(Photo by Valentin Balan on Unsplash)
What is the fascia?
The fascial network is a beautiful, crystal-like, three-dimensional, spider's web structure that is ever-flowing and uninterrupted. It encompasses the entire body, connecting our superficial skin layer to the deepest tissues within us.
It's actually our fascia that organises our body into a structured network preventing us from being a soft and squishy blob on the ground.
If your skin were the rind of an orange, your fascia would be the thick pithy layer below. The thin white layer encasing each orange segment would be like the fascia that envelopes your muscles.
The fine layer that holds each orange juice droplet in place would be like your fascia, encasing individual cells in our body.
Fascia relies on hydration through water and movement. Drinking water doesn't suffice, moving to pump your water through your fascia keeps it hydrated!
Six fascia facts - Did you know?
Our fascia is our connective tissue that links our toes to the top of our head
It connects our physicality to our physiology
It has a superb memory
We each have our own unique fascial fingerprint - memories and restrictions can be stored from birth
It enables us to have a high degree of flexibility, is super powerful, high performing, yet resilient to overstretching
It is ever-present in our daily life from our embryological beginnings to the last breath we take
What is the role of fascia?
It is the communication system of our body
It supports, separates and cushions all living cells – keeping them alive and well
It encompasses and connects everything in the body; our cells, nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs and bones – including the kidney, bladder, heart and even the brain!
It is central to our recovery from injury, surgery and disability
It is our hydraulic shock absorber and enables the body to be functional
It has its very own nervous, lymphatic and circulatory supply
What happens when our fascia becomes 'restricted' or unhealthy?
Incorrect habitual posture, trauma (physical and emotional), surgery, and lack of, or repetitive movement can all contribute to our fascia becoming unhealthy.
It dehydrates, becoming a sticky matted mess of a web, shortening and hardening, like a muscular 'knot'. As a consequence, extra tension is placed on adjacent structures, such as joints, organs, and ligaments. More collagen fibres lay down to help deal with the strain and the density of the hardened fascia increases as the 'knot' gets bigger.
Thus, when fascia is restricted and becomes bound, it affects our complete health, affecting not just muscular and skeletal health, but nerve capacity, gland and organ function and our general well being. Restricted fascia can cause aches and pains, imbalance and mind, body, and soul discomfort.
Fascia restrictions come hand in hand with trapped nerves, which is why moving intelligently with the Integrated Qigong (IQ) Meridians through Qigong is so effective.
Practising Qigong for 20 minutes can help restore and melt away fascia restrictions. The release can be quite profound.
How to Train your Fascia
Basic Qigong exercises can begin to restore the fascia to its truest and happiest form, creating a substantial positive shift both physically and mentally. Learning the IQ Meridians teaches you the 'anatomy of connection' throughout the body, empowering you to feel and map the 'lines of connection', 'shaping the change' needed to unwind emotional and physical patterns.
Where can I find out more?
You can learn more about the fascia and Integrated Qigong in my book, which is available from my website.
Alternatively, my 'Simply Profound: Fascia in Qigong' series is now live and available for £17.99. Taken from my live classes and comprising five parts, with three and a half hours of teaching, this series will show you how to use movement to help restructure your body and unblock and get rid of stored stress and anxiety.
Completing this series will give you the confidence to join my live classes, below, healing and nurturing yourself, inside and out.
Join my free live 40-minute classes at 08.00 every weekday via my website MoveLifeBetter.tv
Join my free live seated 30-minute classes at 09.30 every weekday via my website MoveLifeBetter.tv
Join my 'catch up classes' and practice in your own time via my website MoveLifeBetter.tv
Follow me on my Facebook page @MoveLifeBetter