Life can throw at us all sort of pressure, did you notice? From stress at work, difficult personal relationships, financial worries, issues in our local communities and more globally in the world, diseases, sickness, physical pressure from injuries and body strains and the ageing process...
How does the body handle the pressure it is exposed to? Interestingly, it's our fascia that load and unload pressure. All mental and emotional distress is also loaded onto this network of connective tissue we called fascia.
Recent research shows that fascia has a much greater significance for health, aches, and pains than we previously knew. However, despite the thousands of research reports published in recent years, the understanding of fascia – and of the body as a whole – is still in its early stages.
The fascia is affected by basically everything we are exposed to
The fascia is affected by a variety of factors such as age, genes, movements, gender, hormones, disease, medication, nutrition, physical stress, exercise, mental stress, sleep, pollution, etc, which causes it to reorganise.
One of the most important functions of fascia is to load and unload pressure – that is, to handle everything we are exposed to daily. Let's see how it works on a practical level.
If someone gives you a push on the shoulder, this shoulder is pushed backwards, the other goes forward, and back, hips and legs also follow in a wave motion and in this way the push is distributed over the whole body. In the same way, the pressure from a sprained foot will be distributed on the calf, knee, thigh, hip, back and neck.
When a body is deformed by an outside force, the strain is distributed over the whole body and not only the local place is deformed. The body’s system to relieve the pressure is rapid, flexible, strong, and global – the whole body is receiving, everything is in motion.
Symptoms and pain might start to appear if the fascia is not in its optimal fluid shape when loading pressure
This is because the force of pressure cannot be transmitted properly. This can cause inflammation and an inability of the body to adapt and reorganise to the pressure, causing postural compensation that can lead to dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system and other body systems.
Psychological internal stress and dealing with external relational dynamics and behaviours from the people we associate with can also load pressure into the fascial system. Similarly to physical pressure, psychological forces travels through the whole body-mind causing a reorganisation not only of the internal structures of our thoughts and emotional processes but also of the physiological physical structures of our connective tissue. How we hold the energy of life pressure, how we integrate it, digest it and unload it on an psychological level, is reflected in our bodies as much as in our minds.
What pressure are you putting on your fascia and what do you do to help your body to function properly?
Source: adapted from an article in fasciaguide.com
Img: Valeriya Olkhova, textile artist