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Fascia - what is it? What has it got to do with massage?

As well as skin and muscle some sports masseurs work on releasing your fascia. Fascia is described by Ruth Duncan author of Myofascial Release as “three dimensional web of tissue that supports every other structure in the body”. Myofascia allows the muscle fibres to easily glide past each other, as well as the blood vessels and nerves. Think of a chicken when you skin it, the opaque mesh like stuff is myofascia, and in runs through as well as round muscles. Fascia needs to be treated too, but requires an entirely different approach from all other tissue. Whilst muscles can be treated with trigger points and a firm touch, fascia has its own unique tension and release. With fascia its about having no slide (oil), a skin on skin touch and gently holding the fascia at its end point for 3-5mins until it responds. The ”no pain, no gain” idea does not work on fascia. There is an increasing body of evidence that fascia plays a role in pain and dysfunction, it is therefor important to assess and treat fascia where necessary. Because it exists as a network between and throughout all other tissues, to leave it tight whilst releasing muscles can be like only addressing part of the problem.

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