Many of the services offered in our office target the muscles and soft tissues of the body. Most of us are familiar with tendons and ligaments, but haven’t heard of another form of connective tissue: fascia. Fascia is a dynamic web of connective tissue that runs throughout our entire body, coating each bone, muscle and organ. A high percentage of pain and motion restriction in the population may be due to undiagnosed fascial problems.
The fluid fascial network that lives between each cell in your body consists of stretchable fibers made mostly from collagen, including reticulin, and elastin. All the circulation in your body needs to pass through these fibrous webs. The denser and drier these fibers are, the less the fascial web allows molecules to flow through it to get rid of waste and process nutrients. Services such as massage, Tui Na, cupping, chiropractic scraping as well as activities like yoga and foam rolling stretch and ease the fiber webbing. This hydrates the fascia, facilitating healthy, pain-free motion and allowing the body to better circulate vital molecules.
Tension in the body, for example, slumping the shoulders forward, causes connective tissue calls called fibroblasts to make more fibers along the line of stress. These thicker fascial fibers create a barrier that will slow or stop nutrients from getting to the cells from the bloodstream. In addition to a bulkier barrier of fascial fibers, the mucus that completes the fascial network will also become thicker and more congested, exacerbating the slow flow of nutrients.
While it can take weeks or even months for thickened fascial fibers to thin out, the fascial mucus can become more aqueous within minutes allowing more sliding, less pain, more feeling, and less resistance. That means things like foam rolling while watching TV at night, taking that yoga class you’ve been meaning to go to, or scheduling an appointment for chiropractic or massage can have you feeling better and begin improving mobility in just minutes!