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  • Aaron Cygnarowicz

What is Fascia and How Does Massage Help Release Fascial Restrictions?

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Fascia is a type of connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscles, bones, and organs in the body. It is a fibrous, three-dimensional network of collagen fibers and other proteins that provides structural support and helps to distribute forces throughout the body.

There are several layers of fascia in the body, including superficial fascia (located just beneath the skin), deep fascia (surrounding muscles and organs), and visceral fascia (surrounding internal organs). Fascia also contains nerves and blood vessels that supply the tissues it surrounds.

Fascia can become tight, restricted, or adhered due to injury, inflammation, or chronic tension, which can result in pain, limited mobility, and other health problems. There are various techniques, such as myofascial release and fascial stretching, that aim to release and mobilize fascia to improve overall function and reduce pain.

Massage therapist working on the scapula, rhomboids and traps.

Massage can help relieve fascial restrictions by applying pressure and manipulation to the affected areas of the body. When the fascia is tight or restricted, it can create tension and pain in surrounding muscles and tissues. Massage techniques such as myofascial release, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy can help to break up adhesions and scar tissue in the fascia, improving circulation and restoring mobility to the affected area.

Myofascial release is a specific type of massage that focuses on releasing fascial restrictions by applying gentle, sustained pressure to the affected area. The therapist uses their hands, fingers, or specialized tools to apply pressure to the fascia and stretch it out, allowing it to relax and release tension.

Deep tissue massage is another technique that can help to relieve fascial restrictions. This type of massage uses deeper pressure and slower strokes to target the underlying layers of muscle and fascia. The therapist may also use techniques such as stripping and cross-fiber friction to break up adhesions and scar tissue in the fascia.

Trigger point therapy is a technique that involves applying pressure to specific points in the muscle and fascia that are causing pain or tension. The therapist may use their fingers or specialized tools to apply pressure to these points, releasing tension and improving circulation in the affected area.

Overall, massage can be an effective way to relieve fascial restrictions and improve overall mobility and function. It is important to work with a trained and licensed massage therapist who is knowledgeable about the anatomy and physiology of the fascia and how to safely and effectively release fascial restrictions.

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