It's the newest buzzword in health and fitness circles: Fascia. But what exactly is the big deal about Fascia? If you've heard the term before and wondered what exactly what it means, we're here to break it down for you!
What Is Fascia?
In simple language, Fascia is a system of connective tissue fibers that rest just under the surface of your skin. If put under the microscope, it is a mesh formulation of tubules filled with water. Fascia plays the role of attaching, stabilizing and enclosing your internal organs and separate muscles. Visualise it like this: Without Fascia, your bones would crumble, organs would spread like wildfire, and structured, toned muscle will turn into minced meat!
What Are Fascial Injuries?
Think of Fascis as the shock absorber of your body. This means that every trip, stumble and fall you suffer is stored in your Fascial system. Even without a direct injury, Fascia can get bound down (yes, that's how sensitive it is!). Injuries sustained in utero and childbirth, as well as sports, all have a significant impact on your Fascial system. Others things can lead to Fascial injury:
Habitual poor posture
Trauma - both physical and emotional
How Will An Injured Fascia Affect *Me*?
When fascia is injured, the function of your whole body is affected. It restricts the transmission of nerve impulses, and can lead to a loss of performance in recreational exercise as well as sports. It can cause musculoskeletal disorders such as lower back pain.
How Fascia Responds To Pilates And Yoga?
If there's two things that work effectively on your Fascial system, it's yoga and pilates. The jelly-like layer that makes up some of the Fascia is happiest when there are no restrictions on the body. In case your fascia becomes stuck, stuff and weak - you can benefit immensely from pilates, yoga (especially slow yoga like Yin Yoga), hydration throughout the day, and other healthy lifestyle choices. Yoga and pilates play a role in changing our connective tissue, and can help restore our fascial fluidity.
What Is Myofascial Release Therapy?
As the name suggests, Myofascial release is a form of physical therapy used to treat myofascial pain syndrome. It reduces pain by easing the tightness and tension in the trigger points. Your therapist is supposed to massage the myofascia with light manual pressure, and look out for tightened or stiff areas. Patients with myofascial pain syndrome can use this therapy to restore their fascia and heal from their injuries.