Fascia: Stretch It! Dance It! Massage It!

What is Fascia?

Dancing to mobilize fascia
Dancing helps to mobilize the fascia.

Imagine one connected, continuous sheet of plastic wrap surrounding and giving form and containment to every part of your body…muscles, organs, nerves, veins. And, imagine that this plastic wrap can fluctuate between a liquid state and varying degrees of solidity. Kind of weird, huh? Well, this is a pretty good description of fascia —the soft connective tissue that holds us together.
Fascia is a tissue that surrounds every muscle in our body. Not only does it give form to the muscles, but when it is in its ideal state, it is essentially liquid and allows the muscles to glide over each other and function as they were intended. When this natural gliding happens, there is no muscular pain or restriction of mobility; basically, your body feels good.
However, when you experience stiffness in the body: aches and pains, or general discomfort, almost certainly the fascia in your body has become restricted. This restriction occurs due to repetitive motions (like typing on the computer all day), inactivity (like sitting at a computer all day), and also through traumas to the body through an accident or a surgery.

The Magic of Fascia

This connective tissue has this amazing quality of solidifying in order to actually save energy in our bodies. When we do something repeatedly, even sitting, the fascia essentially forms a mold of that position, so we don’t have to use as much muscle energy to keep us upright. The down side of this, in the case of sitting all day, is when we stand up we have to use a lot of muscle energy to reposition all the solidified fascia. It is during these times that we notice pain in our backs and tension in our shoulders.
Another amazing quality of fascia: it will solidify around injuries and traumas that have occurred to the body. This function provides support for that specific area of the bodyso that it can heal. This is a wonderful attribute. However, when the body has healed itself, the solidified connective tissue remains.

So why is it a problem to have solidified fascia?

As I mentioned earlier, one of the problems is that there is restriction in the movement in the body. This restriction can create aches and pains throughout the body. However, there is another issue that takes place. Remember the description of this connective tissue in the first paragraph? Everything in the body is connected. If there is one area of the body that has solidified fascia, then that will be influencing the rest of the body, subtly and not so subtly pulling on that continuous tissue that surrounds our anatomy. This influence, when left unaddressed, creates in the body, what massage therapists simply call, a pattern. There is a pattern of tension. So, what starts as something small can develop into something quite complexed.

Not to Fear!

Stretching helps to mobilize the fascia
Stretching helps to mobilize the fascia.

Introducing movement is what gets the fascia back to its liquid state. And it is movement that is an essential component in keeping things open in the body. Daily stretching, exercising, and dancing are great ways to get the body moving and softening the fascia. To have a morning routine or daily practice of movement will greatly benefit your body’s sense of well being because you will be liquifying the fascia and allowing your body to function as intended.

If the issue has gone on for too long and there is chronic restriction in the body, be it because of inactivity, extended repetitive motions, or a trauma, it requires manual therapy, like massage to actually liquify the fascia again. A skilled practitioner can easily identify where the fascial “restrictions” are, knows the appropriate techniques to soften the tissue, and can recognize clearly when the restriction is released.

Massage helps to mobilize the fascia.
Massage helps to mobilize the fascia.

To maintain both health and a good feeling in your body, stretching, dancing, and exercise are key. To correct chronic issues, massage is essential. If you have chronic pain in your body, begin with movement. And, this movement also prepares you for receiving massage because it opens up the tissue in your body. If you are in pain, or just feel restricted in your body, there is no need for it. Your fascia and be brought back into an ideal state with just a little work.

To get help relieving pain in your body, click here!

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What Everyone Should Know About Pain Relief and CranioSacral Therapy

Pain Relief and CranioSacral Therapy

Simply put, CranioSacral Therapy (CST) works with the tissue that surrounds the central nervous system. The central nervous system directly affects all the other systems of the body. It’s the nerves that make the muscles work. And it can be the nerves that can make the muscles hurt and get tight. Thus, CST on the tissue surrounding the nerves can help with pain relief in the muscles!

Why does this happen?

pain relief
The spine houses pair of the craniosacral system.

The tissue that surrounds the central nervous system can get tight due to traumas, repetitive motions, or degeneration. When this tissue gets tight, it can aggravate the nerves it surrounds. This causes the nerves to fire out into the muscles, creating tightness and pain. CranioSacral Therapy releases the tight tissue around the nerves, the nerves relax, and the muscles feel better. I have seen this again and again in my practice.

As a massage therapist, I work each day helping to relax people’s muscles to decrease pain in the body and increase overall health. One thing I used to see repetitively in my practice was clients coming in with muscle pain, getting a massage, feeling better, only to come back a week later with the same pain. I have learned through my experience when this happens, the muscle pain is not the problem (or massage would have taken care of it). More often than not, the issue is in the craniosacral system and can be resolved completely through CranioSacral Therapy. When I discovered the truth of this, I began my training in CranioSacral Therapy. I have since been consistently helping people resolve long standing pain issues.

pain relief
The nerves conduct the energy of life. CranioSacral Therapy helps that energy to flow better.

So if you have a reoccurring pain in your body, particularly in the muscles, and massage has not taken care of it, it is very likely that CranioSacral Therapy will.

To receive CranioSacral Therapy,

click here!

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What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy Dogs
“Just let the inner tension melt away…”

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral System
The tissue of the CranioSacral System is high-lighted in blue.

CranioSacral Therapy, also referred to as CST, is a soft touch approach to releasing deep tension within the body. It can address many issues in the body because it helps to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. When giving a treatment, the therapist uses extended holds and gentle tractioning to releases the tension in the tissue around the central nervous system. When this tissue is free of restriction it allows for the central nervous system function in a better way–thus making you feel better!

How does CranioSacral Therapy Help?

Nerve Map
The central nervous system influences our entire body.

Due to traumas, surgeries, or even just repetitive motions, the tissue that surrounds the central nervous system can become restricted. In addition, this restriction influences the functioning of the central nervous system and how the nerves “fire.” This restriction influences the other systems of the body creating symptoms that can range from muscle spasms, to headaches, to to digestive issues and more. Therefore, if a condition is not addressed through regular massage or other therapies, CranioSacral Therapy is advised–by releasing tension in the tissue around the central nervous system, the flow of the fluid around the spine (cerebral spinal fluid) and the tissue itself supports the correct functioning of the central nervous system. Since the central nervous system is such a foundational part of our bodies functioning, CST has a beneficial effect on a wide array of conditions (as listed in the final section).

What conditions does CST address?

  • Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Autism
  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Infant and Childhood Disorders
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • And Many Other Conditions

(www.upledger.com–where I studied CST.)

To relieve help from a CranioSacral Therapy Session, click here!

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Simple Self Healing Energy Technique

self healing

Is Self Healing Possible?

It’s not uncommon to experience minor aches and pains throughout the day. Also, when we have injuries from life events we can experience discomfort as we heal. It’s not always possible to get in to see your massage therapist. Whether the issue is time or money, it’s always good to have a back up plan. I recommend to my clients, using an energy that is freely available to them. Self healing is possible.

In the following video, I share a simple energy technique. I teach thisto clients who have injuries that can use some TLC. It’s also a great technique for minor aches and pains. Give it a try and see for yourself!

To help relieve your pain, click here!

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