How Diet Affects Fascia: 3 Best “Foods” for Healthy Connective Tissue

Recently I’ve been challenged to see myself in a new light; to recognize a pervasive pattern of mine that at one time in my life kept me feeling safe, but is no longer necessary and in fact had became downright destructive to my relationship. I was creating a self-fulfilling prophecy (getting exactly what I didn’t want by letting my fears control my actions).

Gaining this new insight into my own behavior has helped me see, with even more clarity, how we often act on survival instincts and do things that may at first glance seem healthy or even ethically or objectively “right,” but are in fact keeping us stuck in unhealthy nervous system patterns.

This is just as true for the relationships we have with other human beings as it is for us and our bodies, and fascia (which feels everything, records everything, connects everything and in a lot of ways manages our abilities based on our emotions, beliefs, nervous system patterns, past injury patterns and current strengths and weaknesses).

Why do you eat what you eat?

If you’re reading this then I’m assuming you’re concerned (or interested in learning) about what types of foods you “should” be eating for optimal health (including fascial health). If so, then my very first question is “why?”

Your why is far more important than what you’re eating.

Why do you want to know?

Is your curiosity coming from a place of self love and wanting to honor your body?

Is your concern born of fear? Maybe you’re afraid of getting “fat” or getting cancer, or maybe you’re afraid of the pleasure you get eating that coffee ice cream (mmmmm) or that burger and fries; or maybe you don’t want to end up like a parent, friend or other loved one who has diabetes or heart disease or is always getting injured.

While our fears are totally valid and I believe they need to be heard and honored, acting from a place of fear will likely only produce a self-fulfilling prophecy – giving us exactly what we don’t want.

So what should we be doing instead?

First of all – I believe fear starts to fade in the face of facts, or looking at a situation with as much honest objectivity as possible. Simply acknowledging what is, without making it (or ourselves) right or wrong, goes a long way towards calming the nervous system (at least it does mine – you may be different).

When it comes to nutrition or diet and fascia, the facts may surprise you.

Does diet affect fascia?

Yes.

And no.

I have clients who are totally dedicated to “healthy” eating (organic, paleo, gluten free, anti-inflammatory, probiotic etc), and I have clients who binge after jiu-jitsu tournaments on burgers, fries, candy and beer; and everything in-between (people who don’t watch their diet at all, and those who brew their own kombucha and make their own sprouts).

After all these years, there are definitely some patterns that have arisen around diet and how healthy (or not) a client’s fascia is:

Typically, the ones who obsess about eating healthy are also obsessing (and stressing) about other areas of their life as well; including how much or in what ways they exercise, whether or not they’re doing all the “right” things by their body; and it is these people who have the most consistently tight fascia that doesn’t want to let go; they get injured more frequently than my other clients and consequently they want to know what else they can “do” to prevent pain, injury, unhealthy fascia etc.

Meanwhile, the clients I have that either a) don’t stress at all about what they eat (and they probably eat “unhealthy” to varying degrees) or b) do the best they can and let go of any particular outcome, have the healthiest fascia, get injured the least and seem pretty content with their bodies and lives.

Does diet matter at all then?

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How to Release Overactive/Restricted Upper Traps – Relieves Neck + Shoulder Pain, Headaches and More

Those pesky upper traps!

They want to work for us ALL the time. But it’s not their fault. We’ve trained them to be overactive by the ways we sit, stand, work out and move through activities like running and cycling, and how we carry our purses or backpacks.

For a long term “fix” here, we have to get those upper traps to stop working for other muscles like our rhomboids, low traps, low lats and our core. Yes, our traps will actually work for our core to stabilize us through certain movements and activities if our deep core stabilizers aren’t engaged. Click here to read/watch my post on the 3 “R’s” of better posture, which is a great place to start reversing this pattern, and watch out for new episodes addressing this one. It’s so chronic I’ll be covering it from various angles indefinitely!

Today, I’ll show you how to stretch and release those fascial adhesions (aka “knots”) in your upper traps or shoulders.

These knots can cause all kinds of pain and discomfort, from shoulder and neck pain to arm issues, headaches and mid back pain to name a few.

