What is Fascia?
Fascia is the liquid medium of blood and lymph, as well as the connective tissue around every tiny muscle fiber, and around bundles of fibers, encasing the whole muscle before it connects to bones in the form of tendons. It carries dense nerve supply, blood supply and reflexes and is responsive to our thoughts and feelings. It weaves us together, into the shape we recognize as a particular person.
Fascia explains why a cramp in the arch of your foot can affect your shoulder, or why a contracted knot in your shoulder can be the cause of a headache.
Myofascial massage focuses specifically on releasing tension in this connective tissue which Ida Rolf calls the repository of the emotional body.
Imbalances in Fascia
Imbalances in the fascia can have serious effects on your range of motion and comfort level. Fascia can be elastic, or very dense and tight. When you are injured, such as a sports injury or after surgery, your body may lay down scar tissue, and the scar increases fascia’s tensional forces, restricting movement, creating a kind of sling to allow healing. After healing, sometimes it “forgets” to let go, and you can build up layers of restrictions that stay in small clumps or bands.
Emotional wounding–such as feeling betrayed, abandoned or hurt, unresolved relationship issues–can be reflected in the body much the same way as physical scars: build up of muscle layers, knots, tight bands of fascia, restricted movement. It is equally subject to “forgetting” to let go.
Both physical and emotional restrictions and scars respond to myofascial release, where you regain freedom of movement without pain. Fascia is a fluid medium and is found with different qualities at different depths. Even superficial layers of fascia can affect deeper organs. Myofascial massage focuses specifically on releasing tension in this connective tissue, through different layers and depths.