There are so many amazing and fascinating aspects to human anatomy! At least, to those of us whose life revolves around working with bodies. How they function is incredible! It’s simple and complex at the same time. One component of the body that is particularly interesting to a massage therapist, is fascia. You may have heard of fascia before. You may have had a massage therapist talk about a problem in your fascia during a session. You probably wondered what exactly is fascia? Let’s talk about it!
“The term fascia ( in Latin meaning ‘band’) generally applies to the fibrous connective tissues covering, and connecting muscles, tendons, bones, organs and nerves. Academics still debate precisely which tissues can justifiably be considered fascia, but researchers generally agree that all of the tissues under discussion are composed of the same basic elements in varying proportions and arrangements, and that all of these tissues interconnect. Fascial researcher Robert Schleip and his collaborators offer a commonly accepted definition of fascia, saying that it is the “soft tissue components of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body”. This broad definition includes not just the enveloping membranes, but also the joint capsules, ligaments, and tendons.” –Advanced Myofascial Techniques
People are often confused by fascia, mistaking it for muscle. An easy example for most people to understand is to think of a citrus fruit, like an orange. Muscle is enclosed within the fascia, as the pulp of an orange is in segments contained within it’s separating cellular walls. Fascia is a connective tissue that supports and organizes everything in the body. Fascia surrounds every muscle fiber, muscle fiber bundle, and muscle. There are many layers of fascia in each muscle and as the muscle fibers end within a muscle, the fascia continues to make the tendon. Fascia is continuous throughout the body. There is no beginning and no ending to this connective tissue.
So what does this have to do with your body and your massage session? This tissue is a basic factor for your well-being. Issues can arise from various causes. The damage of an accident or surgery is often significant since facial tissue tends to become denser and shorter as it heals. When tissue is shortened, it affects much more than just the immediate area. Think of a snag or rip in pantyhose and how the damage to one small area on one end can affect a long line of material all the way to the other end. Because fascia is continuous throughout the body and connects and surrounds everything, damage or dysfunction in one area can cause pain and disformation to a variety of other locations of the body.
To combat the pain that unhealthy fascia can cause, a variety of therapeutic massage modalities have been developed such as Rolfing, Structural Integration, and Myofascial Therapy. At Body Balance Massage and Float we specialize in pain management and pain relief. Come and try our therapeutic massage American Fork! We believe in customizing your massage treatment to your needs and providing options to help you heal and improve on your health and wellness journey. We’ll see you soon!