You’ll need access to a barbell and rack for this one. Every gym has one.

Please watch the video for the best results!

How to get the most out of this technique:

  • You can use a bare barbell, or if you want something a little less metalic/cold, try wrapping a towel around it, or use one of the various rack covers that most gyms provide.
  • You’re looking to do TWO things with this technique: 1) STRETCH all the tight fascia in this region which is achieved by pinning a piece of tissue and using your arm AND head to stretch in opposing directions, which creates a good stretch through the whole system (fascia is connective tissue, and as the name implies, it is all connected!) And 2) Find and break up or release the adhesion(s) in your upper traps. This one is more tricky.
  • Once you try the stretch part and feel like you’ve done a decent job at this, move on to finding and releasing the adhesion(s).
  • It may be helpful to start by palpating (feeling your hands) to find out where exactly that sucker is.
  • Then, your job is to pin the knot to the barbell and use head and arm movement to “shear” across the knot and break it up. Think about using your HEAD movement the most here, but make sure you move S L O W L Y !!! Slow movement will reveal that you’re getting it, or tell you you’re not.
  • If you can’t get that knot to “clunk” under the barbell, then try placing the barbell in a different location – maybe farther back towards your posterior and away from your collarbone. That usually does it for me, but everyone is different here.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Try different positions, head movements, reaching your arm or leaving it loose. Each will produce a different sensation and technique in the upper trap. Basically – find what works for YOU and your body.

 

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Posterior Neck Release + Spine Traction – For Reverse Whiplash, Post Fall Recovery & Sore Necks

If you’ve ever fallen face first, woke up with a sore neck or had any kind of accident that leads to posterior neck and upper back muscle soreness – you’re going to LOVE this technique!

Are you finding this immediately after a recent fall?

During the day or two immediately following a fall, what we do (and DON’T) is critical. If you fell as recently as today or yesterday, BEFORE attempting the technique in this post please figure out if you have traditional or reverse whiplash, and of course – if you have broken bones, a possible spine misalignment or neck pain (in the bones/joints), please see your preferred health care professional first.

Traditional whiplash:

Traditional whiplash occurs during car accidents and other falls where the FRONT of our body locks into contraction to protect the cervical spine from snapping and killing us. Typically with this kind of whiplash your chest and biceps and maybe the front of your neck are what contract really tightly to protect you. This can happen with or without the presence of obvious soreness in these muscles.

Are you experiencing reverse whiplash?

This is what happened to me recently, and what led me to invent today’s technique.

(Please note the term “reverse whiplash” is mine, and is simply meant to describe what’s occurring muscularly compared to traditional whiplash and is not meant to diagnose or treat anyone. As far as I know it’s not an “official” name for anything).

How does reverse whiplash happen?

I was hiking up a mountain on a snowy trail wearing microspikes when one one set of spikes got caught on the other. My feet were essentially tied together, which meant I couldn’t bend a knee or put a foot down or break my fall in any other way than falling face first into the snow. My hands broke my fall, my face inches from the cold white ground. I didn’t know it at the time, but my entire posterior chain from the base of my skull all the way to my tailbone contracted quickly and powerfully to stop me from hitting my skull, pelvis or other important joints on the hard ground. Essentially, they were attempting to “pull” me back, away from the ground, which resulted in my doing a near perfect fall to low plank without anything but my hands hitting the ground.

At the time I thought I’d gotten away with it all…

Until I woke up the next morning with the most sore neck I’ve ever had. I’ve been in car 2 pretty bad accidents and walked away with less pain than this fall! I could barely turn my head or look down or move my neck, shoulders, arms or spine without intense muscle soreness. Thankfully no broken bones or joints out of place! No pain other than the most sore muscles I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve called this reverse whiplash because it wasn’t my anterior chain that took the brunt of this fall, it was my posterior chain.

What we’re targeting:

We’re going after almost everything you see below: some lateral/peripheral SCM fascia and muscle, all the splenius muscles of the cervical spine, subocciptals, multifidi, as well as portions of levator scapulae and upper trapezius muscles and fascia.

