What is Fascia?
Fascia is the seamless connective tissue surrounding muscle fibers, nerves, blood vessels, organs and bones all throughout your body. Healthy fascia holds organs in place, transmits movement from muscles to bones, and provides a supportive, flexible wrapping for smooth sliding and gliding movements for the tissues it surrounds.
Fascia is so prevalent, it is said that even after removing all other cells from your body, leaving the fascia intact, you would still be recognizable as you.
Why is fascia important?
It is said there are over 650 different muscles in the human body, all wrapped in fascia. It is also said, there are over 650 spaces in our fascia filled with one muscle—a "fascial-bag" if you will.
Within our "fascial-bag," our more rigid structural components (e.g. bones, cartilage, etc...) provide the scaffolding of our body—floating between the tensions of our fascia and muscle in what has become known as a model of Tensegrity.
Tensegrity and fascia can also be thought of as a knit sweater. As one might notice while tugging on a single fiber of this sweater, tight, unhealthy, restricted fascia has a cascading effect throughout the rest of the body's fibers.
Through injuries, illnesses, surgeries, and everyday use (or misuse) we upset the balance of
Luckily, this is where visceral manipulation and structural bodywork can help.
How do organs relate to pain and movement?
Our internal organs are some of the most important functional structures in our body... and our body knows it. Without our organs, we could not live; and in order for our organs to function well they need to be able to move inside of us and glide, and slide freely beside their neighboring tissues.
Because the majority of our internal organs hang inside of us, restrictions with an organ often affects our movement.
Think of driving down the road in a car, and you see a pot hole up ahead. You still want to drive down the road as straight as possible, but you don't want to damage your car, so you adjust slightly to move around the pot hole. Well, that is what our body does.
Those "pot holes" are the restrictions and reduced movement available to our organs introduced through surgeries, car accidents, falls, illnesses, and/or a slough of other possibilities as we drive down the road of life.
Your movement, and strength become compromised for the safety of what is inside of you.
How do I know if I have organ restrictions?
Because of how our nervous system is wired, signals of organ dysfunction and restriction are often broadcast out to the surface of our bodies, but in ways we may not think of.
Some quick examples:
Liver restrictions — right shoulder pain
Stomach restrictions — left shoulder pain
Bladder restrictions — knee or hip pain
Thankfully, we can tune into the slight changes in the how our bodies process stimulus (e.g. pressure, movement, sensation, etc...) to cue your body to tell us more precisely where there is an issue.
As you can see by the examples above, where you may experience the pain, discomfort, or reduced movement or strength, may not be where the root cause is.
By listening to the messages of the body, and understanding the anatomical structures and relationships of the areas the messages come from, we can provide the "helping hand" your body may need, and begin to resolve issues you've lived with for years.
What might unhealthy fascia, tissue and organ restrictions feel like?
- Headaches and Migraines
- Trigger Points, Muscle pain and spasms
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Chronic back, neck and jaw pain
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
- "Brain Fog"
- Joint pain and impingement disorders
- Muscles weaknesses and/or tightness
- Recurring/Chronic injuries and illnesses
- Sciatica and Pelvic Asymmetry
- Carpal Tunnel
- Breathing Difficulties
- Sensations such as numbness and pins and needles
- Poor posture and reduced flexibility
- Poor digestion
To name a few...
Ways unhealthy fascia, tissue and organ restrictions develop
- General injuries, illnesses and traumas
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum changes
- Poor Nutrition
- Lack of Hydration
- Poor posture
- Lack of exercise and/or stretching
- Weight and/or Muscle gain or loss
- Stress (Emotional, physical, and psychological)
- Repetitive movement patterns (i.e. factory and computer work)
The list goes on...