1. What is Fascia?
Fascia is described in many ways, but I like to think of it of a spider web that continuously runs from head to toe. It is everywhere in your body! Lining your organs, attaching muscles to bones, interweaving all your muscles, and lining your bones.
2. Why should you care about it?
Your fascia is a 3-D matrix that supports your body whenever you’re under the weight over gravity. So basically, all the time. It helps keep your body in an upright position, joints moving properly, and it’s what allows you to move in multiple directions. It is also what transmits energy or force throughout the body. Have you ever seen a gymnast land a huge vault and wonder how their body didn’t explode on impact? That external force (ground reaction) is dispersed throughout their mainly through the network of fascia in the body.
3. Lines of stress
Fascia is made up of elastic, collagen, and matrix (gel-like substance). This allows the fascia to do all these important things mention above, however it also means that fascia can be shortened, thicken, or even solidify over time. This may come from some type of trauma or inflammation or it may originate along a line of stress from daily activities such as: sitting or standing for long periods, or bad posture. This will eventually lead to a line of stress in the fascia causing shortness and thickness along a particular band of fascia and weakness is others. If left, over time this line a stress will start to pull your body out of alignment and cause tightness, joint pain, incorrect movement patterns and potentially injury.
4. Functional training
These amazing qualities of fascia allow us to move and train our bodies as a whole unit is all three dimensions. Without it we would be isolating each muscle group while training and this is why we call what we do here at Full Circle Fitness, functional training. We train you based on your goals and how move in your daily life. Function is everything and without fascia our body would not be capable of all these amazing things we make it do.
5. What should you do for your fascia?
The easiest way to work on your fascia is to invest in a good foam roller. There are many varieties so just ask us if you have questions. Foam rolling requires a dense or semi dense foam cylinder, trigger point kit, or even just a tennis ball depending on the area you are trying to reach. Using the foam roller slowly and methodically over the tight areas will help release these areas of tension and help release the band of stress. Rolling daily will help you achieve an amazing difference in how your body feels and functions. Not sure how to foam roll?? Come try our Stretch and Roll class where we will help educate you what spots you need to work on and how to properly foam roll. Other options include Restorative Yoga, massage, or being rolfed.
We have only touched on the basics of your fascia and how it functions, however as you have read this can be one of the things preventing you from feeling your best. Take care of your fascia, get a massage, get rolfed (I’ll be going very soon), AND take our Restorative Yoga or Stretch and Roll class to loosen those lines of stress that we all have!