Fascia has been known about for a very long time and is being talked about more and more these days because it’s now understood to react to every injury and trauma we experience, throughout our life. It is a single web that allows a gel-like fluid to flow through and around ever-changing, strong, elastic fibres. This watery world envelopes every structure in the body, just like a complex 3D spider’s web. It is known to contain all sorts of neuro-receptors, including pain receptors, that tell us many things about our surroundings, helping us to react to the world around us.
Why fascia matters
Fascia is what gives us our ‘bounce’, with an incredible ability to absorb physical impact and adapt to chemical change. It has many functions, protecting our organs, enabling us to move and communicating pain. When we ask too much of it or we have surgery, an accident, or it’s subjected to long-term stress, it starts to lock down and gets restricted. This makes it more susceptible to injury and less able to cope with the next stress that comes along. Eventually this leads to new injury and pain, including chronic conditions that make the body even less able to cope. The impact of slipping off a kerb might be the final straw for a fascial restriction that’s built up in your shoulder after years of restricted posture at a desk job.
The good news is that the fascial network can also open up and release. If you do yoga you’ll know this feeling—when your body breathes and lets go, deeper into a posture. Myofascial release therapy (MFR) is a hands-on treatment that releases fascial restrictions helping to restore health and reduce pain. It forms the core of my work with most clients.
And I’m sure I’ll be writing more about fascia and MFR – do come back.
In the meantime, here’s a video about fascia and a grapefruit…. if you can’t spare the full 6-and-a-half minutes, at least hold out for 2, it really is worth it.