Fascinating Fascia

Did you know that if you removed all other tissue from the body and kept the fascia you would still be recognisable as you, from organs to facial expression? The fascia is one of the most important tissues in the body, and yet most people are unaware of it.

Fascia is connective tissue, and structural tissue, and it gives us our shape, literally. Myofascia is the fascia that wraps around each muscle fibre and around the muscle as whole, connecting everything to everything else.

The myofascia is, in large part, responsible for how we move and has been shaped by how we move. If we are active and mobile, the fascia is healthy and elastic, distributing force throughout the body. If we don’t move then the fascia lacks hydration, doesn’t move well and cannot distribute force adequately. This is often what leads to injury in the body; the force of a particular action or movement is not distributed effectively so problems occur either at the spot or in a connected place.

Working with particular fascial connections (myofascial meridians) throughout the body gives a huge boost to any training, reduces injury and balances the body. For example, the back line of the body is connected from the bottom of the toes, the soles of the feet, calf muscles, hamstrings, back, neck and up and over the head to the eyebrows. Stretching out the soles of the feet can help release the entire back of the body! Working with this line in training allows all of the elasticity and force transmission of the back of the body to come into the movement. We are not just a bunch of isolated muscles, we are integrated and connected so we do need to work this way. This is the premise of ‘functional training’. There are lateral (side) lines, front lines and rotational lines, all of which hold the key to moving with ease.

If you want to know more, please visit aloka.com.au for more details, training hints and release tips.

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