Fascia is what supports and holds your body together. It is a continuous membranous connective tissue made of collagen and elastin fibers, which surrounds and connects your muscles, bones, organs, nerves, and blood vessels. Fascia provides the lubricating barrier that prevents one muscle from catching on another muscle during muscle contraction. Picture an orange: The orange hard peal is like the skin, the soft white inner layer of the peal is the superficial fascia just under the skin; the membranes that wrap each section of the orange is like the deep fascia that surrounds the muscles; and each juicy cell is wrapped in more fascia, which is like the fascia surrounding individual muscle fibers.
Because fascia is continuous throughout your body, fascial restrictions in one area may cause pain to be felt in another area. For example, if a person is feeling hip pain they may have fascial restrictions in their knee, which pull on the fascia of the thigh and hip causing pain to be felt in the hip and low back. This is known as “fascial drag.”
To illustrate fascial drag stand up, grab hold of your pants next to your hip, and twist your hand while holding tight to your pants. You should feel the pant leg pull tight around your thigh all the way down to your ankle and up around your waist band. Try walking or sitting down while holding your pants. Do you feel the tightness increase and pull you to one side? Imagine spending a day like this doing your daily activities. Over time the restriction in your pant leg will transmit throughout your body limiting your range of motion and changing your posture, movement, and body alignment. The same thing happens with fascia.
Fascial restrictions can be caused by scar tissue, injuries, repetitive motion/stress, surgery, posture, trauma, disease, inactivity, and inflammation. These restrictions can change your body alignment, posture, and range of motion. Massage helps to break down fascias restrictions allowing your body to return to a balanced and natural state.
Caring for Your Fascia
Stretching and Movement: Stretching and moving helps to warm up your fascia and prevent adhesions. After sleeping or sitting still take a few moments to move and slowly stretch. When your muscles get tight your fascia tightens as well, which compresses nerves and can lead to pain.
Stay Hydrated: Your fascia is a lubricating tissue by staying hydrated you are giving your fascia what it needs to move and glide as it needs to.
Relax: Find ways to escape from stress and relax. For some ideas on how to relax visit our website.
Stretch Your Fascia: Stretching fascia is a bit different than stretching muscles. Fascia responds best by slow gentle stretches which are held for three to five minutes. A great way to learn fascia stretches is through therapeutic yoga, which Laura teaches during therapeutic yoga massage sessions (see below).
Massage: Massage is one of the best ways to work on your fascia because it warms up your fascia throughout your body, stretches specific areas, frees up adhesions, works on trigger points and relaxes your body. Both Kari and Laura use a variety of myofascial release techniques during their massages, including assisted stretching, trigger point release, skin rolling, deep transverse friction/cross fiber friction, traction, pin and stretch, and broad plane release.
Therapeutic Yoga Massage
In August 2011 Laura became certified in Therapeutic Yoga. She is currently offering individualized therapeutic yoga massage sessions which combine gentle supported yoga positions with massage. This practice is relaxing, rejuvenating and energizing. Therapeutic yoga massage helps to bring the body into balance, free up adhesions, and reduce fascial restrictions with the goal of increasing range of motion and flexibility.
Therapeutic Yoga Massage is done on a the floor mat using a variety of props including bolsters, pillows, and blankets, which fully support your body in mild modified Yin Yoga positions. While in those positions Laura will use massage techniques to help you relax into the pose, free restrictions, and reduce tension in your muscles and fascia. There should be no pain or discomfort with any of the positions and positions will be chosen based on your bodies needs. Therapeutic yoga massage is great for people of all ages and abilities. You do not need to have any experience in yoga to enjoy this type of massage. Therapeutic yoga is designed to be done with anyone, including people who are recovering from accidents or injuries, have chronic pain, recovering from cancer treatments, have restrictions in movement due to age, or just want to experience something different.
After a therapeutic yoga massage people often report feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and energized there can be some soreness after the session due to stretching and being in positions your body is not accustomed to. Please let Laura know prior to the session if you have any physical restrictions, joint problems, or pain, especially in your spine.
What to wear: Wear something loose fitting and comfortable. Yoga pants/shorts/sweats and a t-shirt or tank top are perfect.
For more information contact Laura at (360) 603-4120 ext 1 or e-mail
You may schedule a therapeutic yoga massage by Scheduling Online or call (360) 603-4120 ext 1