Fascia is the connective tissue of the body. It forms a web of connective tissue that is filed throughout the human body. Many animals, like horses and dogs also have fascia. Fascia provides, amongst other things, support, protection, damping and structure. It is both flexible as extremely strong. Fascia surrounds muscles and organs and provides connection of structures throughout the body. Thanks to fascia, muscles and organs can move past eachother and space is also created for nerves and bloodvessels. In Chinese medicine, the fascia has similarities with the meridians.The meridians can be seen as highways along which the energy travels.
Fascia can feel heat, cold, and stress and it has a memory like every human cell has a memory. Everything you hear, see, feel, smell and taste is saved in every cell and that process happens mostly unconciously, which is a good thing, otherwise you would be overloaded in the shortest amount of time.
Fascia reacts to internal and external stimuli. In case of ongoing stress, fascia can get hard and when this happens, the fascia thigthens, because different fibers come closer together. This reduces blood flow and the nerves cannot conduct well. You will use your body differently to relieve the area in which it occurs, causing other areas to become overloaded.
And vice versa, it may also be that the fascia becomes overloaded by an injury or blockage. The blockage creates a certain tensile force through which the fascia is pulled out of context. In this way, cramp can develop, resulting in a reduced blood circulation and a poorer conduction by the nerves.
You could call the fascia an organ and it is a very sensitive organ as well. It is important that the fascia stays flexible and is released during tension, so that the selfhealing capacity of the body can do its job again. A field that deals with fascia, amongst other things, is osteopathy. Hopefully, I can place a guestblog on osteopathy next month.
There is a saying ‘you adapt to what you don’t move.’ That is also the case for fascia. If you want to bring movement back in the fascia, you exhale into the shortened movement, actively contract the opposite muscles and move to but not through tension.
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