Image from Lumen Learning. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/ap1/chapter/axial-muscles-of-the-head-neck-and-back/

We’re also targeting the entire spine from occiput to SI joint with traction; not to adjust the spine, but to gently engage it; to give it some moments of space where the brain and body can connect and get on the same page for healing. Plus, it just feels good! If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.

Before trying this technique make sure you…

  • Know WHY you’re doing it, and…
  • Make sure it feels like a safe thing to do.

WHY you should (or maybe shouldn’t) do this technique:

Anyone with a sore/stiff/achy neck can try this, even if you haven’t taken a fall recently! If you’re not in pain but sit at a desk all day or just want to give your neck some love…but all means give this a whirl 🙂

But if you have taken a fall recently it’s critical to make sure you’re targeting your body correctly.

For example, doing this technique when your body is much more in need of release on the anterior or FRONT of your body will likely set you back rather than help you find relief.

If you’re at all unsure if you should be doing this, maybe consult your chosen therapist, chiropractor or doctor first. Or consider a Skype session with me, where I can coach you through the best techniques for your body and its current challenges.

In the video I show you how to traction your spine, including your cervical spine – and if you have anything going on in your spine that might not like this (such as bulging discs, pinched nerves, vertebrae out etc) then proceed with caution or ask your doctor or chiropractor if this is a good idea for you.

You could certainly do the soft tissue part without the traction!

Do this technique if:

  • You are NOT currently experiencing traditional whiplash symptoms/pain
  • You ARE experiencing something like I’ve described above as reverse whiplash (WITHOUT the presence of structural issues)
  • Your posterior neck muscles are sore, achy, tight and you have no spine issues that would make this dangerous
  • You know traction works well for your spine, and/or
  • You’ve been cleared by a doctor to try this for whatever pain you are currently experiencing

Please watch the video for full instructions! If you need some visual reminders of what to do…

Basic sequence to love up your posterior neck:

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What Kind of Animal Are YOU? The “BEST” Activities for Lifelong Health and Mobility

“How should I be moving?”

“Which activities are the best ones if I want to stay healthy and injury free?”

I get these types of questions all the time.

The answer might surprise you.

First, I have a question:

What kind of animal are you?

Wait, what? I know you’re a human animal…

What I mean is: how does your unique body love to move in the world?

If you don’t know, then you probably aren’t moving in the best way(s) for you. But don’t worry – I’m going to help you figure this out! In fact, it’s pretty simple…

Mary Oliver, in one of my favorite poems of all time, writes:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

How many of us arrive at a new workout or exercise mentality that looks and feels a lot like walking on our knees repenting for a hundred miles through the desert?! I know. I’ve been there…over and over.

So what should we be doing?

  • Do something that makes you happy.
  • Do something that puts a stupid cheesy grin on your face.
  • Do something that feels good in your bones and your soul.
  • Do something that is so YOU it couldn’t possibly be labeled “exercise.”

It wasn’t until a year or so ago that I truly let go of trying so hard to do the healthiest, best and “right” things for my body…and started to choose whatever felt the most fun and made me the happiest. You know what this feels like?

F R E E D O M

I would now argue that this philosophy is what’s healthiest and best – and, it changes over time, like we do! What we enjoy and love today might not be what we need and want a year or five years from now.

When we approach movement with the fluidity of life itself, allowing what we want and need to evolve with us – we make space for unlimited choice. We’ll feel free to move how we want, when we want, in ways we want…for a lifetime.

Maybe you’re already doing this and if so, I salute your brave departure from modern exercise mentality!

Some of you might be thinking “Yeah but some people don’t exercise at all and that’s bad for you! We all need strong muscles and hearts and there’s no way to get that without working hard for it.” Hang in here with me 🙂

If you’re a professional athlete or serious about a particular sport…hopefully that thing makes your heart and body sing and come alive, because chances are you’ll have to do a lot of other things that aren’t so fun in order to be the best at your sport. This post doesn’t necessarily apply to you.

