Fantastic question. Fascia is the magnificent structure that holds the body together, completely. Let me backup a second. Fascia is like a netting material with a lubricant that surrounds all the tissues in your body. EVERYTHING in your body is connected and held together with fascia. Let’s think about it this way. Each muscle fiber is surrounded by fascia and that makes a muscle group. That group is then surrounded by fascia and connected to its neighbor. When they say “everything is connected,” they are not speaking in hyperbole, they are in fact speaking literally. But the joy and excitement over fascia doesn’t stop there. There are lines that run the body of the thickened fascia that are there specifically for human body functionality, like bending, squatting, twisting, jumping, dancing, you know, functioning!
Now let’s talk about fascial restrictions. What happens here? Many times, due to continued habitual use, the fascia does what it’s supposed to do and makes functioning more efficient. Ok, think of a professional golfer. That person needs to have a great swing to get that ball as far down the fairway as possible, right? So they practice and practice for many years. What happens over those years is the fascial line that runs across the chest from shoulder to opposite hip, becomes thickened and shorter. This increases the efficiency of strength that the golfer has in their swing. This is the cool way the body works to increase efficiency. Sometimes it can have a problematic effect, by restricting other movements. Also, when fascia loses its slip, from the thickening of the lubrication due to dehydration, the fibers can become somewhat stuck to another layer of fascia. These areas of being stuck are what we call fascial restrictions. For a home experiment, take two pieces of plastic cling wrap and lay one across the other. Press down. Now separate them again. It’s much more difficult, isn’t it? That’s a very basic example of how fascial restrictions work. Part of my job is to help release these, carefully. Sometimes there may be pain, tingling, tickling, or it may feel like ants crawling under the skin. Once the work is done, many times movement is again free.