In this episode I would like to talk a little bit about Fascia. What is Fascia? What do we do with Fascia and where is it found in the body? There are really four different types of Fascia that I would like to focus on. The first one is superficial Prenatal Massage Fascia. The second one is deep Fascia. The third one is visceral Fascia and the fourth is meningeal Fascia.
Before we go any further, I would like to define what Fascia is. Simply put, Prenatal Massage Fascia is connective tissue that is found all over in the body. If you were to take away all of the parts of the body except for the Fascia, you would still look like yourself. It is that pervasive. It gives you your definition. It gives you your shape. It is absolutely pervasive throughout the entire body. So let’s first talk about superficial Fascia. This Fascia is found in and around the skin. It is going to be giving your body some shape and some definition. You may have seen an ad on your computer or on television advertising a tool that will work with the Fascia and this is supposed to make you look better and it is supposed to make you look more toned. This tool will work with the superficial Fascia very often when people have small indentations in their arms or in their legs, in their belly, in their buttocks, that is commonly referred to as cellulite.
This is often fascia that is on the superficial layer that has bunched up. It has tightened up somehow for some reason and it is causing this modeled appearance, so working with the superficial Fascia is a good and healthy thing to do. However, we also want to ask the question, why is this Fascia reacting like this? Fascia is part of our body’s communication system. It’s a little part of the nervous system and there is a reason that the Fascia is getting tight to reason could become from stress in the body. It could be from what is being eaten through various processed foods and toxins and these sorts of things. They are tightening things up. It could be from other outside factors, but there is some reason that this tissue is tightening up in the body and we need to know what that reason is. It’s important to work with the Fascia, but it’s also important to know why the Fascia is reacting like this.
It can also be from emotional stress that is going on. There could be some thing in the person’s life that is causing an unusual amount of uh, emotional problems and emotional stress. And that too will have an effect on the body and how it functions. Next, there is Fascia that is in and around the muscles. If you have ever taken a look at a boneless skinless chicken breasts and have seen that white film that is present on the meat, you are looking at the Fascia that is around that chicken breast. So Fascia is not only around the muscles, it is also inside the muscles. Fascia is what gives them muscles, their shape. Um, they also allow muscles to slide on one another. So do your, why do your muscles not stick together when they’re moving? Well, it is the Fascia in between the muscles that allow the muscles to glide.
Now of course sometimes the muscles do in fact stick together. The fascia does stick and in that case we need to free up those joints and give the muscles some more freedom and give them some more movement. Very often when people are complaining about tight muscles, perhaps the hamstrings in particular, it is not actually the muscles themselves that are tight, but the Fascia within the muscles that is getting tight for some reason. So the Fascia in regards to the muscles is surrounding all of the muscles and it is actually surrounding all of this muscle cells within the muscle as well. Giving those cells, they’re shaped giving them their definition and allowing the movement between the muscles and the movement within the muscle itself. So how will a Prenatal Massage therapist approach fascial work? Well, first of all, the Prenatal Massage therapist needs to know what the Fascia is and how pervasive it is throughout the body.
It is also helpful to know that when you are working with one part of the body, you are working with the whole body. As I mentioned earlier, the Fascia is pervasive throughout the whole of the body and when you are touching one part of it, the Fascia being a part of the communicate body’s communication system is means you are actually going to be communicating with the entire body. Sometimes when you are working facially in one area, the client will feel a release in another area. This is because of the integrity of the Fascia and how it is pervasive throughout the whole body. Sometimes it is appropriate to stretch and move the fascia, but it is almost never appropriate to cause the Fascia to force the Fascia to move in one direction or another. It is always best to ask it. How do you ask Fascia to move?
Well, quite simply a therapy, a Prenatal Massage therapist who has a skill in working with Fascia will know the right depth and the right pressure and the right touch to give whereby the Fascia is being contacted. The Fascia is being worked, but it’s not being forced to do something that it doesn’t want to do. When you force the body to do something, it will do it, but then shortly after the session, the body will take that issue back and maybe even worse than before. If you are gentle and ask the body to release, then the Fascia will often let go permanently and much more deeply than it would if you were simply trying to force it to do what you wanted to do. That is a principle that is very important when working with the Fascia and that is to ask it to release, not to force it to release and Prenatal Massage scared therapist who is skilled in working with Fascia will know this principle.