There used to a time when the web of tissue around muscles and organs would be pushed away to learn more about the body. Now that very network of tissue, the fascia, is being studied to find out even more about how the body works.
The fascia web is strong and slippery. It wraps around your organs and connects them to the rest of the body. The fascia connects your muscles and bones. It connects your tendons. It covers your organs so they can move flexibly in your body. Muscle fasciae reduce friction around the muscles.
Like all good things, it can be compared to fruit. If you were to take a lemon and have all the juice removed without damaging the structure, the web of lemon slices would all be in place maintaining the shape of the lemon. The same is true of fascia. A body made purely of fascia would retain so much of the shape of you that your features would be recognisable. It would also retain the shape around your organs and bones.
Since this fascial web connects everything in your body it has opened up possibilities for treating conditions involving the musculoskeletal system.
Fascia plays a particularly interesting role in recovering from injuries since the web itself has a memory, playing a part in the reason why you still limp after your ankle has healed. Minor injuries suffered as a teenager can affect other body parts later in life. The fascia web helps explain why.
Maintaining a happy and healthy fascia web helps maintain a healthy body, and can improve injury recovery times.
Keeping it hydrated helps it maintain its flexibility and mobility. Just like the lemon, fascia is best juicy. The springy aspect of hydrated fascia keeps it strong. But also like the lemon, too much water will have a negative consequence.
Fascia also needs a variation of movement to stay healthy. It’s not just a variety of movement – it’s a variety of length of movement. Just as leaving a shirt hanging on a hanger in your wardrobe can lead to the shirt developing crease lines, fascia can be weakened by only one kind of movement. This goes for sport as well as working daily at a desk. Doing one type of movement over and over develops a pattern of dehydration for the fascia. This can lead to making it brittle, opening your risk of injury.
Keep your fascia happy with some movement today.