May 23, 2013
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Massage & Fascia
by Cindy Horsfall
Fascia is the one single thing that connects us… it's the wrapping in the body that surrounds every single muscle, bone, organ… every little thing in the body is surrounded by and connected by fascia.
If someone were to remove every bone, muscle, and organ from your body – you would still be recognizable to your friends by your fascia network! Now wouldn't THAT be spooky!!!
Structural Integration leader John Latz says: "This matrix (called fascia) connects, or binds together, the body's organs and systems, and at the same time provides compartmentalization between them. The fascia is a continuous elastic sheath that provides structural support for the skeleton and soft tissues (i.e., muscles, tendons and organs). As it surrounds the muscles, it is referred to as the fascial envelope."
Fascia is referred to as a 'connective tissue' and has been called "the organ of posture" by Dr. Ida P. Rolf who developed the structural work we call 'Rolfing' – which is a modality rooted in the fascial network.
With this kind of bodywork, all things are connected and so all things are affected. I have developed my own techniques with dogs and in warm waters with this work. The results have often been quite profound.
When a body has been injured, the fascia will tighten, stiffen and even turn into scar tissue in its effort to bring stability to the body. When the injury has healed, this fascia often remains hardened and this is where the warm water work and release work can be so profound. Since everything is connected in the fascial network, often tightness in the right shoulder will cause tightness in the left hip and so on.
I have been a Certified SOMA Neuromuscular Integration® Practitioner for 4 years and I can honestly tell you that this work has changed my life. The concept of releasing and allowing is now ingrained in my every cell and has changed the way I live life, perceive change, how I handle my classes and therapy and even my relationships.
As Karen Bolesky – founder of the SOMA Institute – says so well -
"As the body rebalances itself in gravity, becoming more efficient in function and healthier with greater resistance to disease and injury, the body notices more coordination and grace in movement. The result is a body that can process experiences more effectively, with greater awareness, which leads to enhanced learning and perceptual abilities.
Life is change and change is movement, movement in our bodies, our feelings, our thoughts, our inspirations. It is the loss of our ability to move and change our bodies, as well as our thinking processes that continually diminishes our ability to fully experience life. With this work, we are not working toward the evolution of "perfect" by replacing old patterns with new "right ones," but rather towards a less predictable, more authentic individual who has the option to respond in new and creative ways to their environment."