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Fascia Release “Clunks” – Muscle Belly, or Fascial Adhesion?

Fascial adhesion or rolling over the muscle belly? 

When you’re releasing fascia (at least, when you’re doing it the way I teach), you’re always hunting out fascial adhesions or ropey areas that, as you’re releasing, create a “clunk” feeling. Otherwise called a fascial adhesion or “knot” – these fascial adhesions stir up some controversy as we contemplate whether it’s muscle tissue (muscle knots), fascia or maybe that clunk is the “muscle belly?” 

My opinion on this comes from stepping on thousands of bodies since 2008. Many of my clients chose to stay with me from pain relief to optimization, and through that process we often completely eliminated the fascial adhesions. Meaning – when they first came to see me they may have had violent (painful) “clunks” in their biceps for example; but over time, those fascial adhesions shrunk until they disappeared altogether. 

Every fibril of muscle tissue is wrapped in a piece of fascia; every fiber is wrapped as well (and ONE fiber of muscle tissue is made of multiple fibrils); every muscle bundle and muscle group is wrapped in fascia; your nerve endings are coated in it, as are your bones and organs…

Wherever the fascia goes in a given area, the muscle follows. Remember – your “muscle belly” is made up of potentially thousands of strands of muscle fibril and fibers…

I’m not sure there really is a muscle BELLY, distinct from…what? There’s just fibrils, fibers, bundles…all wrapped in fascia. 

Some fascia experts like Tom Myers have postulated that we don’t have 600 different muscles, but rather one giant muscle separated by 600 different fascial “sacs.” 

When fascia starts to get dehydrated, it doesn’t go straight to “dry” or brittle. It goes through a sticky phase as it loses water, and consists more of glycoprotiens and fibrous sticky collagen. When it gets sticky, it acts like velcro for nearby pieces of fascia and they begin to stick together, forming ropes or “knots.” 

You’re always working with muscle tissue when you work with fascia; but the muscle isn’t what created the density, it’s an effect of the fascia becoming dehydrated or stressed. 

Now you know what a “clunk” is: it’s fascia and muscle, but it’s not the muscle belly and you can reverse it. Healthy watery/hydrated fascia and muscle won’t have a clunk; it will be smooth and supple and you won’t know what’s fascia vs muscle. 

Please share your takeaways in the comments below! 

10 Comments

  • Dave Bohler says:

    Thanks for the info on clunking. I now know I need to aim to reduce the clunking, instead of being afraid I was breaking something. 😀

    Good video. I really appreciate getting these every week. It keeps me motivated.

  • Bertha says:

    Don’t always feel à clunk or knots ,a pain feeling so l press and shear until it goes and a lot of time It change places from right side to left ,so I followed the discomfort .I feel way much better since practicing the release .So fortunate to find your program .Thank You Elisha !

  • Jen Greenholt says:

    Welcome back to Colorful Colorado! Are you accepting clients in Durango? I’d love to have a session with you!

    • Hey Jen! Thank you! Right now I am too busy teaching online and offline (Certifying more Kinetix Practitioners), so I won’t be seeing 1-1 clients that often. It will be on a case by case basis, depending on my schedule. Please check back in, because things shift and I may have a time opening later this year!

  • Giles Hinchcliffe says:

    A very helpful video – thanks. Perfectly answers the question that I was asking in my mind.

  • Thanks for the video–very explicit–enjoy Colorado–still happily “clunking” along in 101–Kathnell

  • Dave Bohler says:

    Another (basic) question – do I keep working in the same clunk until it (hopefully) goes away, or do I work on it over time to wear it down?

    Thanks.

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