fascia - The Tensional Network of Human Body
For a long time, the word fascia was used as a synonym for muscular connective tissue, which serves solely to protect our muscles. Many people also associate fascia with weak connective tissue, wrinkled skin or cellulite. If fasciae were not present, it would not be possible to keep the body upright.
Fasciae resemble a tape in their form, are very tear-resistant and consist of elastic collagen fibres. But this fibrous network, which is distributed throughout our entire body, serves as a communication system and controls our well-being. In addition to the muscles, the fascia system also surrounds joints, tendons, organs and our nerves and separates them from each other. The fasciae are equipped with a multitude of receptors and nerve cells that supply our brain with information. In the past, fasciae were considered to be of little importance. However, researchers have found that a lot of pain is due to glued, hardened or damaged connective tissue. By loosening the fascia, many sources of pain can be eliminated. In order to keep our fascia system flexible and elastic, not only stretching exercises and sports, but also relaxation exercises help to achieve inner balance, because the tension and adaptability of the fascia are controlled by our central nervous system. Stress and restlessness increase the basic tension of the fascia, which quickly leads to immobility, tension and pain. In addition to team sports, morning jogging or strength training, meditation, yoga or autogenic training are recommended. As soft tissue components of the connective tissue, our fasciae perform a number of tasks and functions. Without exaggerating, we can say that we could not live without fasciae. Imagine the fasciae as a second skin that runs through your entire body in numerous enveloping structures. Among other things, they ensure that internal organs remain in their correct position, muscles retain their shape and can also move smoothly. Fasciae also play an important role in the nutrition and fluid supply of various tissues. In view of the comprehensive presence of fasciae and their functions, you can imagine that it is not necessarily advantageous for them to stick together and become immobile. But what exactly is meant by “sticking” and how can this happen?
HOW DO GLUED FASCIAE COME ABOUT?
Do you often have back pain? You are no longer as mobile as you used to be? You can’t get your full performance out of sports? The cause is often the same: glued fasciae. But what does it actually mean when we talk about glued fasciae? What are the causes for such adhesions in fascia tissue? And what is even more important: What can I do myself against it? We would like to answer all these questions in the following guide. From an evolutionary point of view, we humans are climbers and long-distance runners. So, and now think about how often you scramble around somewhere during the day and which routes you really still cover with muscle power. The result is most likely quite sobering and reveals the main reason why fasciae stick together. The cause is our modern lifestyle, which is not what our musculoskeletal system is designed for. Due to a lack of movement, one-sided movement patterns and the long persistence in unhealthy forced postures, our fascia tissue adapts to this stress or non-stress. As a result, felting occurs in the tissue. These in turn ensure that the friction between individual fascia strands increases further. If there is also a lack of movement, the roughened surface ensures that the fasciae stick together. The resulting pains and postures of protection then set a vicious circle in motion, as other areas of the fascia sheath are overloaded or incorrectly loaded and thus also tend to felt and stick together. In addition, there are several other causes and risk factors for glued fasciae.
FASCIA SUFFER FROM HYPERACIDITY
Surely you know the slogan “You are what you eat”? It’s more important than some people think, because nutrition has an enormous influence on what happens in our tissues. Recent research suggests that a predominantly “acidic diet” can increase the risk of hardened and sticky fasciae. The reason for this is that the acid environment in the tissue reduces the flexibility of the connective tissue and the fasciae harden and become immobile. In addition, the acid environment leads to irritation of the nerves surrounding the fascia tissue. This often results in physical inflammation and pain. Acidic nutrition is an unbalanced diet. It is typical that more acid-forming foods are consumed than basic foods. In our modern society, an “acidic diet” is a big problem because we generally eat too many acidifiers. These include foods and beverages with a high sugar content, industrially processed ready meals and animal proteins. In order to keep the acid-base balance in balance, basic foods such as cold-pressed oils, nuts, fruit, potatoes, mushrooms and above all lots of fresh green vegetables are needed. In addition, our connective tissue loses its ability to store water with increasing age. This not only has an effect on the intervertebral discs and the risk of degenerative back problems, but also affects our fasciae. Due to the loss of water, the fibrous part of the tissue is constantly increasing. Over time, the supple fascia tissue develops into an increasingly firm and inflexible tissue with a high proportion of collagen fibres. And as if that weren’t enough, the fascia structure also changes at an advanced age, so that they partially grow together. The results are the known movement restrictions and movement pain. Conversely, this also means that regular fascial training becomes more and more important with increasing age.
LYMPH CONGESTION CAUSES FASCIAL ADHESIONS
Another cause of glued fascia is lymph congestion in the connective tissue. Among other things, the lymphatic vessels have the task of supplying cells with nutrients and removing harmful substances from the cells. For this to function smoothly, the lymphatic system is dependent on muscle movements. If the muscles are permanently tense, underloaded or underactive, the body cannot activate the lymph vessels properly. As a result, the lymph accumulates there. If this is the case, the glycoprotein fibrinogen contained in the lymph is converted to fibrinum. And this is one of the body’s own adhesives that are used to close a wound in injuries. You can imagine the result: The fasciae stick together.
