What Is the Fuss About Stretching Your Fascia?
A healthy body has a healthy fascia, and as such, your fascia needs nourishment and attention, too!
Looking after your fascia is incredibly important for a fit, balanced, and aligned body!
If you are unfamiliar with fascia, let alone why we should be stretching it, this post is for you!
What Is Your Fascia?
Your fascia is this amazingly dense, innervated (nerves go all the way through), clear, 3-dimensional, collagen-elastin matrix film wrapped around your muscles, ligaments, tissues, organs, tendons, bones, and joints.
Every area in the body has one to several layers of interlacing fascia holding everything into place and is adhered by the skin.
It’s what holds us together. Like a bodysuit, actually! Without it, we would collapse on the floor.
Briefly, it acts as a continuity structure that envelopes, surrounds, suspends, protects, supports, connects, and divides the body’s muscular, skeletal, and visceral components.
It allows easy, lubricated movements between all body parts and contracts and releases independently.
What also happens is that it allows the conduction of consciousness throughout your body, sharing information with your brain.
Allowing for proprioception, it is your body’s sixth sense of action, coordination, and self-movement.
Fascia has embedded lymph ducts in its connective tissue that also carries waste, and immune cells are also active there to engulf cellular debris and bacteria.
There is a lot to the fascia and not enough room to explain in one article, but the status of our fascia, which has over 215 million nerve endings, does affect our well-being.
When your fascia’s elasticity is stressed or restricted due to immobility, inflammation, or poor nutrition, it tightens up and causes pain and tension.
What Is a Healthy Fascia?
In its healthy state, the fascia is fluid-filled and hydrated.
Fascia layers slip smoothly against each other, allowing easy movement and separation from body components, without friction, due to the natural lubricant hyaluronan.
Your fascia has more nerve endings than any other tissue, which makes it incredibly sensitive to change. However you hold yourself, your fascia bonds to support the way that you tend to hold your body.
The composition in the extracellular matrix immediately changes in the event of when inflammation occurs as a natural reaction to injury, adapting to create the condition of healing.
Healing is usually completed within days or weeks, but of course, when inflammation is prolonged, it becomes chronic.
Fascial tissues can thicken and harden and become blocked when easy movement is disturbed and when it isn’t used correctly.
The interplay among the fascia, muscles, nerves, and fascial tissue adhesions will cause pain and make our bodies uncomfortable.
What Causes Fascia Pain?
Fascia issues can be caused by:
- * Inflammatory conditions
- * Inflammatory food
- * Poor nutrition
- * Gastrointestinal distress
- * Some autoimmune diseases
- * High blood sugar levels
- * Repetitive movements in one part of the body that cause inflammation too
- * The wrong exercise
- * Surgery
- * Injury (arm in a sling or leg in a cast that doesn’t get movement for a time. Or old injuries that haven’t healed)
- * Working or living in cold environments
- * Sedentary lifestyles – fascia requires movement to work efficiently
- * Physical, mental, and emotional stress
- * Not breathing correctly
- * Infections
- * Poor posture
- * Misalignments and imbalances (we often don’t know we have them!)
You may think you have muscle pain, but it could be an element of your connective tissue (fascia) causing the issue!
For instance, the origin of your neck pain could be your hamstrings!
Or your stiff hip pain could be the thickening of fascia around it.
You may be unable to pinpoint the pain as it shifts around, as the fascia structure pulls and compresses – depending on the positioning and tension in the rest of your body.
What Are the Symptoms of a Tight Fascia?
Symptoms of a tight fascia include:
- * A tender knot
- * A deep, aching pain
- * Tender muscles
- * Muscle weakness
- * Circulatory Issues
- * Swelling
- * Reduced mobility
- * Compression
- * Headaches
- * Poor sleep quality
- * Fatigue
- * Depression
The super news is that your fascia is self-healing, and you can reverse any damage!
How Do You Look After Your Fascia?
Any classic stretch can be turned into a fascial stretch, but they are not the same.
A beautiful fascia stretch involves the right dynamic movement and the correct breathing. It should feel good, but it shouldn’t be painful. Not too tight, not too loose, and for the right amount of time – but you will feel your point of sensation.
There is an art to movement, which I teach on the platform. Fascia loves multi-directional movement.
Doing it correctly reduces inflammation, strengthens muscles, and improves body composition. It is good for digestion, the immune system, and mental wellness.
The correct movement will reduce tension and injury risk and maximize longevity alongside the right foods and thoughts.
These movements affect your day-to-day activities, benefiting body alignment during work, rest, and play! It will just get better and better the more you do!
To ensure that you keep your fascia in good health:
- * Live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. With a focus on gut health, maximum nutrition, collagen-rich compounds, and so on. For instance, fascia needs hydration from blood plasma that doesn’t have pro-inflammatory cytokines.
- * Be active and move regularly. Our bodies need motion to maintain optimal circulation and metabolism. If you have a sedentary job, be aware that it takes less than 60 minutes to cause dense fascia in your hamstrings. You must stretch out and move for at least two minutes every hour. Set an alarm if you need reminding. It’s that important.
- * Stretch regularly. Reduce the risk of inflammation, circulatory issues, and conditions developing in your joints.
- * Adjust your posture. Please keep in mind how you are sitting and standing. Slouching or compensating for a sore body part all play havoc with your fascia.
What Does Fascia Stretching Do?
- * Reduces inflammation
- * Increases mobility
- * Releases tension, relaxes and rejuvenates your whole body
- * Allows for aging mobility: You will lose mobility naturally as you age, but if you compound it by not moving, you will escalate the immobility. The great news is that you can reverse the effects of decreased mobility.
- * Increases blood flow
- * Stimulates lymph flow
- * Boosts the immune
- * Allows for a better range of motions, encouraging body flexibility
- * Improves body alignment
- * Reduces scar tissue
- * Avoids circulatory problems
- * Improved exercise performance
- * Pain reduction
- * Injury risk reduction
It is so important to stretch and release tension.
How to ‘Feel’ Your Fascia
To feel the connectedness of your fascia, try this:
Sit on a mat, legs in front of you, and relax with the spine elongated. Make sure that you are warm.
Roll your head down slowly, leaning forward, and guide your head to your knees. Can you feel the stretch?
Now point and flex the toes. Feel how that stretch changes. Only you will know how that fascia stretch feels because we all are unique, and our connective tissues are personal to us all.
You should feel the benefits of the proper movement in your brain, too! Incredible.
So, now you know the fuss about stretching your fascia.
Which is why I recommend fascia stretching!
It is so good for your body because it compliments an anti-inflammatory lifestyle but remember to do other movements, too, because your fascia needs it for fresh hydration!
There are over 170 movement videos, including 16+ stretching videos, in the movement section to enjoy. All are excellent for your fascia.
The full-body meditations accompanying some are incredibly nourishing for your mind, body, and soul and contribute to optimal health.
Believe me, you will feel amazing following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle with varied anti-inflammatory movements.
Remember to follow the guides on how to breathe and move properly. Pay attention to the frequency and intensity of how you should move for maximum effects.
As I often say, one cannot fully outsource health, and health education is critical.
Because we learn by repetition, I often repeat myself, and I am going to say what a lot of you already know:
Lowering inflammation is incredibly important to protect and repair your whole mind and body from disease; it is never too late to reduce it and protect yourself.
Protecting your aging mobility and releasing tension from the body with fascia stretching will reduce stress and disease from manifesting in your body.
Eat, think, and move in an anti-inflammatory way.
Nourish and stretch out your fascia, and have a healthy, happy day!