If you’re reading this you’re likely already well acquainted with the many benefits of massage therapy including decreased pain and tightness, improved mobility, reduction in headaches, increased circulation, lowered blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels not to mention the fact that it just feels really good! Generally speaking, massage addresses the muscular layer within the body and helps to lengthen tight muscles, relieve trigger point pain and tightness as well as their referral patterns, encourage spasms to let go, flush out lactic acid build up and improve lymphatic circulation as well as organ function.
There is however another tissue in your body that is an often overlooked culprit of pain, tightness and dysfunction called your fascia.
‘”Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.
In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body. Trauma, such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture and repetitive stress injuries has cumulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influences comfort and function of our body. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure causing all kinds of symptoms producing pain, headaches or restriction of motion. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.”* Continue reading “When Massage May Not be Enough”