Fascia is the most abundant tissue in the human body. Fascia (otherwise known as connective tissue) wraps every nerve ending, every fibril of muscle tissue, every fiber and muscle bundle; it turns into tendon and forms your ligaments; it wraps your bones and organs…basically it is everywhere! Fascia is meant to be elastic and flexible and able to move with you through life. However, most adults have unhealthy fascia because we haven’t learned to take care of it starting when we’re young.
Through overuse, underuse, stress, trauma, repetitive motion and daily habits your fascia loses its elasticity. When this happens it loses its water content and gets “sticky”, creating a velcro-like effect where neighboring pieces of fascia begin to glue together.
When fascia gets unhealthy (it can become dehydrated, brittle, thick, stringy, ropey or adhesed in balls to name just a few possibilities), fascia can restrict blood flow through your body, block the flow of nerve communication, irritate muscles, pinch or compress nerves and stress your joints. One or more of these scenarios is enough to cause a pain signal, and whether you get a pain signal or not is dependent on your nervous system and neurology.
Fascia has some really important roles to play in your body:
Fascia is a separator and connector – separating all your different parts from each other, while also connecting them: muscles to bones to nerves to blood to organs, head to toe, brain to gut and back again.
Fascia responds to chemical messengers like stress or fear, and can contract independent of muscle tissue to protect you.
Fascia contains something called the ECM or extracellular matrix, which is composed of collagen and glycoproteins. The ECM is the superhighway in your body for communication between brain and body, as well as between different cells in your body. The ECM takes waste excreted from cells and ushers it out of the body. There are a ton of roles within the ECM alone, and I won’t go into all of them here.
Fascia needs to be watery and fluid, allowing muscles and fascial fibers to GLIDE. When you have fascial glide you have efficient, fluid movement and are less likely to get injured.
There’s also a massive relationship between fascia and your lymph system – your lymph system lives within the superficial fascia (the fascia closest to your skin). So healthy fascia is critical for being able to detox effectively.
Ahhhh! Fascia has so many important roles. These are just a few.
What is your #1 takeaway from this video? Which of these roles do you think is having either an impact on your health and well being? How can you support your fascia, so your fascia can support you?
Share your thoughts below!