Meet Thomas Myers, one of the pre-eminent practitioners and teachers of connective tissue matters. In his book Anatomy Trains he shares a wealth of information about the nature of fascia, its treatment, and its relationships to many other somatic systems.
Below are a few wonderful resources that make learning how the human body works easy to understand. We’ve come a long way in recent years in discovering how our connective tissue works inside our bodies and the profound impact it has on everything our body does for us while we are awake and asleep.
THE HUMAN BODY
WORK OF ART
How The MELT Method Affects Your Fascia
The good news is you can reverse any damage to your fascia with the proper techniques. It does not matter how long your fascia has been dehydrated or how it became dehydrated. The MELT Method® makes caring for your fascia easy with simple techniques designed to improve the hydration of your fascia and improve your body’s ability to keep you balanced and stable.
WHAT IS FASCIA?
For a long time, muscle fascia was considered to be just the white “saran wrap” around your muscles. In fact, for years, medical schools taught their students to remove the fascia from cadavers so they could study everything else inside. This is how most doctors, massage therapists, yoga instructors and other movement specialists have been taught to view the human body. As it turns out, this ended up leaving the fascia tissue on the floor; unnoticed for many, many years.
Your muscle fascia is important to every move you make. When your fascia is tight or damaged you may suffer from any number of symptoms, including headaches, muscle pain, neck and back pain, general lack of flexibility, and poor sleep. The most common reasons for tight fascia are prolonged sitting or standing, repetitive movements and plain old daily living that causes cellular dehydration in every body.
In addition, often types of intense physical training, such as marathon running, chronic inflammation, can cause your fascia to become dehydrated. Even trauma can be a culprit – in the form of physical trauma, such as falls, injuries and surgery, or emotional trauma. Until recently these symptoms were never linked to fascia dehydration.
What has now been studied and proven is that every inch of your body is encased in fascia.
Fascia is made up of densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each of your internal organs and connect them to your muscles and bones. It is responsible for stabilizing your entire body and giving you your human form. It is also a fluid system that every cell in your body relies on for proper functioning. It is the crystalline structure that literally holds all the information of your life!
Your fascia has the ability to contract and relax independently of the muscles it surrounds. Because of this, it can respond to stress without you knowing it. Needless to say, when your fascia is tight or inflamed it can cause a great deal of pain. In fact, it can be a primary source of chronic or indirect pain – indirect pain is when you feel pain in one area of your body, but the actual source of that pain is coming from somewhere else.
5 WAYS YOUR FASCIA AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH
Fascia affects your health in many ways, from how you feel to how you look and more. Below are some key ways your fascia works to keep you healthy.
Acts as a secondary nervous system.
It's no coincidence that acupuncture points commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) mostly lie along the fascial pathways and planes in your body. That’s because fascia is your body’s secondary nervous system. Science shows that one of the ways acupuncture works is by changing the signals that go through your fascia. Connective tissue, including fascia, is loaded with receptor membranes that communicate with all of the other receptor membranes in your body. This is why when your feet hurt, your whole body hurts.
Protects you from injury.
Your fascia stretches and moves to support your body, and actually protects you from overstretching. But, if you hurt yourself, your fascia adapts to protect your body from further injury. Likewise, if you sit all day slumped over a computer, you put abnormal stress on your fascia. And, it molds itself along the lines of your posture – with the end result that your shoulders hunch forward and the circulation of blood, lymph, and energy to your chest, lungs, and heart become suboptimal.
Over time, this can lead to impairment throughout your entire body. On the other hand, when you change your alignment, get regular massage, or even massage the bottoms of your feet with MELT balls on a regular basis, you can positively stimulate your nervous system and tap into your lymphatic system to help it detox.
Determines the aging process.
Aging is in part due to dry, tight fascia. This is often at the center of chronic pain, illness, injury, and the limited mobility many people associate with aging. Fascia experts point out that many of our physical limitations and pain are the result of fascial scarring and the accumulation of dense, dry fascia around muscles and joints, and even in your skin. Conversely, when fascia is healthy, it’s flexible and returns to its original shape after being twisted and squeezed.
Clues you into your emotions.
Your fascia holds your emotional memories. Sadness, pain and trauma can get locked deep in your fascia. If you have ever found yourself crying on the massage or acupuncture table, it’s because the therapy has assisted you in releasing emotions, including anxiety, fear and anger, that can take up residence in your fascia.
Tells you how your body is working daily.
Better than X-rays, MRIs, and other scans, your fascia lets you know how healthy you are on a daily — even hourly — basis. To see this for yourself, sit at a desk for an hour or longer then stand up. Notice how your hips feel. If they feel tight or you need to rise slowly due to pain in another part of your body, this is your fascia telling you that it needs attention.
KEEP YOUR FASCIA HEALTHY
When it’s healthy, your fascia is smooth and supple. But, when you are sedentary your fascia fibers can become like cement. If you are under chronic stress or have an injury, your fascia fibers can thicken in an attempt to protect the underlying muscle or bone. This can even result in fascia tissue adhesions. Other patterns that can take their toll on your fascia include poor posture, lack of flexibility and repetitive movements.
Using a MELT Method® soft roller and MELT balls for your hands and feet allows you to hydrate your fascia and rebalance our nervous system. You decided how much compression is best for your body. If you feel pain you simply ease up on the compression and remember causing yourself pain will not help you eliminate pain. MELT Method® techniques are safe for everyone!