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What is fascia?

There is a type of connective tissue in the body called fascia. Some people say it is sort of like saran wrap, holding everything together. It is the membrane that surrounds the muscles, organs, blood vessels, bone, and nerve fibers, holding them in place.

There is still a lot about fascia that we don’t understand. For centuries fascia was dismissed, often literally “thrown away” in order to get to the “important” tissues like muscles, bones, organs and nerves. However, what we understand now is that fascia is actually the glue that holds our bodies together, and it is also the lubricant that allows us to move.

One of the remarkable properties of fascia is called thixotropism. This refers to the ability of  fascia to change from a gel state (a thicker, more gelatinous fluid) to a sol state (a relatively thin, watery fluid). One way to think of it is like honey, which can become very hard when left still or chilled and can also become very fluid and watery when exposed to movement and heat. 

This property is one of the reasons massage therapy is so effective. When heat, pressure, friction and movement are applied skillfully to fascia, it loosens, melts and becomes more flexible and elastic. This softening of the fascia that surrounds muscles allows the muscles to be manipulated to their fullest resting length, increase joint range of movement, and give the nervous system new and different information. 
Please see the video below for more information: