fascia encloses your muscles and organs offering a protective shield that ensures they are healthy and vital.

Imagine that your entire body is wrapped in plastic wrap. If you were to pull on one part of the wrap, it would tighten elsewhere. If you pulled hard enough, you could create a tear where there is too much tension. Fascia acts in the same way as the plastic wrap. It is entirely connective throughout your body.

How does fascia function?

When it is in a normal, healthy state, fascia is relaxed, flexible and wavy, resembling a warm hug. The elasticity of fascia comes from interlocking collagen fibers, or protein strands that act like springs: strong and stretchy. This allows it to be responsive and flexible when it comes to movement and activity.

When the body is physically strained or experiences trauma such as surgery or injury, the fascia will tighten in an effort to defend you from harm. This can cause pain and discomfort, and significantly limit your range of motion.

Why is fascia important?

Fascia is important because it is the glue that holds us together. Without its strong, flexible hold, our bodies are unable to maintain their structure.

Studies show that over ninety percent of chronic pain is related to fascia. The fascia has built up around a previous injury or trauma, hardening the tissue and blocking range of motion.

Taking care of our fascia should be our first priority when dealing with pain and injury. The fascia can be taught to heal and restore its natural balance through release therapy.

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