I want to help those of you who think working out is a chore, a bore or always a downright sufferfest lacking any enjoyment. And if you’re the type of person who always wants to do the “right” thing (AKA the “healthiest” as demonstrated by science or the latest studies), then my hope is maybe you’ll find yourself forgoing what’s “right” in favor of what feels good…and in doing so discover a whole new way of moving that will last a lifetime and fuel your desires to get and stay healthy.

I am an animal that loves…

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One Weird (and Easy) Technique That Can Banish Headaches FAST!

Do you get headaches frequently?

Are you on the computer a lot?

Even if you don’t have a desk job, chances are you’re on your phone a significant portion of every day.

Well, maybe everyone else is…not YOU right? 😛

Are you experiencing eye strain?

According to a 2015 report from The Vision Council, about 61 percent of Americans have experienced eye strain after prolonged use of electronic devices — that’s nearly 2 out of every 3 people!

And…even if you’re not on your phone a lot, there are some other surprising ways you can strain your eyes that have nothing to do with a digital screen. In fact, that’s how I stumbled across this one weird technique that can instantly get rid of a headache (if the cause is eye strain, or tight fascia in and around your eyeball).

In the video you’ll hear my story of a 4 hour harrowing winter mountain drive that had me fixated on the road, how this led to a raging headache and then…

I’m going to show you how to release your eyeball fascia in today’s episode! So get ready for some seriously awkward moments. Feel free to laugh at me, and then I hope you laugh at yourself as you try this!

Even if you don’t get headaches, your eyes are probably getting strained on a regular basis. I mean…no matter your age, career, hobbies or where you live in the world, chances are you’re peering intently at that tiny cell phone screen at least 2 hours a day. Your eyeball and surrounding fascia may be overworked and restricted, even without the presence of headaches.

You may just experience a feeling of spaciousness in your noggin and eyes that you haven’t had in a while.

What we’re targeting:

We’re targeting the fascia of the tiny muscles in the eyelids, eyebrows, eyeball and specifically the fascia behind your eyeball (the fascia bulbi, pictured to the left).

This technique might seem really weird, but if you think about it…we have a LOT of tiny muscles all around the eyeball! And every muscle in the body contains layers of fascia. Not to mention, every nerve ending in the body is coated in a piece of fascia and the optic nerve is no different!

The lateral and medial rectus muscles lay on the eyeball laterally and medially, and the suspensory ligament (fascia) holds the eye’s lens in place!

ALL this fascia, like any fascia in the body, can get tight and restricted. What happens to restricted fascia? It can most certainly cause pain. It also restricts blood flow! Our eyes need blood as much as any other part of the body, and if the fascia in and around our eyes is really tight…it won’t flow in as freely.

How to release your eyeball fascia:

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Build a Strong Foundation for Mastering Mobility with These Simple Deep Core Exercises

Mastering mobility cannot happen without a strong foundation. For truly efficient, powerful movement mojo we have to build a strong deep core.

I’m not talking six pack abs. I’m talking about the muscles that stop us from peeing when we sneeze! Or ya know, the muscles that keep our pelvis and spine stable. Kinda important. Unfortunately, many of us neglect our deep core and focus instead on our “abs” (typically rectus abdominus).

If you want your movements in life and sports to be powerful and efficient, this is a great place to start.

If you have a glute muscle not firing (and if you’ve sorted out why and are now working on firing that puppy up), then this is a great place to start. Your glutes want your deep core turned on. A stable pelvis and spine means your glutes don’t have to become your core!

The deepest deep core muscles are quadratus lumborum and psoas major, but we’re not targeting those today.

What we’re targeting:

Transverse abdominus and internal obliques.

The internal obliques lie beneath the external obliques and are superficial to, or “on top of” the transverse abdominus. They function primarily as accessory muscles to respiration (actively contracting during exhalation), as well as rotating and side-bending the trunk (imagine moving one shoulder to the opposite hip).

The transverse abdominus (TVA) helps to compress the ribs and viscera and provides thoracic and pelvic stability, as well as helping a pregnant woman deliver a baby.

Here’s the real kicker:

Without a stable spine aided by proper contraction of the TVA, the nervous system fails to recruit the muscles in the extremities efficiently, and functional movements cannot be properly performed. The transverse abdominal and the segmental stabilizers (such as the multifidi) of the spine have evolved to work in tandem. (source: wikipedia).

