If we were able to remove just the fascia from the body and look at it anybody could see that it is uniquely you. We could see your face/facial expressions and your body as it is. Fascia is around and in everything. It envelopes muscle fibers, organs, nerves, bones, and it is directly under our skin. Specific to muscles, fascia is to muscles what a sausage casing is to the sausage: it holds it together and it is constrained by it. Fascia is similar to tendons and ligaments in that it is all connective tissue and made of collagen.
When therapists work with fascia their focus is only the fascia. The fascia houses everything in the body. If a trauma happens to the body then the fascia may become ‘glued’ or stuck. It can stick to other fascia, organs, muscles, veins and arteries, and nerves (think sciatic nerve) around the area of trauma. But because fascia is everywhere and in everything the areas that become stuck starts to pull on other areas sometimes completely unrelated to the area where the initial trauma happened. This can lead to many problems. Muscles will not move properly, organs may be shifted to incorrect positions, blood vessels may be restricted and muscle and bone connections may be obstructed.
Myofascial release therapy focuses on “unsticking” places where the fascia is stuck or glued to relieve the tension and guide the muscles into their proper place. Myofascial release is light superficial work with deep intention. When a therapist hooks into the fascia on the skin oftentimes they’ll be working deep down to where the muscle attaches to the bone or around bony protrusions were it may be stuck. Myofascial release is quite relaxing in itself as the process is quite gentle. Often a knowledgeable therapist merely has to heat up the area with certain techniques to unglue the fascia. Fascia is a system that runs through the entire body and it is wise in that it knows where it should be. When a therapist unglues fascia it then guides the therapist telling them where it needs to be by the natural direction in which it pulls.
The therapists at Eye Street Massage Therapy often incorporate myofascial techniques along with other massage styles in a session to get the best benefits for the client.