Fascia is a Latin word that means band or bundle. Fascia is a white web-like bundle of connective tissue that holds your whole body together as one unit and manages its movements. The tissue has a liquid called hyaluronan. It facilitates the stretch of the tissue when needed. Mainly the fascia tissue attaches itself to other organs and muscles. It can control, and separate the muscles, and it also encloses some organs entirely.
Anatomically it is one of the most important parts of your body, yet there are few studies about it. They were considered filler tissue. That is not true, as almost all of your muscles are either connected to the fascia or wrapped inside of it. As scientists noticed the importance of fascia in our body, more research was carried out. Thus, the fascia is considered to be the most important organ that holds the whole body together. Also, it controls and helps the movement of the organs.
As the research is taking place, it is found that the fascia tissue is not limited to covering the muscles, skin, and bones. It is found that it also connects and supports some of the ligaments, tendons, endomysium, perimysium, and epimysium.
There are four layers of the fascia tissue.
This is present right below the hypodermis a layer of skin. It is also known as tela subcutaneous or subcutaneous tissue fascia. These tissues are made up of collagen and elastin fiber. They also have a lymphatic system and nerve endings. It makes them sensory and stretchable so that they can efficiently manage the stability and shape of the body. These are thicker in your torso, but as it spreads in your limbs it becomes thinner.
It is a bundle of connective tissue, which may look like a sheet. Just like the superficial layer, it is made up of collagen and elastin fiber, supported by the lymphatic system. This layer is more advanced than the superficial layer. This layer either connects or encloses the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments.
These are the fascia that surrounds the viscera organs. They include the organs in the abdomen, lungs, and heart.
This is the fascia that covers the wall of the cavity present in your body, such as the cavity in the pelvis.
If the fascia tissues do not work properly, the following problems may occur:
- Stiffness in the tissue causes pain
- A problem in the fascia leads to limiting the movement of the affected area
- Cellulite may be caused due to improper function of the fascia tissue
- Blood circulation problems occur causing more problem
- Inflammation in some cases
How To Keep The Fascia Healthy
There are many ways one can keep their fascia healthy to avoid pain and cellulite. Below are the top 10 ways to keep your fascia tissues healthy and avoid many problems:
To maintain the health of fascia tissues it is important to feed them what they need. This includes macronutrients, micronutrients, and bioactive substances. Now let's understand each of them one by one.
Macronutrients: Your body needs the macronutrients to maintain and support the different systems of the body. Following are the macronutrients and their sources.
Carbohydrates: They are responsible to provide the necessary compounds needed by the body to keep water, store energy, and lubricate the fascia. They also help the protein break the collagen to reduce inflammation in the fascia. Studies suggest that one should maintain 25% of carbohydrates in their diet. Some sources of carbohydrates are fruits, starchy vegetables, pulses (peas, lentils, beans, etc.), and grains (wheat, barley, oats, etc.)
Protein: Protein has many functions, such as storing energy, acting as a passage barrier, building and repairing tissues, and many more. In fascia, they are significant as they are responsible for collagen breaking to form tissues and repair as and when needed. The studies suggest that one should ensure that protein covers 10% of their diet.
Meat and eggs are good sources of protein. There are much plant-based protein sources, such as grains, pulses, gluten-free cereals, nuts, seeds, and even some vegetables.
Lipids: Lipids are organic compounds that occur in the body for various functions. These are in the form of fats, waxes, fat-soluble vitamins different types of glycerolipids, and many more. The fatty acids (primarily unsaturated) are vital for the fascia. Fatty acids can be anti-inflammatory (Omega-3 fatty acid) or inflammatory (Omega-6 fatty acid), and the balance of both is crucial for fascia.
Sources of lipids are meat, fish, eggs, soybean, nuts and seeds, and avocado.
Micronutrients: They are responsible for providing the vitamins and minerals that the body needs. The elasticity of the fascia tissue depends upon these micronutrients.
Vitamins: These are a group of organic compounds that the body requires to carry out daily activities in the body. It is necessary for the fascia tissue can function. There are fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins need a fat base to transport and are also stored in the body. It includes vitamins A, D, E, and K. Water-soluble are those that blend in water and transport, these are not stored in the body and thus need to be consumed on daily bases. Water-soluble vitamins B and C.
There are many dietary sources of vitamins, also some pills are available on the market.
Minerals: Some minerals even though in small amounts play a vital role in the health of the fascia. The tension of the fascia muscles can increase if the acidity of the body increases, this acidity is maintained by the minerals in the body. The mineral also provides lubrication to the fascial tissues.
It is no secret that our body is made up of 70% water. Now the importance of water in our body is more than you may assume. Water is responsible to make our skin soft and supple to maintain its shape and elastic properties. It is important as it provides the fluid base necessary for the transport of necessary nutrients and vitamins throughout the body.
Our body focuses on maintaining enough water levels in the muscles. If the water level lowers in the body it sends all the water to the muscles. This could cause harm to other parts which include the fascia.
