Fascias, what are these ?
The fascias, long little considered, are the envelope of our muscles, our organs and our glands, they are everywhere under the skin. It is a white, fibrous network of connective tissue that plays both a role of partitioning, transmission of force and tension, sliding and tensegrity.
It’s a bit like the very thin skin that separates the orange and the “bag” of pulp.
Today, we tend to consider it as a system on its own that moves with our movements and deforms with our attitudes (external and internal). Indeed, the body does not really know the distinctions made by man with his scalpel that we call muscles, tendons ligaments etc.
How do your fascias behave?
They behave like a non-Newtonian fluid, ie it does not behave like water for instance. Thus, any perturbation will create vibrations that leave a trace … then think about the impact of a bodily trauma, even emotional on your fascias. Here is what it gives in image, we see even the effect of a too important stress at the end, it is quite impressive … enough to motivate to practice restorative yoga a few minutes each day!
The fascias are more or less viscous and elastic depending on the location (the ilio-tibial band has less flexibility than the Achilles tendon) but there is always a small possibility of movement. If the movement goes too far too sharply, the fascia “blocks” to protect itself (and the surrounding structures); If it is still forced, it will tear apart.
To maintain your fascias it is important to work both their elasticity (their “rebound effect”, as in the race or the jump) and their plasticity. This last quality presupposes slow stretching and a certain amount of time. Think of a plastic bag that you would gently stretch.
Fascias are valuable sensory tools
Recently, we have discovered that fascias are one of the most important sensory organs for proprioception.
Very innervated (six to ten times more than the muscles), they play a fundamental role in the perception of pain, and are responsible for many chronic pain.
Maintain the health of your fascias!
The lack of physical activity gradually freezes them.
Osteopathy and yoga make it possible to work on these tissues. This is done gradually because, as always, the living man needs time to evolve durably. Tom Myers taught me that it took between 6 and 24 months for the fascias to reorganize.
What our fascias often need is to be rehydrated (your Achilles tendon is made up of 63% water). For this, one uses in particular compression / decompression movements, much like with a sponge! Thus the stagnant liquid and the waste come out when the “sponge is pressed” and the tissues are filled with a more nourishing liquid when this pressure is released.
In yoga, I use various accessories (block, ball, balloon, roller foam …) to work specifically in certain areas that I know are particularly prone to tension storage (plantar fascia, fascia lata, hamstring fascia, thoraco-lumbar fascia Etc.). In yogatherapy, as part of an individual relationship, we can even go for areas where you accumulate your stress more specifically.
Shall we try ?
Try for example for a few minutes to roll a ball (tennis, squash …) under the soles of one of your feet, (gently eh, without pressing too hard, the idea is not to break the fibers!). Start with the heel and then the outer side from the heel to the toes, moving gradually towards the inside of the foot.
Breathe deeply, without avoiding the areas that may be a little more sensitive, they are the ones who most need this particular care.
Take time to observe if you feel a difference between one foot and the other … if the effects of this action are reflected in other parts of your body …
And move to the other foot 😉
Do you have a favorite exercise right now to free up your fascias? Please share it with us!