Dedicated follower of fascia – helping you to unwind

Fascia is a tough seamless tissue that holds us together, somewhat like a body stocking that covers and connects muscles, organs and skeletal structure. There are three layers – superficial which determines the shape of our body; deep which interpenetrates and surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body; and visceral which surrounds organs within their cavities.

If the deep muscular fascia becomes restricted due to injury, stress, inflammation, trauma (physical or emotional) or poor posture, it can lead to myofascial pain, affecting our flexibility and it can impair the effective exchange of cellular nutrients and wastes.

Fascia is highly adaptable – stretching to accommodate, for example, pregnancy – but if subjected to prolonged tension, it can become thicker and less extensible. Because it is interconnected, the effects can be felt distant from the point of trauma – imagine pinching up the fabric of a stocking and seeing the fibres radiating out in wrinkles. However because it is thixotropic (it can change from solid to more liquid gel consistency) special fascial remodelling techniques can reverse this thickening and ’unwind’ the fascia.

These soft tissue manipulation techniques need initial gentle palpation and then focussed pressure and can constitute a whole treatment. It can also be very beneficial if carried out for a few minutes prior to applying oils for a massage. The therapist’s hands need to ‘engage’ with the underlying fascia and slowly ‘sink in’ to encourage gentle movement and heat to the area.

As a client you may experience a ‘softening’ of that muscle area, some heat, even twitching and a physical or mental sensation of ‘unwinding’. It may not seem a very ‘active’ technique but as with any focussed bodywork, it can be therapeutic and beneficial.

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