What is Fascia?

Anatomy Trains

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These are two lines I follow as Anatomy Trains Structural Integration(KMI) practitioner and the arrows point to the direction I predominantly follow to achieve better upright posture and helped overcome persistent back pain.


 Now lets compare these myofascial lines it to lines on the London Tube and overland rail system. The front and back myofascial lines near the bodies surface, would cover most trains coming from north to south, or opposite in London . More lines would appear if we added the tube lines like the deeper core lines of the body.


If we compared the bony landmarks and joints to  rail stations, Waterloo station would be the "Abdominal Station" with a network of lines organised like the "Union Jack", up, down, across and diagonal. Slow changes of trains here leads to a less responsive, congested core prone to back pain. However, you can find express trains that barely slow down like finding better coordination between arms and legs in movement. 


The southern station, Clapham Junction would be the "Hip Station", another busy station that many rely on to get to South London and beyond. It’s not as central but many lines converge here, just like many myofascial lines do and they need to run efficiently if you want to move your legs well in many motions. 


You would simply feel sluggish and heading for pain if the bodies railway system, didnt run on time or breakdown constantly.


If you learn new movements like taking up a new sport, dance or exercise. When you excel at it, it’s like discovering a new route on the underground that takes half the time. Also, you keeps you balanced and away from back pain.

Myofascial Trigger Points

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Myofascia means muscle and fascia. The term Myofascial Pain has been used by doctors for nearly 100 years, possibly because they could not distinguish whether pain was coming from the fascia or the muscle. Fascia not only surrounds muscles but inter-weaves through them, forming a honeycomb like structure. Trigger points appear in muscles where they have become overworked and possibly tear.


Fascia also becomes tightened and misaligned with many trigger points near areas where many experience back pain.


We have all experienced pain coming from these muscle knots  that can make movement difficult or painful. They can even form when we are in the womb and can be present in our tissue after we die. 


Recently, scientists are telling us they don't exist, at least under the current definition, as ‘Trigger Points’ because they come back repeatedly after many types of trigger point treatments. New research in Switzerland challenges this as shockwaves is proving to be one of the best ways to get rid of them permanently or reduce them further than any other method.


The body’s natural response to these areas,  is to cocoon the trigger points in connective tissue. They are also highly electrically charged because the muscles do not get to relax and contract constantly, so this 'cocooning response' is possibly to stop other areas of the muscle being affected by this overstimulation in one area. The result is a painful area pulling unevenly on surrounding joint structures.



Fascinating Fascia

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Fascia is an abundant structure, forever adjusting and contributing to movement and may help explain how many biomechanics principles fall short of giving 


Once we untangle the myofascia, inactive areas like the bum muscles reconnect and come to life with rest the body.

 

E.g. the left hip might be blocking the right shoulder in the Myofascial Spiral Line. Its bit like experiencing slow, railway lines or having to take an indirect line of transport to get to where you want to go. You are left frustrated and exhausted, just like when you move inefficiently.


It is the combination with movements performed by the client and manipulation of the Fascia that make my method unique and ensures that you are aware of how to move better and every session your body is finding a better and easier balance. 


This helps you find your own hidden blueprint to easier movement and less pain where joints have found awkward positions from years of bad habits, sitting at desks or accidents, that has left you in a posture that has been there so long that it has altered your perception of where you centre of balance is. 

New Fascia findings

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We have over 80 recognised organs in our body and it is difficult to call Fascia an organ on its own because it’s rarely present as a separate entity in the body. Fascia is typically found in or surrounding other organs. However, research into different types of fascia in the body is shedding new light on how fascia functions more as an intelligent organ.

Recently, a new method of studying living tissues has revealed a mysterious web of interconnected cavities as scientists investigated cancer patients’ bile ducts. They found fluid filled like sacs (until now thought to be just dense tissue). These sacs are connected in a weblike structure to the lymphatic system and showed how cancer spreads through these layers. It showed that tissue can communicate more clearly through these layers and exchange fluid. 

This intelligent tissue has been defined as Interstitum tissue. Similar tissues can be found between muscles, known as Septums. Septums not only allow communication between muscle layers, but also provide a strong line of pull, important in movement.

"It is a little known fact, that septums between muscles create lines of varying tension that help propel the body efficiently" 

Myofascial Release targets the opening of these Septums between the muscles to correct joint imbalances which are often associated with pain and discomfort. In addition, many Trigger Points are found in these Septums and can be released through these soft tissue methods. 

Both Septums and Interstitum Tissue are prime examples of how the health of "in-between, dividing tissue (extracellular matrix)" is vital for functioning. Septums adjust in locomotion demands to create shock absorption for our internal organs and achieve  better balance and locomotion. 

The FASCIAL SYSTEM, is unofficially our largest sensory organ in the body, and has not received mainstream acceptance. If and when it does receive mainstream acceptance, it will become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the now 80 plus organs that have been identified in our body, passing the skin as the largest recognised organ.

It could also become recognised as our sixth sense and is the future of understanding body awareness. 

This weblike structure under our skin was once dismissed as an unchangeable plastic like coating or just a dense dividing tissue between groups of muscles or organs. Fascia also gives "tension feedback" between the layers via millions of fibres that are like microscopic strands of glue (similar to when you bring your finger and thumb apart stuck together by wet glue). However, each of these glue like strands in our body relay information between muscles and communicates tension and position information. These "tension memories" created by millions of fibres.

They create a memory for body positioning more accurately than the common phrase "muscle memory". "Fascial memory" is a more accurate description.

It also shows us why modern technology may never create a robot capable of lifelike human movement.

I use the internal Anatomy Trains map  (like a tube map in our body) to give the athletes the edge in performance and help many overcome pain unsolvable pain.

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