There are massive implications here for ALL kinds of ‘patterns’ (compensation patterns, pain patterns, injury reversal/prevention etc). We won’t go into any today, just know – this is important!

When harnessed effectively, the deep core stabilizers are our power house for movement! I’ve personally experienced the differences between powering my trail run through my core, rock climbing through my core, lifting weights via my core – and not, relying instead on peripheral muscles. And I can tell you from experience that when we harness the power available to us in this core compartment, every other movement becomes easier and less taxing on ALL other muscles (not to mention our fascia and bones!)

Here’s what to do:

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Is Your Plantar Fasciitis Happening Due to a Hip or Pelvic Instability Issue?

Modern humans tend to love very lopsided lives when it comes to sports, daily habits, how we sit for work and how we hold babies, purses, backpacks etc.

Many people are walking around with a pelvic or hip instability issue without even knowing it. This is because the human body is amazing at compensating. It will compensate and compensate, sometimes for years without any pain at all…until one day it can’t take any more, and that’s when we get a pain signal.

The list of possible injuries or pain patterns that can happen due to a hip instability pattern are so numerous we’d be here all day if I went into them all, but the big surprise is plantar fasciitis.

If you’ve tried all the typical routes or methods of eliminating plantar fasciitis and your pain persists, it could be due to an underlying hip or pelvic instability issue. (Click here to learn about the most common causes of plantar fasciitis).

The short story on this complex issue:

Due to one or more imbalances in the fascia of the legs, your pelvis can experience a tilt, shift or rotation (or some combination thereof). This means it could be rotated forward on one or both sides, tilted to the left or right or otherwise shifted out of alignment.

When this happens, it is my belief that your brain detects potential danger to the central nervous system and spine (which requires a neutral pelvis to be at optimal health), and recruits one or more muscles of the low back or hip to contract neurologically to bring you back into balance.

Often, it’s the gluteus medius that is recruited this way and when it is – that muscle is no longer able to be recruited for its normal duties.

What does the gluteus medius do?

Gluteus medius and minimus abduct the thigh when the leg is straight and during gait (walking or running) these two muscles function to support the body on one leg to prevent the pelvis from dropping to the opposite side.

With the hip flexed, gluteus medius and minimus internally rotate the thigh. With the hip extended, they externally rotate the thigh, or more accurately they act to prevent internal rotation. Without this action the knee migrates inward, creating stress on the structures of the hip, knee and foot.

As you can tell, gluteus medius (and minimus) are critical for hip stability in ALL kinds of everyday actions. If one or both of these muscles is no longer able to do its job, it has to be done by other muscles.

How glute inhibition or hip instability leads to plantar fasciitis:

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Why NAMING Plantar Fasciitis (or ANY Pain) Can Curb Healing – Do THIS Instead

This is part 2 of our 5 part series on understanding Plantar fasciitis. Click here for Part I and learn exactly what plantar fasciitis IS and what is causing it.

What’s in a name?

Have you ever noticed that we’re obsessed with naming things? We’ve given every pain in the body a title that includes something like itis, syndrome, disorder or disease on the end. We name viruses and flu strains, and there a lot of people who name their tumors when they get cancer.

In some ways, I get this: when we name something, it feels familiar and less scary. The unfamiliar or unknown feels scary.

However, I believe we’re doing ourselves a massive disservice with all this naming (at least when it comes to pain in the body).

Naming something does practically nothing to help us understand what’s happening or how to reverse it. What it does instead is allow us to take ownership of it. We say things like “I have sciatica.” “I have cancer.” “I have plantar fasciitis.”

“To have”: to hold, possess, accept; to get, receive or take.

Do you really want to hold, posses, accept, receive or take a named pain? Or do you want to find its root cause and eliminate it?

Instead of naming pain, let your body talk to you:

When you know how to interpret your body’s signals, not only will pain stop feeling scary but you’ll very likely quit wanting to name it. Instead, you’ll let your body talk to you. Every “negative” (painful) sensation is your body’s way of trying to communicate to and work with you, so you can both feel unstoppable and live a long healthy life. Your body isn’t trying to annoy or betray you, it’s asking for HELP.

