Fascia is a single 3 dimensional web of thick connective tissue that spreads through your body from head to toe. It is a neurologic, electrically charged matrix that interpenetrates every single system and structure of your body. Imagine cutting into an orange – you see the membrane that holds each piece of the orange together, and spreads throughout the fruit – this is like the myofascial system inside your body. Every part part of your body is linked via fascia. In a healthy state, it is not only a solid structure but a tensional fluid system.
When fascia becomes too tight it can create a binding down effect on the body which is known as fascial restrictions. Over time, this binding-down on the body’s vital systems can cause pain, immobility, and dysfunction. Fascial restriction inhibits movement and can be caused by poor posture, bodily or emotional trauma, stress and surgery. Because fascia is embedded within every system of your body, it can lead to trouble breathing, and restrict blood vessels and muscle movements, among many other issues including fibromyalgia. The pressure exerted by the bound fascia can measure up to 2000 pounds per square inch; it entraps the affected areas. Imagine how it feels to have someone sit on top of you – it feel as if they are crushing you, and movement and breathing become labored. This is how it can feel from inside your body. A full range of freedom of movement, blood flow, and all system functions is only possible when the fascia is healthy; this is why it is so important to address fascial restriction right away.
Because the myofascial systemi is one continuous web of connective tissue that spans beyond muscle attachments, it is often necessary to treat parts of the body that you may not expect to be linked to your pain or restricted movement. When fascia constricts in one area you can feel issues in a total opposite part of your body.
The technique to relieve the binding of fascia is called Myofascial Release, or MFR. It involves applying a specific amount of pressure into the restricted area (s) for a specific length of time. The timing element is key to releasing tight and constricted myofascial tissue.