- Integrated Body Therapies
Christine A. Ruppert, LMT5712 Stillwell Road
Rockville, MD 20851
- 1555 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suite 200 West
Washington, DC 20009
- More about Fascia & Your Health
- FASCIA: Here, There, & Everywhere!
- Massage Therapy for Sports Injuries
- Massage Therapy for Sprains and Strains
- 5 Surprising Benefits of Massage for Athletes
- The Importance of Touch
- 7 Ways Runners Benefit from Massage
- 5 Pain Relief Trigger Points You Can Use at Your Desk
- Massage for Pregnancy
- How Does Massage Work?
Fascia is the connective tissue that forms a matrix of support around the body and within every layer of the body from our muscles and bones to our muscle cells.
“Fascia surrounds every muscle, every bundle within muscles, groups of muscles, it surrounds every nerve, every artery, every vein, all the lymph vessels. These are all embedded in envelopes of fascial tissue. Fascia also forms large envelopes around the whole body,” says Til Luchau, author of Advanced Myofascial Techniques.
Magnified under a microscope, fascia looks like spider webs. It has six times more sensory nerve endings than muscle. Like many other systems of the body, fascia is adaptive and responds to stress both externally (environment) and internally (within the body).
Years ago, fascia was regarded as packing material within the body and thrown out by anatomists during cadaver dissections. The more accepted belief today is fascia is its own system. Medical research and tests are lagging behind, evident in that fascia does not show up on MRI scans, CT scans or X-Rays. Many experts believe that fascia is the missing piece of the puzzle to chronic pain and illness. Source: Aiyana Fraley at www.massagemag.com
By Rachel Damiani and Ted Spiker
Americans, who spend about $8 billion a year in massage and chiropractic treatments to relieve pain, may have no idea that they’re all probably experiencing the same thing—a manipulation of their fascia, a three-tiered layer of tissue that encases tissues and organs.
Although some people may have a vague notion that fascia exists, they probably don’t know much about their fascia—or understand why it even matters.
Fascia is the only tissue that modifies its consistency when under stress. It’s everywhere in the body, so it could affect just about everything. That leaves researchers wrestling with an intriguing dilemma: If fascia is everywhere, then how do you isolate its impact on the body?
Early research suggests it may have relevance in areas one wouldn’t normally think of fascia playing a role, such as digestive conditions and cancer.
“Fascia is what holds us together. There are very few diseases that don’t have a fascia component,” said Frederick Grinnell, a professor of cell biology at the UT Southwestern Medical School.
In an article in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, researchers make the point that this web throughout our body has the potential to influence everything.
“Fascia is involved almost everywhere in the body,” said Andreas Haas, the founder of the Manus Training Center and the Manus Fascia Center in Austria who has been a manual therapist for 30 years and looking at fascia for two decades. “Each organ, each muscle, each artery, each vein, each nerve—there is not one single structure in the whole body that is not connected with fascia or not enveloped by fascia.”
What is fascia?
There’s fascia that appears all over and acts like a casing—a biological Spanx of sorts. This fascia throughout the body holds muscles and organs in place to make sure they don’t jostle around.
The characteristic of fascia that is at the forefront of discussion in terms of health implications is its elasticity—that is, higher elasticity of the fascia allows organs and tissues to function better, while stiffer fascia decreases performance.
Long thought of as just the support structure, fascia may have more influence on health than as a passive container.
Why does it matter?
Fascia’s main functions are helping coordinate the body’s movements, position in space, and fluid flow throughout the body.
Beyond movement conditions, fascia may also be involved in a variety of unexpected health conditions and diseases, including cancer, lymphedema, and gastrointestinal distress.
By releasing fascia through bodywork, it could be possible that fascia becomes more pliable, lymphatic fluid flow increases and swelling goes down. Similarly, releasing fascia could help reduce gastrointestinal distress, including constipation, bloating and acid reflux. Source: www.washingtonpost.com
In the United States, massage therapy is generally considered a luxury. But the truth is, massage can be used for much more than just relaxation, its health benefits are numerous. Massage therapy can relieve pain, increase energy, improve sleep, encourage healthy digestion and more. continue reading
Sprains and strains are common, not only in athletes, but also in the everyday person. A sprain is defined as a stretch or tear of a ligament. A strain, on the other hand, is defined as an injury to a muscle or tendon. Sprains can result from a fall, a sudden twist or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of place, while a strain can happen from twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon. continue reading
It is probably not surprising that massage can be beneficial for athletes. Those of us that ask a lot from our physical bodies on a regular basis can benefit from practices like massage therapy that support our bodies in staying healthy and performing at their highest level. In this post, we dug a little deeper and came up with five reasons massage is beneficial for athletes that you might not think of or expect. continue reading
All humans, from babies to adults, depend on physical contact from other humans in order to thrive. For newborns, touch is vital. Studies have shown newborns that receive adequate nutrition but not enough human contact are significantly more likely to grow up with stunted development. As children, the quality of touch we receive impacts our self-esteem and our ability to build lasting relationships with others. And as adults, regular physical contact with others keeps us sane. continue reading
Running is high-impact sport. So, if you’re conscious about taking care of your body, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy running into your 70s or 80s. Taking care of your body can mean a variety of things, from nutrition to sleep to mental health. In this blog, we’ll go over the benefits to runners of regular massage. People have said for years that massage feels good, but research is starting to explain why that is. Here are seven reasons runners should consider getting a massage on a regular basis. continue reading
The number of desk chairs advertised to support low-back health and reduce neck and shoulder pain should be an indication of the strain sitting for so many hours a day can put on your body. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day places between 20 and 30 extra pounds of pressure on your neck and shoulders each day. Poor posture can also contribute to neck low-back pain and tightness in your hips. As our society shifts to predominately seated, desk jobs, it’s important to have strategies to support your physical well-being while you work. continue reading
Massage therapy has been used for centuries to reduce stress, improve health and relax sore, tight muscles. In the past, massage during pregnancy has been frowned upon by the medical community. But more recently, in the past 20 years or so, studies conducted show how beneficial regular massage can be for the pregnant woman. continue reading
Massage is defined as the rubbing and kneading of the body’s muscles and joints. Massage is most commonly used to relieve tension or pain. Most people who have experienced a massage report it has been helpful. But according to a recent National Health Interview Survey, only about 6.9 percent of Americans have ever tried massage. That means there is a whole lot of people missing the benefits massage can offer. continue reading