What is fascia?
Fascia is perhaps the most useful part of your body you’ve never heard of. Bending down to touch your toes? Fascia. Getting out of the car? Fascia. Turning your head to look at the new seasons produce? Fascia.
Fascia, pronounced fah-sha, is the connective tissue that looks like a cobweb and surrounds your body. It is designed to help us to stretch while we move. Fascia is extremely important and is covered in nerve endings that helps you sense your body. Because it is around all of your organs, anything moving around in your body will pass through it, which means that fascia could even play a part in hormonal signalling and immune response.
Fascia is fascinating and works as a lubricant to help your muscles fully contract (preventing damage) and depending on the area, fascia can be stretchy or stiff and healthy fascia allows you to slide, glide, twist and bend without any pain.
The benefits of keeping fascia healthy are:
However, if you have unhealthy fascia it is unable to glide and can create restrictions in your body like muscle knots. The causes of unhealthy fascia include poor posture, stress, poor sleep quality, dehydration, sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, and even the overuse of muscles. If you believe your fascia is unhealthy, keep reading for some simple ways you can improve its health.
How to improve the health of your fascia?
Yoga, Pilates, regular stretches and foam rolling will help the health of your fascia, and the more you implement into your routine the merrier. A great way of doing this is using an eco-friendly massage tool, this will help you to release tightness in your muscles and decrease inflammation. Try to incorporate foam rollingto your warm-up and cool down routine and see what difference this makes.
Try stretches that elongate your muscles as this will help to release tension, holding stretches for 30-60 seconds, and not to force yourself into any deep positions that cause pain.
Practising yoga, in particular yin yoga or using a self myofascial release technique a few times each week will also help to improve your flexibility, balance and strength. By the way, it will also benefit your mental health by lowering your stress and anxiety levels.
Use a massage roller or massage ball
Using a target recovery tools, such as massage ball roller allows you to pinpoint exactly where your fascia is tight and could be holding tension. When you identify the tight area (this might cause pain) work on it for 30-60 seconds and you should notice the tension begin to release. Our small cork rollers are great for targeting these areas.
Saunas and Cold Therapy
Researchers found that saunas decreased delayed onset muscle soreness and improved exercise recovery, which can help to improve the health of your fascia.
Cold therapy can help to reduce inflammation after a workout, which means you experience less swelling or pain. To use cold therapy at home apply an ice pack wrapped in thin fabric to any target areas, make sure you have a break after 15 minutes, and do not apply anything frozen directly to your skin.
Drink more water
Yes, drinking wateris so often the answer to so many of our problems and this is no different. The exact amount we should aim to drink each day is up for debate, but a good guide is roughly 1.6 litres for women and 2 litres for men.