Flow Total Wellness

Unravel Fascia

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wendy@flowTotalWellness.com

What is Fascia?

 

Fascia is a densely woven, tough connective tissue which spreads, uninterrupted, throughout the body in a 3-dimensional web, from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, fingertip to fingertip.  Fascia surrounds, attaches to and infuses every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord, down to the cellular level.  The fascial system can affect every system and function in the body: muscular, structural, cellular, neurological, metabolic, etc.  You can begin to see that each and every part of the body is connected to every other part by fascia.  So the "fascial version" of the popular children's song 'Dem Bones' based on Ezekiel 37:1-14, goes something like this, "My big toe is connected to my elbow.  My elbow is connected to my hip bone.  My hip bone is connected to my ear and on and on and on...."  A great visual for fascia would be the white, glistening fibers you see when you slowly pull a piece of meat apart or you pull the skin away from the meat on a piece of chicken; that's fascia!

 

 

What is Fascia Made Of?

 

Fascia is made up of an Elasto-collagenous complex which has three parts:

 

  • Elastin- The most elastic part of the complex, making up the core of the complex. 
  • Collagen- These extremely tough fibers give support to the structure, coiling around the elastic fibers in a relaxed, wavy configuration.
  • Ground Substance/Matrix- This gelatinous like component transports metabolic material through the body and also acts like a cushion.

 

What is the Role of Fascia?

 

Typically, we think the role of our fascia is to support, stabilize and cushion our body, but its function is so much greater.  Fascia surrounds and attaches to all of our structures.  Without this the constant pull of our fascia, our skeletal structure would not be able to provide us with necessary stability.  John’s great analogy is this:  think of a tent, its poles and guide wires.  What keeps the tent or our body from crumbling?  Tent poles or our skeletal system alone will not prevent a tumble.  Adequate amount of tension from the guide wires or our fascia allows the tent or our body support, keeping it upright with proper equilibrium.  Fascia also creates separation between our organs, bones and muscles.  It creates space for delicate nerves, blood vessels and fluids to pass through.  Our fascia is an important part of our health and wellness.