FASCIA – The Body Memory
Credit: Jean Claude Guimberteau
Fascia is the connective tissue that holds and connects all the structures in our body. It’s just one continuous structure, comprised of a vast network of fine, incredibly strong, flexible strands that constantly divide and re-join. This fluid network forms an immense, interconnected cushion around our organs and muscle tissues and even if all other structures of the body could be taken away, your fascial network would still look like you!
Because of its elasticity, fascia spreads the effect of movement, rigidity, illness and injury around the body, just like the ripples on water when you throw a stone into a still lake. But this also means it holds memories of stress, impact, trauma, illness, surgery or injury somewhere in its structure, in the form of restrictions, where strands of fascia get stuck together.
Because it’s one continuous structure, these areas of restriction in the fascial network can apply extreme pressures (up to 2000lbs per square inch/ 1,406,137.671886 kgf/m²) on crucial structures such as blood vessels, nerves, joints or abdominal viscera. Unless released, the pressure of these restrictions not only cause issues in one place, but also cause changes that create further tensions in different parts of the body.
If left untended, areas of restriction and tension can cause chronic patterns. The structure of the fascia becomes dehydrated is gluey and sluggish and communication through the network gets confused, often meaning that pain becomes constant or chronic and appears in places that seem to have no connection with each other.
In this video you can see properly what fascia is - first in a grapefruit and then in living human tissue (at around min 2)
THERAPEUTIC THAI MASSAGE
Traditional Thai Massage, often referred to as Thai Yoga Massage, is a deeply healing form of bodywork derived from the teachings of Ayurveda and Buddhism. It is thought to have travelled from India to Thailand alongside Buddhist teachings some 2000 years ago, to become an integral part of Thailand’s medical system. In the same way that many of people in the West go to a physiotherapist or osteopath, Therapeutic Thai Massage is commonly used in Thailand for injury rehabilitation, pain relief and to restore healthy function. It is also used to help recovery after a heart attack or stroke.
Therapeutic Thai Massage works physically on the whole body through a system of energy lines called Sen - which are similar to, but not exactly the same as, the Meridians in Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. We work to release any restriction or blockage in the energy lines in order to rebalance the flow of Prana (life force or Qi) that flows through us, supporting our body's natural healing ability. These lines run through the physical body – through the fascia, the muscles and joints – and also work on the four other ‘bodies’ recognised in Ayurvedic practice: the mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic bodies.
The massage is given fully clothed, in comfortable loose clothing, on a firm futon or mattress. The practitioner will use a combination of rhythmic pressure, usually with palms or thumbs, and yoga-style stretches that is best suited to the receiver's body and needs.
The sensitive and nurturing touch of a good Therapeutic Thai Massage not only balances, detoxifies and creates more space and flexibility in the joints, muscles and fascia, it also invites us to journey inward and listen to ourselves more fully. When we can experience and feel what our body is telling us, there is then potential for deep healing and transformation.
MYOFASCIAL RELEASE THERAPY
MFR is a gentle, non-invasive treatment that creates profound change in areas of restriction and holding.
There is direct contact between the therapist’s hands and your skin, in a light listening touch or hold.
The fascia responds to gentle, sustained pressure by softening and releasing; each release can take several minutes and you will feel anything from very subtle to very obvious movement in your body as the fascia releases, unwinds and lets go.
You may experience different sensations or emotions during this release and sometimes there are also very specific thoughts or memories that arise as this happens. You may be asked simply to notice what’s happening, with curiosity; there’s no ‘correct’ or ‘wrong’ way to experience this process.
GET YOUR FREE CALM BODY, CALM MIND MEDITATION
This 15 minute somatic meditation will help you calm painful or anxious thoughts and feelings of overwhelm. It comes with a pdf explaining why we feel anxious (and what we can do about it) and is recorded with a backing track of Alpha Waves, designed to help generate calm & focus.