I talked in my last blog about the importance of fascia and how it can get glued together if it becomes dehydrated. I also talked about the unity of fascia and how injuries or stuck tissues in one place can begin to cause problems in other places. So what are the attributes of healthy, hydrated fascia?
Fascia Assists in Movement
Fascia creates a springy bouncy quality that actually helps in movement and reduces muscle energy needed for a specific task. Here is an example. You are doing any kind of repetitive motion, say walking or running. If you stop between each step you have to use muscle energy to initiate the next step. But if you keep moving the stretch of the fascia as you drive one leg back works to spring the same leg forward into the next step. Of course muscles are still engaged but to a lesser degree. So the fascia works like a rubber band in all planes of movement. Think about weight lifting. Working slowly is harder because you are relying on muscles alone. Working fast you employ the facial rubber band effect.
Fascia Protects our Joints
Another aspect of fascia and muscle interplay is that variation in movement is important. Moving in repetitive set patterns set us up for repetitive motion injuries and neglects the movement possibilities in other angles and planes. It creates imbalance in the body’s structures, and over time imbalances create wear at joints and friction points where bursa is involved. Short, tight muscles encased in short, tight fascia on one side and stretched, inhibited muscle/fascia on the other. Left unattended wear at joints becomes pain at joints and eventually the very real possibility of surgery. Can you say hip replacement?
Fascia Keeps the Body Balanced
Finally, fascia is a sensory organ. There is a lot of nerve tissue in fascia, in fact more than that in your muscles. Part of this nerve tissue is employed in proprioception. That is, knowing where we are in space, and on a more subtle level, where each part is in relation to all the others in our bodies. This, coupled with variation in movement patterns helps to keep the body balanced. And again, moving in balance helps to avoid injuries.
We at Asheville Therapeutic Massage are dedicated to helping you out of pain as well maintaining a healthy and mobile lifestyle. Please check our website for previous blogs, to learn about us, or to book an appointment. Call 828-779-7135 for appointments or questions.