Fascia is responsible to supply necessary nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and surroundings of the fascia, and also assists in the process of excreting the waste out of the skin. This process happens using fluid transport. This process gets affected if proper hydration is not provided to the body. Thus, one should keep their body hydrated. Prefer clear water or unsweetened herbal tea as a source of body hydration. It is advised for a normal healthy human to have at least 1.5-2 liters of water per day.
Proper Sleeping Schedule
Our body does all kinds of functions throughout the day so we could carry out our daily tasks. One of these functions is to maintain the structural shape of the body and the body organs. This function is supported by the fascia tissue. Fascia helps the moment of the muscles and skin. Due to this reason, fascia tissues experience the most strain. Thus, proper rest is required by the fascia to maintain its strength and ensure its proper functioning of it. It is suggested that one should take at least 7-8 hours of sleep so that the body can get enough rest.
Deep Tissue Massage
There are high chances of putting tension on the tissues and fascia, and getting the fascial tissues to stick together is very high.
The tension and bundling up of the fascia may cause pain, limited movement, and other problems. This will cause hindrance to our daily tasks, and the discomfort felt is immense. To release this tension and bundles, deep tissue massage is used. In this process, the expert put pressure on the tissue of the affected area. This will break up the tension and gummed bundle of the fascia, resulting in the proper functioning of the tissue.
Deep tissue massage helps to relieve pain, increase range of motion, relieve stress, and is even used to recover from some injury. The popular deep-tissue massage options are trigger point therapy, positional release, and soft tissue release.
When the focus of physical therapy is on the fascial tissues, it is known as myofascial therapy. The expert targets the fascial tissues and puts enough pressure to relieve the pain. The problem in the fascial tissue may cause many issues, such as pain in that area, and limited functioning of the affected areas.
Myofascial therapy is different from other therapies as it focuses on fascia only, and that is not easy to perform. The pain can be caused by tensed fascial tissue, lack of fluids to assist the movement, and many more. The pain can originate from any area, and its effects can be felt in a wide range of expanses near the origin point.
You need to consult an expert who specializes in this therapy as it can be complex to identify the origin of the problem area.
The difference between this and other massage therapy is that other therapies are relaxing and easy to perform, while myofascial therapy can be a little complex and slightly painful (pain subsidize later). Make sure that if it hurts a lot and for an extended period, tell the expert immediately. Some benefits of myofascial therapy are the release of the pain and stress of the fascia, better blood circulation, and increased range of motion.
Exercise is necessary to keep the body healthy and in shape. Often time we overdo a little and strain our fascia. It is because fascia helps the movement of the body. This strain left untreated can cause severe issues such as tearing of the facial tissue. Any strain or tearing of fascia tissue causes immense pain and discomfort. It may also restrict the movement of organs.
Even though many ways are there which can fix this issue, it can be very tiresome and expensive. But if you practice healthy exercise and schedule convenient workout sessions you can avoid such a situation.
Take the following into consideration:
- An average healthy person exercises 3-4 times a week is enough, do not push your body over its limit too much.
- Take breaks from this and let your body relax so it doesn't strain.
- Stretch before and after the workout, so no sudden movement is experienced by the tissues.
- If you are facing any health condition or experience pain in your body, consult an expert to plan the workout that suits your condition.
Fascia blasting is the process in which you use the fascia blaster to release the tension in the fascia. The fascia blaster is designed by Ashley Black, a health and fitness expert who owns the patent right. A Fascia blaster is a rod structure, that has a few small flower-like designs attached to it. This flower-like structure has finger-like projections. It is used to put pressure on the fascia tissues.
Fascia blasters are generally used to get rid of cellulite. But, it can also help you to release tension in the fascia tissue and regulate blood circulation.
How To Use Fascia Blaster?
- You have to warm up the area you want to use the blaster on. For this, you can stretch, take a warm shower, go to the sauna, or use a heating pad.
- Apply some oil or cream to avoid bruising.
- Move the blaster to the chosen area. You can move the blaster from front-back, side to side, and circulate motions.
- After you finish using the tool, make sure to cool down the areas and take care of the inflammation that will happen. With regular use, you will start to see the result. You might get slight bruises from the initial use.
Fascia blasters are available in different sizes, small and large. It can be utilized as per your needs and the area, it is used for. You can get the full kit consisting of the blasters, some creams, cooling pads, and a guidebook at the official site of Ashley Black called fasciablaster.com
The sauna has been popular since ancient times. It can help your body relax, especially after exercise or yoga. It is because, in the sauna, your body experiences external heat. The limited exposure to heat helps blood circulation in the tissue. It also assists you in releasing the tension in the tissues. It also makes your skin softer.
You need to hydrate yourself after the sauna as your body loses a lot of water as sweat. It is necessary if you go to the sauna after your exercise. If you don't hydrate, it can harm the tissues as there would be less fluid to maintain regular functioning. It can lead to muscle soreness and inflexibility.
