What Does Fascia Have to do with Your Pain and Discomfort?
Fascia weaves over and around every component of the human body. It is increasingly on the radar of researchers and healthcare practitioners as a crucial component dictating how we function and feel. With its very intimate connection with all structures of the body, the massage therapists of Broadway Wellness have adopted a vast appreciation for fascia, and are incorporating it in their approach to healing.
1. Fascia is pervasive. That means it's everywhere in your body. Fascia lines your organs, it lines and infuses your muscles. It helps attach your muscles to your bones, it lines your bones too. It forms pathways for your delicate nerves, arteries, and veins to run through, and tunnels to transport the fluids that sustain you. Fascia is a 3 dimensional web connecting every structure in your entire body - from head to toe - without interruption. It is a continuous unit, flowing from one form to the next, changing shape and tone depending on the structure it connects with.
2. Simply, Fascia is made of 3 main things: elastin - stretchy material; collagen - extremely tough, inflexible material exhibiting a huge amount of tensile strength; and matrix - a gel-like substance. The stretchy elastic fibres lie at the core, with the extremely tough and much less flexible collagen fibers coiling around it - together they bathe in the matrix.
3. Fascia is designed to protect you, to keep your internal structures properly positioned, to allow the different parts of your body to slide and glide around each other as you move, and allow your body to maintain its shape. If we took away all of you except your fascia, you would still maintain your shape.
4. Fascia has the natural tendency to become solidified, shortened, and thickened when the body goes through a trauma, an inflammatory process, or exhibits poor posture over time - either stress or injury induced. Fascia will organize itself along the lines of tension that are imposed on it. These lines of tension created at the time of injury tend to persist in the body, they don't re-set after the tissue heals. Over time these trauma/injury induced fascial lines of tension will pull the body into them, and out of its natural, crucial, 3 dimensional alignment, as fascial lines of tension are stronger than healthy tissue. This pulling and distortion from our natural alignment forces the body to exert an enormous amount of energy to sustain centred balance, and it often results in chronic physical pain symptoms developing at the site of the distorted and stretched tissue.
5. Thickened, dense fascia that has adapted to lines of tension and pulled the body out of alignment can be manually mobilized and softened such that it moves with the body rather than in opposition to the body, freeing and settling nearby painful distorted areas once again.
The Vancouver Massage Therapists at Broadway Wellness are highly trained in working with the fascial tissue component of the body. Fascial release is the term often used to describe massage therapy involving the connective tissues of the body, with cranial sacral and visceral therapies being specialized forms of fascial release aimed at the central nervous system and organs of the body. Addressing the fascia is becoming an important focus in health and wellness, and it can often be the missing piece to the puzzle.
Broadway Wellness is a friendly and community focused, massage therapy clinic, with additional focus on naturopathic medicine, and as a chiropractic clinic, offering services in a beautiful and expansive centre, conveniently located in the heart of Fairview – near Broadway & Oak, in Vancouver BC, Canada. The RMTs and clinic practitioners are a group of like-minded, friendly, and personable therapists who, within their individual practices, share a dedication to helping their clients come back into alignment with themselves and their health. For more information, visit http://www.broadwaymassageandtherapy.com