Fascia and How To Move It
Fascia, by definition, is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. When stressed, it tightens up. Fascial Stretch Therapy is a form of assisted stretching that can help to increase your flexibility, range of motion, and mobility. By using gentle traction, fascial stretching is very different from stretching you may do on your own or get done at one of the many stretching places in the area (you know the ones, they have that “10 stretch protocol” that they do on nearly everyone).
Traction helps to unglue those sticky, icky joints that are tight and restricted from a sedentary lifestyle or overuse in your daily activities, sports, etc. I like to tell people it’s like getting up into the corners of your home that are always neglected and full of cobwebs. We do a nice gentle sweep and clear out those spaces. Fascial Stretching is fantastic and a large part of our work at Michigan Massage and Wellness.
How Stretching Your Fascia Can Help You
47% of your flexibility is locked up in your joint capsule. Have you ever stood up after sitting in a chair for hours on end, and it hurts to walk for a few steps?
42% of your potential flexibility lies in your fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs throughout your body. Think of fascia as your body’s wetsuit or like sausage casing. It holds everything together. And when your fascia is restricted, problems happen.
Fascia needs to be lubricated, and the easiest way is through movement. Unfortunately, many of us (even me, the massage therapist that spends her days fixing people) don’t move enough. Have you ever woken up in the morning, and your shoulder hurts, so you “rest” it by not moving it as much? Then the next day, you still have pain, so you continue to keep it immobilized? That is the WORST thing that you could be doing. And fascial stretching can help that by using gentle traction and slow movements to warm the tissues, thereby hydrating them back to their supple form.
What Are The Benefits of Fascial Stretching?
- Clinic studies have shown FST can increase flexibility by up to 52% in just one session.
- Athletes can recover more quickly between training sessions and gain an improved dynamic range of motion than other stretching methods.
- FST helps with proper body alignment and posture, increases circulation and energy, and improves muscle, nerve, and joint function.
- Improved posture and mobility. I had a client with a frozen shoulder that started getting biweekly FST sessions, and her most significant win was being able to put her hair up into a ponytail.
- It reduces the incidence of injuries and may also help you recover from injuries quicker.
Book your session with Michigan Massage and Wellness and get ‘stretch drunk’ today!
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT