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Attention athletes: Have you heard of fascia? Here's what it is and why it matters

by , 09 December 2015

Think of fascia as the most sensitive, highly interconnected system in your entire body. It's the life force next to blood. Without it, toned and structured muscle would collapse, organs would spread like wildfire, and bones would crumble!

Fascia is the single element in your body that organises and suspends these vital parts. It's the most highly innervated tissue, sensitive to every hormone in your system, recoiling with every bump and bruise sustained.

In modern science, our understanding of fascia will revolutionise how we exercise, how athletes train, how we address pain management and how surgeons operate. Fascia is the frontier of body knowledge, and the better you understand what it is and how it works, the more in tune with your body you'll be!

Here's everything you should know about fascia.

What on earth is fascia?

Fascia is the system of connective tissue fibres that lay just under the surface of your skin. Under a microscope, fascia is highly organised in a mesh formulation of tubules filled with water. 
Its job it to attach, stabilise, enclose and separate your muscles and internal organs.

What does fascia do?

Fascia is wrapped throughout your body on “lines of pull”. It connects your toes to brow in one uninterrupted sheet of fascia, and your fingers to your chest and neck.
Your heart fascia is connected at your collarbone, which connects to your arms and gingers. It coils around your bones, muscle fibres, muscle bundles, arteries, organs, veins and nerves, applying tension and compression to the body material it surrounds.

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This is what you feel as a stretch or when you’re in physical pain – it’s the tension of fascia around the area of sensation that causes feelings of tightness. Did you know that? I bet not!
Your tendons and ligaments are layers of fascia that absorb shock and distribute impact. If your tendons are tight, shortened or dehydrated, they can’t absorb impact and will fray, causing pain.
Fascia also has an organ suspension function. Have you ever wondered how your liver and stomach stay put? Your organs aren’t suspended without any connection to the outside of your body. Each organ is wrapped in a hammock of fascia that’s connected to your ribs, pelvis and spine. 
These fascial connections connect with your muscle fascia that affects your movement. Your breath, exercise and sitting posture all affect the health of your organs, as they’re connected fascially to the muscles you use for daily activities.

Why is fascia so crucial?

Fascia is important for joint health, injury-free exercising, organ health and fluid movement. Without a healthy integrated fascial system, these things aren’t possible. 
So what’s the takeaway here? I’d say it’s that you need to take care of every part of your body in the same manner – without neglecting one part. Total body health translates to total internal health and pain-free living!

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Attention athletes: Have you heard of fascia? Here's what it is and why it matters
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