Do you have an injury that you simply can’t shake? The answer might just be Fascia that Tom Myers, a leader in the world of anatomy and movement referred to as the “Cinderella Tissue”. People have ignored it for many years.
I have been practising this amazing Fascia stretch on a daily basis, and have already seen the effects of being able to sit up tall with much more ease. Thank you Pilates Tonic for sharing this! http://www.pilatestonic.com/2013/one-of-the-most-effective-fascia-stretches/
If you’d like to read more about Fascia, here’s a great article on Contrology Pilates Method’s website (http://www.contrology-pilates-method.com/fascia_running_times_article.asp). It provides more insight to how Fascia affects our pain management and overall health.
Key summary points from the article below.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. Every bit of you is encased in it. You’re protected by fascia, connected by fascia and kept in taut human shape by fascia.
What is the Big Deal about Fascia?
Fascia isn’t just plastic wrap. Fascia can contract and feel and impact the way you move. It’s our richest sense organ, it possess the ability to contract independently of the muscles it surrounds and it responds to stress without your conscious command. It means that fascia is impacting your movements, for better or worse.
Why do I need to bother with Fascia?
In its healthy state it’s smooth and supple and slides easily, allowing you to move and stretch to your full length in any direction, always returning back to its normal state.
Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that your fascia maintains its optimal flexibility, shape or texture. Lack of activity will cement the once-supple fibers into place.
Chronic stress causes the fibers to thicken in an attempt to protect the underlying muscle.
Poor posture and lack of flexibility and repetitive movements pull the fascia into ingrained patterns.
Adhesion form within the stuck and damaged fibers like snags in a sweater, and once they’ve formed they’re hard to get rid of.
How to care for your Fascia?
MOVE IT OR LOSE IT: Keep moving! Sticky adhesion form between fascia surfaces that aren’t regularly moved, and over time these adhesion get strong enough to inhibit range of motion.
STAY LUBRICATED: Drink up! Just like every other tissue in your body, your fascia is made of water. It works better, moves better and feels better when it’s wet.
STRETCH YOUR MUSCLES: When your muscles are chronically tight the surrounding fascia tightens along with them. Over time the fascia becomes rigid, compressing the muscles and the nerves.
STRETCH YOUR FASCIA: Once your fascia has tightened up, it doesn’t want to let go. Because the fascia can withstand up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, you’re not going to force your way through, so stretch gently. Fascia also works in slower cycles than muscles do, both contracting and stretching more slowly. To stretch the fascia, hold gentle stretches for three to five minutes, relaxing into a hold.
RELAX: If you spend all day tense and tight at a desk, ice baths may not be the best thing for you. Fifteen to 20 minutes in a warm Epsom salt bath can coax tight fascia to loosen up, releasing your muscles from their stranglehold. Make sure to follow it up with 10 minutes of light activity to keep blood from pooling in your muscles.
USE A FOAM ROLLER: Like stretching, using a foam roller on your fascia is different than on your muscles. Be gentle and slow in your movements, and when you find an area of tension hold sustained pressure for three to five minutes. You may practice self-massage with the same rules.
RESPECT YOUR BODY: If you’re attempting to run through an injury, or returning from one with a limp, beware: Your fascia will respond to your new mechanics and, eventually, even after your injury is gone, you may maintain that same movement pattern. It’s better to take some extra time than to set yourself up for long-term trouble.
SEE A FASCIA SPECIALIST: If you have a nagging injury, or just don’t feel right lately, see if your area has a fascial or myofascial therapy specialist.