When you look up ‘plantar fasciitis’ online it is almost always described as pain that shows up in the heel where the Achilles tendon meets the plantar fascia.

However, not everyone that experiences plantar fasciitis has pain there.

A LOT of you are experiencing pain in the ARCHES of your foot, maybe even under the ball or big toe.

Some of you may have BOTH at once – pain in the heel AND pain in arches.

Some of you have pain in BOTH feet; and some of you in only one.

Maybe you have pain in the arches on ONE foot and pain in the heel on the other…

Every one of these scenarios suggests a different root cause, possibly multiple and compounding causes!

This is one reason why I’m not fond of naming pain (be it plantar fasciitis, sciatica, ITBS etc), because when we do this, all the important factors – where the pain is, what it feels like, how it might jump around or move depending on activities etc – get lost and we focus on “having” and owning whatever name we’ve been assigned, instead of listening to our body and trying to interpret what it’s telling us.

Only by getting curious about what your body is telling you (feedback via sensation, immobility issues or pain through certain ranges of motion etc) will we start to unravel the puzzle and discover the root cause.

Pain doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it happens out there, in the ever-changing dynamics of life and how you are engaging your body in the world.

To reverse pain quickly and efficiently, we have to look at it out there as well, in the ever-changing dynamics of life and how you are engaging your body in the world. This is why, when I work with people one on one, I have them walk, lunge, jump, step up or down or go run outside in the parking lot – whatever movements get their body talking to them (and me).

Muscle attachments tell  us a LOT:

When you start to tune in to your body and listen, you’ll notice where the pain is, what it feels like, whether it radiates or is sharp and stabbing, and whether or not it moves around throughout the day.

The most obvious and easy to understand “clue” your body gives is WHERE the pain is.

As you can see from this picture, clues appear when we note that the Achilles tendon attaches near the site of pain.

If you have classic plantar fasciitis in the heel only, chances are high your Achilles tendon is tight – and if your Achilles tendon is knotted up or restricted, chances are so is your gastrocnemius and/or soleus fascia.

If you have outside heel pain, in your case maybe it’s the peroneus muscles that run along the outside or lateral part of the calf compartment and THROUGH the lateral heel and ANKLE that are restricted.

Some of you have pain on the INSIDE of your heel, and when we look at that anatomy we see the medial soleus and gastroc muscles, the toe flexor muscles and tibialis posterior.

All of these muscles are the ones CLOSEST to or directly upstream of the foot, and MIGHT be contributing to your plantar fasciitis but it’s important to remember that it could also be something further upstream, or perhaps these muscles being restricted are a symptom of something else (a bigger overall issue such as a hip instability patter – which we’ll talk about in Part 5 of this series).

This is ALL valuable information because WHERE your pain is points to exactly WHERE you need to go to get relief.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to become an anatomy nerd to get yourself out of pain!

That’s where I come in.

I’ve learned most of the plantar fasciitis patterns by now, and I want to take what I’ve learned to help you get – and stay – out of pain.

If you’re in pain right now and want relief in as little as one week, then I want to help you walk away from PF for good!

Break Up With Your PF™ - Say Goodbye to Plantar Fasciitis For Good!

Click for Course Details

If you liked this post please “like” and share it!

Subscribe on YouTube for new episodes every Monday.

For personalized help with head to toe pain issues, click here to schedule a private Skype consultation with Elisha Celeste. SIGN UP for exclusive email updates and get $15 off your first session.

The Truth About Fascia – It Doesn’t Just ‘Wrap’ Muscles & It Might Just be the Fountain of Youth!

So you’ve heard a bit about fascia by now..but do you really know what it is and how it functions in your body?

Fascia (otherwise known as connective tissue) has become quite the buzzword. Which is awesome!

When I started working with fascia in 2008 very few of my new clients knew what it was. Now fascia is a huge topic getting a lot of attention and all of my clients have at least heard of it. Many of the articles I read are spot on. And, a lot of them are – in my opinion – missing what I consider to be the most important details about this critical tissue.

