Fascia is the most prevalent tissue in the body and can affect your overall health and well-being. It has a tremendous impact on the mobility and flexibility of the body so it’s important to not only have a good understanding of what it is, but also what you can do to keep it healthy and fluid.
Fascia is a spiderweb-like connective tissue that covers everything in your body-your organs, circulatory system, brain and nervous system, musculoskeletal system and more. The interconnected muscles and fascia work together as a cohesive unit to create movement.
We used to think that there were 600 plus muscles in the body that were independent and discrete from the rest. Now we understand that it's better to think of our body as having one muscle poured into 600 pockets of fascial webbing. There isn't one single muscle in the body that is not fascially connected to another muscle. So why does this matter?
Fascia is the missing element in the mobility/stability equation.
When you experience stress (physical, mental and/or emotional), your fascia reacts by tightening and stiffening. When left unattended to, aging of the body, mind and spirit accelerates, function decreases and quality of life deteriorates.
There is no pill or medication that can improve your fascia, and exercise alone does not optimally balance, align and improve it either.
It notes that the most common sport injuries occur in connective tissue - joint capsules, ligaments, tendons and other fascial structures - rather than in the muscles or bones. It’s therefore been proposed that making fascia a specific target of training and stretching would not only prevent injuries but also encourage longevity in sport.
The effects of untreated fascia are:
Decreased joint space can lead to degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis & more;
Increased muscle tone can lead to trigger points, strains, tendonitis, tears & more;
Increased nervous tissue tone can lead to headaches, trigger points, muscle tightness & more;
Increased scar tissue formation;
Decreased blood flow decreased energy & increased fatigue.
There are ways to improve the quality of your fascia, and they include:
Drinking more water (fascia, the most prevalent tissue in body is 2/3 water);
Releasing your tissue with massage or mobility balls (e.g. self-myofascial release);
Targeting your joint capsules as you stretch your soft tissue;
Stretching in multiple planes of movement;
Getting treated by a specialist in myofascial release;
Learning how to improve your breathing patterns;
Moving more and moving in different planes of motion (such flow yoga);
Exercising with proper lifting mechanics;
Improving your quality of sleep;
Managing and coping with your stress (yoga, wellness coaching).