5. There Are 12 Myofascial Meridian Lines
These differ from acupuncture meridian lines. Myofascial meridians run along “the girdle” of the body, top to bottom, front and back, and diagonally to allow us to move. Because the meridians are all connected, we sometimes experience “transferred pain”: a fascial constriction in one area of the body can cause pain in an entirely different area. A tight piriformis muscle in the pelvis, for example, can cause lower back and leg pain. This is a function of myofascial meridian lines.
6. Fascia is Thixotropic
“Thixotropy” is the property of a fluid or gel to become less stiff and more fluid when under pressure (and/or heat). When a massage therapist applies pressure to manipulate fascia, it becomes more pliant and flexible, releasing adhesion and constriction. Injury, stress, and inactivity can affect the thixotropic nature of fascia, causing it to tighten. (5)
7. It’s Pink, White, and Yellow in Color
If you’ve ever pulled the skin off of a piece of meat before you cook it, you know what fascia looks like.
8. It Unifies the Body
As an “invisible second skin”, fascia is what gives animals the ability to move bones and muscles. It’s what keeps organs in their appropriate places within the body. It includes the membranes that protect the brain, spinal column, and peripheral nerves.
“Fascia is one network, embryologically and anatomically. All these different names we give elements within it–this tendon or that ligament–can tend to hide the fact that it is all one system. When we injure the median nerve, we name it but we treat it within the nervous system. If there is blockage in the saphenous vein, we understand that lack within the context of the whole circulatory system. But when we injure the Achilles tendon, we tend to treat just that part, instead of seeing the part that failed within the context of the whole system. Our fascial fabric constitutes one single biomechanical regulatory system–we benefit from seeing it, training it, and treating it that way,” explains Anatomy Trains. (6)
8. Manipulating Fascia can Lead to Emotional Release
Fascia isn’t just a network, a system in itself, it’s also part of the overall organism. No one system exists in isolation of the rest.
Emotions originate in the brain but there is a physicality to emotion as well. Myers notes in Anatomy Trains that while working on a fascial release, it often happens that someone may become suddenly emotional: laughter or tears aren’t uncommon during a therapy session. Working on a particular area of the body can release an emotional response the patient has subconsciously associated with that area; emotional release accompanies the physical release. It doesn’t happen all the time or for everyone but fairly frequently.
Modern medicine doesn’t understand this phenomenon and is not exploring it clinically.
So what is fascia? Now you know that it’s an integral part of your body and requires some care. Getting professional massages and foam rolling are great options to stimulate your fascia and keep it in optimal shape. Staying active is integral too.