What is the “Fascia” of Myofascial Massage?
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. It encases the whole muscle before it connects to bones in the form of tendons. Fascia carries dense nerve supply. It also has a rich 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. Myofascial massage treats these diffierent layers of fascial tissue.
Fascia explains why a contracted knot in your shoulder can be the cause of a headache. It even makes sense of why a cramp in the arch of your foot can affect your shoulder. It is that connected!
Myofascial massage focuses specifically on releasing tension in this connective tissue. Ida Rolf, founder of Rolfing calls fascia 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. The the scar increases fascia’s tensional forces. This restricts movement. Thus, it serves to create a kind of sling to allow healing. After healing, sometimes it “forgets” to let go. So you can build up layers of restrictions that stay in small clumps or bands.
The body reflects emotional wounding–such as feeling betrayed, abandoned or hurt, unresolved relationship issues–in much the same way as physical scars. It builds up muscle layers, “knots”, tight-feeling bands of fascia, to protect against harm, or to keep a traumatic memory safely buried. At the same time, this restricts movement. These fascial restrictions are equally subject to “forgetting” to let go.
Myofascial Release doesn’t have to hurt
Both physical and emotional restrictions and scars respond to myofascial release, where you regain freedom of movement without pain. Fascia is a fluid medium. It has different qualities at different depths. However, fascia is also interwoven. Even superficial layers of fascia can affect deeper organs. Myofascial massage focuses specifically on releasing tension in this connective tissue, through the different layers.
Many people think of myofascial release as a painful form of deep tissue massage. However, Integration Massage uses Ortho-Bionomy® to release most restrictions. It is gentle, not painful.
Ortho-Bionomy® is a registered trademark of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International, Inc. and is used with permission.