One of the keys to having an efficient metabolism, improving posture, and reducing pain is a body that is in correct alignment. And achieving proper body alignment starts with fascia.
Fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that encases your body under your skin like a wetsuit and wraps itself around every muscle, joint, and organ. If you've ever cut into a piece of raw chicken or steak and seen that thin, white, filmy layer—you’ve seen fascia.
Fascia: The "Secret" Organ
Science is finally catching on that fascia is a major player in every movement you make. The fascia is also where the nerves and lymph nodes lie, making it a sensory organ.
While fascia is incredibly malleable and thin, it’s also largely responsible for the shape of our bodies. The amazing thing is that fascia is only now being medically recognized for its importance in maintaining a healthy, fit, toned, and aligned body. In fact, it wasn’t until 2007 that the first international Fascia Research Congress was held at Harvard Medical School, bringing a new awareness to the importance of the fascial webbing system.
The Problem with Unhealthy Fascia
Fascia can thicken and harden which can cause all sorts of structural and alignment issues in the body. When you have a stiff shoulder, for example, often it is not damage to the muscle that it causing it, but a hardening or thickening of the fascia around the shoulder muscles and joint.
Injuries, stress, poor posture, poor flexibility, and repetitive movements can pull the fascia into ingrained patterns and cause it to become dense and tight. Adhesions form within the stuck and blocked fascial tissue like snags in a sweater, and make our bodies feel heavy, thick, uncomfortable, and run down. The good news is that your fascia is incredibly malleable and has almost ridiculous self-healing abilities.
One of the keys to having an efficient metabolism, improving posture, and reducing pain is a body that is in correct alignment. And achieving proper body alignment starts with fascia. –Lauren Roxburgh
How to Heal & Support Your Fascia
Fascia is critical because it actually helps to create the shape of our bodies. Having healthy fascia is key to being in correct alignment, which helps you feel better overall, improve your posture, reduce chronic pain, and even handle stress better since rolling is relaxing and calms your nervous system.
One of the best ways to help heal the fascia is through using a foam roller. The foam roller acts as a tool for myofascial release much the same way that a deep-tissue massage does. Rolling regularly helps to ‘lubricate’ your joints and reduce inflammation by breaking up thickness and density that builds up in the connective tissue and bringing hydration back into the fascia. Think of fascia like a sponge. When the sponge is dried up it becomes brittle and stiff. But when you add water (hydration) to the sponge, it becomes supple again.
Eating right is also key to healthy and revitalized fascia. The fascia food superstars can contribute to collagen production, contain connective tissue and amino acids, and even support gut health.
Fascia & the Lymphatic System
The fascia is also key to detoxification since it houses our lymph nodes. The lymphatic system is responsible for flushing the body’s toxins and is vital for a healthy immune system, overall health, and weight loss. Rolling helps improves circulation throughout your entire body which, in turn, helps oxygenate the blood, boost lymphatic drainage and flush out toxins that can get trapped in the fascia when the body gets out of alignment.
When massage therapist tells you to drink plenty of water after your session, it's because the massage stimulated your lymphatic system (your body's garbage disposal) and needs to be flushed out.
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