Every time you dance, you feel awesome. Right?
Every time you get a massage, you feel good. Right?
Every time you take a big long stretch, you think, WOW, that was so nice. Right?
Those awesome sensations are brought to you courtesy of your body’s secondary nervous system, fascia. There’s so much wonderful science around it. I’m kind of obsessed with it.
For this blog I will be referencing points from Dr. Northrup’s article, What is Muscle Fascia?
What is fascia?
“Fascia is made up of densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each of your internal organs and connect them to your muscles and bones. It is responsible for stabilizing your entire body and giving you your human form. It is also a fluid system that every cell in your body relies on for proper functioning. It is the crystalline structure that literally holds all the information of your life!
Your fascia has the ability to contract and relax independently of the muscles it surrounds. Because of this, it can respond to stress without you knowing it!”
5 Ways Your Fascia Affect Your Health
- Acts as a secondary nervous system–it is loaded with receptor membranes that communicate with all of the other receptor membranes in your body.
- Protects from injury- It stretches and moves to support your body, and actually protects you from over stretching. But, if you hurt yourself, your fascia adapts to protect your body from further injury. Likewise, if you sit all day slumped over a computer, you put abnormal stress on your fascia.
- Determines the aging process–aging is in part due to dry, tight fascia. This is often at the center of chronic pain, illness, injury, and the limited mobility many people associate with aging.
- Clues you into your emotions–it holds your emotional memories. Sadness, pain and past trauma can get locked deep in your fascia. If you have ever found yourself crying on the massage or acupuncture table, it’s because the therapy has assisted you in releasing emotions, including anxiety, fear and anger, that can take up residence in your fascia. I find this BEYOND AMAZING.
- Tells you how your body is working daily–notice how your hips feel when you sit at a desk for a long time. If they feel tight or you need to rise slowly due to pain in another part of your body, this is your fascia telling you that it needs attention.
One way we can help our bodies and consequently our emotions and mental health is make sure we are participating in activities that help our fascia release.
- Foam rolling
Incorporating movement into our daily lives, and in particular – a variety of movements, gives us a better shot at body function and consequently more emotional wellness and even JOY!
Feature Image: Heather Gallagher