Cryotherapy (Cold Therapy)
Cryotherapy is a therapy in which the nerve endings lay bare to extreme cold. This leads to the disruption of the nervous system so that it can stop sending the pain signals leading to a reduction in pain. There are many types of cryotherapy. One of the simplest ones that you can easily perform is applying an ice pack. It will freeze the nerves and promote pain reduction.
There are advanced versions such as Cryotherapy ablation. In this, the nerve endings are destroyed to promote the regeneration of the cells. This will reduce the pain sensation effectively. You should consult an expert to perform this.
This method is mainly used to reduce the inflammation caused in the fascia due to many reasons.
How Can You Incorporate This Into Your Daily Life?
You can use a combination of some of the treatments mentioned earlier options. Creating a daily routine including a few of the things mentioned above can make this task easier in everyday life.
- You can use the sauna after gyming.
- You can use mild cryotherapy after using the fascia blaster as it causes inflammation
- You can use the fascia blaster to perform deep tissue massage.
- Eating food that can hydrate you as well such as fruits.
- Maintaining a healthy diet before and after exercise and yoga can improve its effects.
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours a day. If possible take a nap of 30 minutes in the afternoon to relax the body.
- You can take massage appointments 3-4 times a month. Also, one can do a self-massage once a week.
Disorder in Fascia Tissue
Like any tissue in the body, these tissues are also susceptible to damage. There are some conditions that disrupt the normal functioning of the fascia. Some of the problems are as mentioned below:
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is when someone experiences chronic pain in the fascia. There can be many causes of this pain. If someone experiences this kind of pain, they should consult an expert. Expert will perform some tests to identify the cause of pain. Once it is identified, you may proceed to treat it in various ways.
You can use the following methods to treat this syndrome:
- Medication prescribed by the expert
- Physical therapy: This includes things such as massage, stretching, and heat exposure.
- Needle injection: Sometimes, a needle is inserted in the affected area to release the tension in the muscles.
Regular exercise, healthy food consumption, and regular massage can be helpful to avoid these issues.
Eosinophilic fasciitis is an auto-immune disease. It is when your immune system starts to target your own body. In this condition, the fascia of your body starts to swell and thicken. Symptoms include:
- Immense pain in the affected area.
- Inflammation in the affected area.
- Restricted movement in the affected area.
- Thickening of the skin in the affected area.
They are most common in the arms, legs, and joints.
Fascia is derived from the Latin language, it means band or bundles. Fascia is a connective tissue that is spread throughout the body. They are made up of collagen and elastin fiber and are filled with a liquid called hyaluronan. These fascia tissues have many functions as mentioned below:
- Providing support to all the parts of the body to keep the shape
- Helping the body movements such as walking, bending, exercising, and many more
- Helps the body to keep the body balance
- Regulates the blood circulation
- Protecting certain organs by enveloping them
For some reason, the fascia tissue may not work. These reasons can be a lack of collagen and elastin fibers, an increase in the acidity level of the body, and a disturbance in blood circulation. This can cause many problems in the normal function of the body. This problem includes stiffness in the body part, limited movement, pain in the affected area, inflammation in the area, and cellulite formation.
From this, we can understand that keeping our fascia healthy is extremely important. When you think about this you may assume that it would be one tedious task. But it is very simple tasks you can perform every day and small changes that can have tremendous results.
In this article, we discuss 10 ways to take care of your fascia in detail. These ways are
- Proper diet
- Hydrated body
- Proper rest
- Deep tissue massage
- Myofascial therapy
- Safe exercising practice
- Self-myofascial release
- Fascia blasting
- Cold therapy
There are chances of developing to experience fascia disorders. They deal with chronic pain in fascial tissue, and thickening of the fascia.
When you balance your diet, rest well, do not strain your body much by working out above your body's capacity, and keep hydrating it's enough your fascia is healthy. It may sound like a little too much but you can combine some of these and you are good to go. For example, include hydrating food that helps you strengthen your tissues. When you exercise make sure to stretch before and after, follow it in the sauna to relax your muscles.
The health of fascia tissues is much more important to hold your body together and function and the health of the other organs. Be sure to take care of it.
- “3 Ways To Boost Fascia Health, Lose Cellulite & Reduce Pain” by water for health
- “Anatomy, fascia layers” by NCBI
- “10 ways to keep your fascia healthy” by Richmodnhill health and cosmetic clinic
- “Everything you need to know about cellulite” by Medical News Today
- “Fascis nutrition: Eating right for the fascia” by Blackroll
- “Deep Tissue Massage: The Definitive Guide” by Wellness council
- “What Is MFR? Here’s Your In-Depth Guide to Self Myofascial Release” by Youaligned
- “Patents Assigned to Ashley Diana Black International Holdings, LLC” by Justia Patents
- “What is Fascia Blasting? How does it reduce cellulite” by Halcyon Bodyworks
- Fascia blaster by Ashley Black
- “Eosinophilic Fasciitis” by Cleveland Clinic
- “Myofascial pain syndrome” by Mayo Clinic