STRESS FAVOURS FASCIAL COMPLAINTS
Stress has a big influence on our organism – especially if it is a permanent stress, which cancels the natural “escape or fight” mechanism. The released stress hormones not only affect your heart and psyche, but also your fascia. Even though the mechanism has not yet been fully researched, doctors suspect that a permanently high level of stress hormones is one of the main triggers for glued fascia, along with a lack of exercise. This would also explain why permanent stress is often associated with neck and back pain. Against this background, it is interesting to note that medical statistics show that only about a quarter of all back problems are caused by intervertebral disc problems. Since stress cannot be avoided completely, it is important to counteract it with regular fascia training in order to prevent adhesions.
FREQUENT AREAS FOR GLUED FASCIA
Bonded fasciae occur particularly in the areas of the body that are particularly affected by our modern lifestyle. This applies especially to the back or the entire fascia strand, which extends from the neck to the buttocks and down to the calves. After all, these areas together with the musculature are atrophied or overloaded by sitting for far too long. Pain points are therefore particularly frequently caused by glued fasciae in the neck, between the shoulder blades and in the area of the transition between the rear thigh and the gluteal muscles. Since the fascia tissue runs through the body like a second skin and many fasciae are connected to each other, local fascial changes can also occur in completely different parts of the body. Adhesions in the upper back often cause feelings of tension in the calf. Conversely, strong felting in the buttocks caused by permanent sitting can lead to neck pain.
Bonded fasciae do not have to be. After all, most causes simply lie in a suboptimal lifestyle. And even the consequences of old age can be fooled with the right measures. With the following everyday tips, however, you can significantly improve the condition of your fascia:
Reduce the amount of acid-forming foods in your diet or increase the proportion of alkaline foods drastically
Supply your body with sufficient fluid. It should be 2-3 liters of water per day. But attention: sugar-containing beverages do not count to this quantity to it, since it concerns acid formers.
The supplementary supply of OPC DIE and organic silicon can additionally support the regeneration of fascia tissue.
Activate and loosen your fasciae with a regular and targeted fascial massage. In our shop you will find everything you need for fascia massage with different fascia rolls and balls.
Carry out regular targeted fascia training. Besides fascia yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are also ideal. If, for example, you already do strength training, you can also try the so-called FST-7 training (Fascia Stretch Training).
Move as much as you can in everyday life. Get up from work more often, cycle for short distances, take your lunch break for a walk or do a short exercise circle after each working day. It is also important that you move all joints at least 3-5 times a day within the full range of motion.
Reduce stress by balancing. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful things in life.
Tip: Simply switch off your smartphone and relax
FASCIA PAIN – WHAT TO DO?
Fascia pain does not only affect you in sports but also quickly becomes a problem in everyday life. Since all parts of the body are connected by the myofascial lines, it is often difficult to locate the pain centre exactly. The resulting problem is that pain can have a completely different origin in one region of the body. It is therefore possible that neck pain is caused by a misalignment of the feet and is alleviated by wearing orthopedic insoles. In order to eliminate the pain, it is necessary to look at the connecting lines of the body and take a holistic approach. Those who want to live painlessly in the long term cannot avoid treating all regions along the affected connecting line. In order to identify the connecting line and determine the origin of the fascia pain, it is important that you feel and hear yourself. What do you notice, what are you struggling with? Do you regularly sit bent over, do you wear your shoes diagonally or do you grind your teeth at night? All of these can cause neck, shoulder or back pain.
FASCIA PAIN AND MYOFASCIAL CHAINS
When we stretch, stretch or train, we never use individual muscle groups of our body, because our body always functions as a unit. The so-called myofascial chains or fascial chains run through the entire body and connect even distant parts of the body. They are composed of the superficial muscles and serve to organise movement and stabilise. Five of these connecting lines are distinguished. The back line runs from the back of the head via the spine to the soles of the feet. The frontal line runs from the forehead via the abdominal muscles to the toes. The lateral lines connect the ears, hips and outer ankles of the foot. The spiral lines run from the back of the head over the upper back and then cross at the level of the lower abdominal muscles. From there, they stretch over the hips to the ankles. The fascia chains of the arm run from the fingers across the arms, then across the chest and shoulders. For this reason, it is possible that we fascia feel pain in the shoulder area, but the origin lies in a malposition of the foot.
WHY YOU BENEFIT FROM FASCIA TRAINING
Fascia is like a second skin made of durable connective tissue that surrounds our muscles and organs. This skin permeates our entire body and ensures that muscles and internal organs remain in motion even when we move. Fasciae not only give our body stability, but also ensure that muscle strands can move smoothly.
Thanks to our modern lifestyle, we unfortunately sit far too long and move too little. This does not leave our fasciae untouched. They stick together, twist and thicken. The consequences are pain, movement restrictions, feelings of tension and performance restrictions during sport. With regular fascia training you can tackle the problem at the root instead of fading out the symptoms with painkillers. All you need for regular fascial training is a good fascial roll.