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fascia

Let's look at the body in a new way. Not like a skeleton with muscles attached and organs still somewhere. But let's think of it as a flexible aquarium in which all cells live. The aquarium is made of connective tissue membranes that hold together a large amount of fluid, the fluid in which all cells live and work together. Together we call these membranes and the fluid 'fascia'.

In prehistoric times, single-celled organisms lived in the salty (alkaline) sea. When they 'decided' to work together and become multicellular organisms, they wanted to maintain the same wet and basic living environment. The fascia takes care of that.

The membranes are made of woven collagen fibres, thin (rarely thicker than 1.5 mm) but super strong, flexible and elastic. The moisture is in the form of a thin gel, the universal lubricant of the whole body. The gel is also called interstitial fluid or ground substance. The membranes are flexible due to the presence of gel between the (collagen) fibers, provided the gel has a normal, low, viscosity

Fasciatherapie F.I.T.

The fascia's primary jobs are to protect and nourish the cells. It also removes the waste that all cells produce. There is continuous production of new gel, it flows, picks up the waste products from between the cells, collects in lymphatic vessels and drains everything. This is an extremely important process. Without this, the gel would quickly become fouled and the cells would begin to function less well and eventually die. Compare it with what a city looks like when the garbage collection service has been on strike for a week.

 

The gel has almost the same composition as the fluid in your joints and ensures that all muscles, organs and nerves can move without friction relative to each other. When it's cold, the gel thickens a bit, making moving a bit more difficult. And with heat, the gel becomes more liquid and moving is easier. The 'warming up' you do before a workout ensures that you can move smoothly and the risk of injuries is reduced. This probably has more to do with the change of the gel than the muscles.

Different functions of fascia

Fascia looks different in different places and also has different specific functions. You can speak of the 'five V's of fascia':

1. Connection
Fascia connects everything to everything. For example, a muscle is not an isolated structure; it is very strongly connected via fascia with the muscles that lie in line, but also with the muscles that lie next to it and with organs, nerves, blood vessels, etc. 

 

2. Resilience

Fascia is very elastic. If we use that, we can move very efficiently. We make use of this property when walking briskly, but not when strolling. That is why strolling is much more tiring than walking briskly. The elasticity also reduces the chance of injury and overload, it is the great shock absorber of the body. 

 

3. Freedom to Move 

If the gel is in good condition, movement is frictionless; everything runs smoothly.

 

4. Nutrition

The gel is to our cells what the sea is to the fish. If the sea does not contain enough nutrients or is polluted, the fish will get sick. If the gel contains too few nutrients or is, for example, acidified, our cells become ill. (According to Pischinger, this is the case in 95% of all chronic conditions)

 

5. Change 

Fascia continuously adapts to the circumstances. If you don't move enough, it gets weaker, and training makes fascia stronger. The fluidity of the gel changes continuously under the influence of various factors such as temperature, pressure, agitation and acidity/inflammation.

Nice detail!

The above 'five V's' are not only important for specific fascia, but also for us as humans in general.

If we are resilient in our daily lives, feel free, eat healthy, experience connection with friends / family, it has a positive influence on our general functioning. (also see:resilience.fit)

Freedom of movement: in healthy tissue everything slides smoothly over each other.

SAT = superficial fascia

deltoid = superficial muscle

infraspin = deep muscle

humerus = head of upper arm

Fascia has a very good nerve supply. For example, there are nerve endings that measure the tension in the membranes. They pass on information about the position of the joints and about movement to the brain. 

There are also many nerve endings that monitor whether the gel is still healthy. As mentioned before, this is very important for the functioning of the cells living in the gel. If the gel acidifies, the nerve endings immediately report this to the brain. This is probably the main source of all musculoskeletal pain!! For the proper functioning of the body, the health of the gel is extremely important. When dehydrated, acidification increases and therefore more alarm signals are sent to the brain. An optimal moisture balance is of great importance.

See: 

In short, a healthy fascia is vital for the proper functioning of the body

And healthy means: strong, supple, hydrated, slightly alkaline, pain-free and resilient. 

Trauma, operations, underexertion, inflammation, stress, immobility, dehydration, acidification and overload can threaten the optimal situation. That can be annoying, cause stiffness and pain, but it's nothing serious. In case of problems, you can also just keep moving and do everything, you cannot damage the tissue. And luckily fascia can be influenced well. More varied exercise is often enough to make the tissue more flexible. Also exercises withfoam rollers and ballscan help. If this does not reduce the complaints, it may be useful to consult a fascia therapist. Fascia therapists are trained to analyze and optimize the condition of fascia.

Treatment of fascia:

The treatment of fascia consists of several parts:

  1. make the gel liquid again

  2. let the gel flow again so that the waste products are drained towards the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes  ensure the removal of the waste. In this way, the acidification of the tissue decreases and with it often the pain.

  3. strengthen the fascia

  4. making the fascia more resilient again

The core of the treatment will be to make the gel more fluid again.

Movement is the most important means for this. But sometimes manual techniques are needed to melt local hardenings ('densifications') of the gel again. This is especially true for long-standing and deep-seated adhesions. You can do exercises yourself with foam rollers and/or rubber balls. You can find examples of this on our websiteresilience.fit

Practical tips and links:

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