Looking After It.
“While every anatomy text lists around 600 seperate muscles. It is more accurate to say that there is one muscle poured into 600 pockets of the fascial webbing.”
So what does it do?
It wraps around every internal part of you keeping things separate.
It’s damn strong, slippery and wet and allows things to easily slide with movement.
It helps to prevent over stretching and in an engineering feat of tensegrity holds our insides in structure.
Its elasticity properties can enhance our movement.
It is also the largest and richest sensory organ in the body with between six to ten times higher a quantity of sensory nerve receptors than the muscles.
This makes your fascia a system of proprioception (Knowing where your body is in space, and responsible for full cohesive coordinated body movement.) Which also means healthy supple fascia is vital to maintain your natural postural setting of alignment and function.
And maintaining those natural settings will keep small problems from forming into larger ones, prevent injuries from becoming chronic issues that trouble you year after year, and keep you moving easily and effortlessly for a lifetime.
Hopefully you’re starting to get the picture about the importance of fascia.
The only problem with having all this fascia is that there is a lot of it to take care of.
Lack of activity can cement the once supple fibres in place. Repeated physical stress can cause fibres to thicken. Bad posture, poor flexibility and repetitive movement can pull the fascia into ingrained patterns.
Then adhesions form within these stuck and damaged fibres and once they form they can be difficult to get rid of. And the likely hood is that most of us have quite a lot of these adhesions.
So how can we take better care of our fascia?
We’re not going to start where you think… rolling, trigger point etc.
No we’re going to start with water! Hydration to be exact.
Think of your fascia like a sponge for a minute.
When a sponge dries out it becomes hard and brittle, easy to break bits off.
However when it is wet (hydrated) it is springy, resilient and difficult to break.
As we mentioned before fascia is slippery and wet so it needs to be well hydrated to stay that way.
Cool, so drink a lot of water and your fascia will be sweet right?
Unfortunately it’s not quite that easy, although staying well hydrated through drinking (water, not alcohol) is critical.
If your fascia is dehydrated it is more likely because it has developed little kinks in it not unlike a garden hose and no matter how much water you drink it’s not going to get through those kinks.
Which does in fact bring us back to manual therapies like rolling, trigger point and massage.
You need to iron out those kinks so that the water can actually reach where it is needed.
Which is exactly what we are going to be looking at next.