What is the "F" word anyway???
The “F” word is pretty popular in the yoga world these days. But what exactly is it??
To make a complex subject simple... fascia is EVERYTHING.
But if you are looking for more details, fascia is all the stuff that holds us together. It is what allows our muscles to stay in communication with our bones, what keeps our skin from pooling at our ankles, and what keeps our skeleton from crumpling into a pile of bones at our feet. Fascia provides the support, protection, and adaptability the body needs to function daily.
When I took my gross dissection courses at university, fascia was the "extra"... it was all the stuff we cut away in order to look at the "important" stuff. We now know better. Fascia is getting its 15 minutes of fame in the medical and research communities and we are learning so much from it!
For example, did you know our largest and richest sensory organ is, in fact, our fascia? Our central nervous system receives its greatest amount of sensory information from myofascial tissues. Fascia contains both proprioceptive (location in space) receptors and pain receptors.
With this intimate connection to the nervous system, fascia is showing itself to be a wonderful way to "tap into" our nervous system responses. Myofascial release is the use of gentle, sustained pressure into the tissue, this pressure has the potential to "reset" the pain receptors thereby relieving the painful sensation and helping to return the fascia to functional flexibility.