What is Facia and Why is it so Important?
Well, it basically holds you together. Fascia is strong connective tissue which performs a number of functions, including enveloping and isolating the muscles of the body, providing structural support and protection.
Fascia is a very important part of the body, and it has three layers, starting with the superficial directly under the skin and ending with subserous, deep inside the body. Fascia is thin, but very fibrous and strong. Anyone who has skinned chicken breasts or trimmed meat has encountered it, the whitish colored thin sheets of tissue between the skin and muscle of the meat. This tissue forms directly under the skin and serves as a strong layer of connective tissue between the skin and muscles underneath it. The top layer is superficial fascia, which may be mixed with varying amounts of fat, depending on where it is on the body.
The skull and hands have a particularly noticeable superficial layer that connects the skin to the tissues and bone underneath it. By wriggling your scalp, you can see that superficial fascia is strong but flexible, keeping the skin firmly anchored while allowing its owner to move freely. For various reasons, including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion, and it results in restricted muscle movement along with pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.
What Is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is a body work technique that uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia, as well as the breaking down of scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones. Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such as IT band syndrome and shin splints as well as improving flexibility and range of motion. Elm City Wellness offers myofascial release as part of our massage sessions based on the needs of our clients.
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