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Get the Full Scoop on Fascia, the Saran Wrap For Your Muscles That Can Make Or Break Your Range of Motion

Lisa Fierer
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What do you know about fascia? It’s a trending word in health and wellness circles for good reasons! Maybe you’ve heard of plantar fasciitis, IT Band Syndrome, or perhaps “frozen shoulder.” All these ailments and more are caused by restrictions in your fascia.

Fascia, pronounced “fash-ya,” is the network of connective tissue in your body, and it has been with us since the beginning of our biological inception. It’s integral to the health of our bodies, and can be the culprit in hundreds of pain and mobility issues.
 

What Is Fascia?

Think of fascia as the packing peanuts that surround your muscles. It’s connective tissue composed of collagen and proteins that surrounds your bones, muscles, organs, nerves, lymph, and blood vessels.
 

Fascia is essential to stability and movement in the human body.

 
Fascia creates a web-like connection throughout your entire body, and it weaves your inner structures together. Biomechanically, fascia enables you to move smoothly and efficiently. If you have an injury, fascia is crucial to your recovery.
 

Fascia Development in the Human Body

Fascia guides our biological development. As an embryo develops, it’s the connective tissue cells that are responsible for organizing the brain – the central part of the nervous system. This hub then creates hormones that regulate your body, mood, and thoughts.
 
Fascia progresses to facilitate the flow of your circulatory system throughout your life, and it’s responsible for the health of your largest organ: your skin. The collagen fibers of fascia have the strength of steel and take approximately three years to completely transform.
 

 

What Yoga Has to Do with Fascia

Have you ever heard the phrase, “the issues are in your tissues?” This phrase doesn’t refer to Kleenex, but to your connective tissue. The repetition of your daily life (work, driving, errands, etc) is reflected in your connective tissue. Over time, these postural misalignments can create distortions in your fascia that often manifest as movement restrictions, “knots,” and soreness.
 
This is where yoga comes in.
 
Gentle practices such as Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga encourage your nervous system to relax, release your fascia, and help to reconfigure postural misalignments. The repetition of yoga asana creates space in your body because it works through your fascia and is extremely therapeutic.
 

Here Are 5 Ways to Restore and Maintain Healthy Fascia:

In addition to gentle yoga practices, you can use these five tips to be proactive in maintaining healthy fascia. After all, fascia is with us for the long haul so we should take care of it!

  • Hydration Fascia needs hydration. It’s recommended you drink about half an ounce of water for each pound you weigh every day
  • Nutrition Eat the rainbow! A variety of colorful fruits and veggies will fuel your body with the proper nutrients
  • Mindful Posture Consider the ways in which you habitually hold your body each day. Do you close off your chest while you type or put stress on your hips while you stand?
  • Strength and Mobility Feed your fascia with regular doses of movement
  • Rest and Relaxation Vital to our bodies ability to regenerate, rest and relaxation are essential for healthy fascia

 

Conclusion

Healthy fascia is essential to your health and general well-being, and it’s a buzzword for good reason. The biological fabric of our bodies is woven in utero and remains with us to our final breath. We must respect the bodies we’ve been given, and it’s worth creating a sustainability plan for your fascia.
 
Practice yoga and foam rolling, move often, drink water, and remember to rest. This will lead to healthy fascia and a long, healthy life!
 

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Lisa Fierer

Lisa is a writer, speaker, Yoga, (SUP) StandUp Paddleboard Yoga, and Sanskrit Teacher. Catch her doing a Half Moon Pose on her Harley, training SUP Yoga teachers, giving drive-by hugs, and completing her memoir, Thirst. For more info, visit her website and follow her on social @lisafierer.

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