The definition of fascia is evolving; it is generally understood as the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and their interior fibers. Think of it as plastic wrap that joins all of the muscles together, creating one network from head to toe.
Many people experience fascia pain, possibly a result of a lack of movement and/or repetitive motions. When this happens, the fascia can feel stiff and sticky or get bound up and twisted. This fascial webbing has a lot of sensory neurons (second only to your skin) and helps your muscles communicate with each other.
How can you tell if your pain is stemming from your fascia?
- Tightness that restricts motion or pulls the body out of alignment.
- A sense of pressure on a joint or muscle that is causing pain
- Pain moves around
There are similarities between the human body’s fascia network and the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). By viewing the body as a whole through the lens of TCM, our work can effectively address your fascia problems. In addition to shiatsu I incorporate cranial-sacral techniques as well when working with fascia – it offers a very gentle way to release and unwind the fascial web.
You can also try some easy exercises at home using a tennis ball or foam roller:
- Foam Roller, get one to use at home – we keep ours in the TV room. Here is a helpful ‘how-to’ video to improve shoulder movement.
- Tennis Balls are another easy thing to keep around the house. Here is an easy 4-step routine to try at home (end of article).
Still need some tips? I love recommending movement and stretches to better address your specific concerns. During your next shiatsu appointment, I will be happy to make recommendations to address your concerns
Lori Dufresne, LMT NCPT