If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, this post is for you!

What is fascia?

In its simplest definition, fascia is a collagen-like substance that separates and connects almost everything in the human body.

Most people are familiar with the kind of fascia found in a steak or chicken breast, because this is similar to the fascia that wraps our muscles – and this is still what most people think of when they hear the word fascia.

But what most people do NOT know is just how much fascia we have, how critical it is for our entire well being and that it’s found in the tiniest of places down to the cellular level.

We have more fascia than anything else, certainly more than muscles and bones!

Fascia wraps every single nerve ending and nerve, every fibril of muscle tissue as well as the fiber (which is made up of multiple fibrils); it wraps every muscle bundle and muscle group and then turns into tendon and ligament (also fascia), which connects to our bones, also wrapped in fascia. It wraps our organs too.

When we observe fascia at the microscopic level and THEN zoom out, things get really interesting. This is about to get sciency, so hang with me.

Why is fascia so critical?

nervefascia

I think we can all agree that nerves – and the nervous system – are critical for us to function optimally every moment we’re alive, right?

Well…

Every nerve in the body is a cordlike structure containing bundles of axons. Within a nerve each axon is surrounded by a layer of connective tissue (fascia) called the endoneurium. The axons are bundled together into groups called fascicles, and each fascicle is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the perineurium. Then, the entire nerve is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the epineurium.

Fascia wraps each part of a nerve and every nerve in its entirety, and we have a hundred billion of them!

The implications of this fact alone are enormous, and largely unstudied or talked about.

The nervous system is the master regulator of everything that happens to and within us in our lifetimes. Every thought we think produces a feeling, and every single feeling is FELT in the body as sensation, via the nervous system.

I’m convinced the fascia feels everything that our nerves do – perhaps on an even more intense or widespread level.

Take fear for example: whenever we feel fear we tend to experience it as anxiety or adrenaline, tension or stress. When we feel joy it’s often described as light, expansive, buoyant. Our feelings and actions every day direct the hormone cocktail released by the brain to regulate whatever state(s) we’re in.

Literally everything that happens to us in life – good and bad – is felt and recorded within the fascial structure or system.

I also have it on good authority (from an orthopedic surgeon) that fascia bleeds a LOT more than muscle when cut into. Fascia contains more of our blood supply than anything else. This fact alone also gives fascia an incredibly important role – by being the main source of fresh blood within the body.

Healthy fascia gives us “spring” (aka, it’s our shock absorption!)

All connective tissue has within it something called ground substance, one of the most important elements in the human body.

Ground substance is an amorphous gel like substance that surrounds every cell; it contains the nutrients that FEED every cell in our body, AND it takes the waste excreted by every cell and ushers it out of our body.

So basically – fascia is our nutrient AND waste distributor!

That’s not all though…

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Improve Your Posture to Relieve or Prevent Text Neck, Shoulder and Mid Back Pain

Our posture pretty much sucks these days.

This isn’t about propriety or your grandma yelling “stop slouching!”

This is about your quality of life, because in our modern era poor posture doesn’t just mean a bit of shoulder tension or slightly forward rotated shoulders – it means PAIN, and lots of it.

While smart phones were a genius invention, our insatiable appetite for constant engagement means we’re hunched over our phones all day every day. (I mean, I even see people crossing the street or riding their bike while cranking their heads down to stare at their phones!)

All this hunching over and bending our necks puts the equivalent of a 60 POUND WEIGHT on our cervical spine!

Over time this creates a nightmarish domino effect of pain, because an unhealthy cervical spine can lead to serious neck pain, shoulder issues; mid back pain; low back pain, elbow tendonitis or wrist issues, not to mention grip issues from lack of nerve ennervation to the hands due to fascial blocks created in the scalene area of our neck.

The THREE “R’s” of better posture:

  1. Release the overworked, over-tight areas.
  2. Restore muscle memory and neural pathways of good posture.
  3. Reinforce the muscle memory and neural pathway of good posture by strengthening the weak/overstretched muscles in your mid/upper back.

RELEASE:

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