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What is fascia and why it is important to a massage therapist?

By Hannah Zabolotniuk

The fascia

Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together. It is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective tissue found between the layers of muscle fibres, between muscles, around organs and connected in a web throughout the entire body.

Many people hold stress in their muscles, causing the muscles to become contracted or inhibited. It is believed that fascia can create tight knots or adhesions that act as trigger points, constrict muscles, and decrease blood supply, causing pain and decreased range of motion.

How could a massage therapist help?

Massage therapists can help with a technique called Myofascial Release that uses sustained pressure to loosen and lengthen constricted fascia. It breaks down adhesions between the tissues and softens and re-aligns them, freeing up muscles and allowing easier and more effective movement. Myofascial Release can improve posture, ease areas of muscle tension and improve flexibility.

Movement and massage therapy play an important role in keeping connective tissue hydrated and mobile. When we are in similar postures for prolonged periods of time, such as sitting and working at a desk or on a computer, our bodies adapt to support these positions, and the fascia become tight if we do not undertake compensating movement or therapies.

Here are some key activities for fascia care:

  • stretch or move often
  • take quick breaks away from the computer to move more regularly throughout the day
  • stay hydrated
  • yoga
  • Thai massage
  • fascia stretch therapy
  • myofascial release therapy
  • foam rolling
  • massage therapy

 

Enjoy this video for more information about your fascia and what it looks like

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