For a long time, muscle fascia was considered to be just the white “saran wrap” around your muscles. In fact, when I was in medical school, we were instructed to remove the fascia from cadavers so we could study “the important stuff” underneath. This is how most doctors, massage therapists, yoga instructors and other movement specialists have been taught to view the human body. As it turns out, this is a huge mistake!
Your muscle fascia is important to every move you make. And, when your fascia is tight or damaged you may suffer from any number of symptoms, including headaches, muscle pain, neck and back pain, general lack of flexibility, and poor posture. The most common reasons for tight fascia are prolonged sitting or standing and lack of stretching.
In addition, any type of intense physical training, such as marathon running, chronic inflammation, and poor posture can also cause your fascia to be tight. Of course, trauma can also be a culprit – this can be in the form of physical trauma, such as falls, injuries and surgery, or emotional trauma.
What is Fascia?
If you have ever had Plantar fasciitis, a painful condition that is also called jogger’s heel, then you know something about your fascia.
But, what you may not know is that every inch of your body is encased in fascia.
Fascia is made up of densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each of your internal organs and connect them to your muscles and bones. It is responsible for stabilizing your entire body and giving you your human form. It is also a fluid system that every cell in your body relies on for proper functioning. It is the crystalline structure that literally holds all the information of your life!
Your fascia has the ability to contract and relax independently of the muscles it surrounds. Because of this, it can respond to stress without you knowing it! Needless to say, when your fascia is tight or inflamed it can cause a great deal of pain. In fact, it can be a primary source of chronic or referral pain for many people. (Referral pain is when you feel pain in one area of your body, but the actual source of that pain is coming from somewhere else.)
5 Ways Your Fascia Affects Your Health
Fascia affects your health in many ways, from how you feel to how you look and more. Here are some of the ways your fascia works to keep you healthy:
Acts as a secondary nervous system.
It’s no coincidence that acupuncture points commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) mostly lie along the fascial pathways and planes in your body. That’s because fascia is your body’s secondary nervous system. Science shows that one of the ways acupuncture works is by changing the signals that go through your fascia. Connective tissue, including fascia, is loaded with receptor membranes that communicate with all of the other receptor membranes in your body.
This is why when your feet hurt, your whole body hurts!
Protects you from injury.
Your fascia stretches and moves to support your body, and actually protects you from overstretching. But, if you hurt yourself, your fascia adapts to protect your body from further injury. Likewise, if you sit all day slumped over a computer, you put abnormal stress on your fascia. And, it molds itself along the lines of your posture – with the end result that your shoulders hunch forward and the circulation of blood, lymph, and energy to your chest, lungs, and heart become suboptimal.
Over time, this can lead to impairment throughout your entire body. On the other hand, when you change your alignment, get regular massage, or even massage the bottoms of your feet with a tennis ball on a regular basis, you can create health throughout your entire body.
Determines the aging process.
Aging is in part due to dry, tight fascia. This is often at the center of chronic pain, illness, injury, and the limited mobility many people associate with aging. Fascia experts such as the trainers at www.bendablebody.com and John Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB, who has trained practitioners in myofascial release for decades, point out that many of our physical limitations and pain are the result of fascial scarring and the accumulation of dense, dry fascia around muscles and joints, and even in your skin!
Conversely, healthy fascia is a Fountain of Youth.
When fascia is healthy, it’s flexible and returns to its original shape after being twisted and squeezed.
Clues you into your emotions.
Your fascia holds your emotional memories. Sadness, pain and past trauma (even from past lives) can get locked deep in your fascia. If you have ever found yourself crying on the massage or acupuncture table, it’s because the therapy has assisted you in releasing emotions, including anxiety, fear and anger, that can take up residence in your fascia.
Tells you how your body is working daily.
Better than X-rays, MRIs, and other scans, your fascia lets you know how healthy you are on a daily — even hourly — basis. To see this for yourself, sit at a desk for an hour or longer then stand up. Notice how your hips feel. If they feel tight or you need to rise slowly due to pain in another part of your body, this is your fascia telling you that it needs attention.
6 Ways to Keep Your Fascia Healthy for Life
When it’s healthy, your fascia is smooth and supple. But, when you are sedentary your fascia fibers can become like cement. Also, if you are under chronic stress or have an injury, your fascia fibers can thicken in an attempt to protect the underlying muscle or bone. This can even result in adhesions.
Other patterns that can take their toll on your fascia include poor posture, lack of flexibility and repetitive movements. The good news is you can reverse any damage to your fascia with the proper techniques. And, caring for your fascia can be easy.
Here are some ways you can improve your fascia and improve your health:
Stretch your body every day.
When you stop moving for long periods of time, such as when you sleep at night, your fascia starts to get sticky. This is why you may feel stiff in the morning. In addition, if you get injured, adhesions can form in your fascia. Over time, these adhesions can become permanent, and can even inhibit your range of motion.
Take a few minutes first thing in the morning to stretch out from head to toe. If you aren’t sure what to do, just watch how your cat or dog moves after a nap. Notice how they tense their muscles at the same time that they stretch.
Think of yawning and how good it feels. You are not only tensing your muscles, you are also stretching your fascia. Never force your way through a stretch—otherwise you could be doing more damage to your fascia. Breath and enjoy the process. Just stretch gently for three to five minutes, and relax into the hold and breathe.
Try making this part of your morning ritual.
Healthy fascia has a gel-like consistency. Just like every other tissue in your body, your fascia works better and feels better when it’s properly hydrated. Be sure to drink enough pure water and replace fluids after exercise. However, you need to take it one step further because, unlike blood that is pumped by your heart, there is no other organ pumping fluid to your fascia. That’s where stretching comes in. This gets fluid moving into your fascia.
In addition to your morning stretches, try rhythmic contraction and relaxation throughout the day. You can also try getting upside down — headstand or shoulder stand poses can be beneficial.
Roll it out.
Using soft tissue mobilization tools such as a soft foam roller, or even a small ball, can be beneficial for your fascia. Like stretching, using a foam roller on your fascia is different than on your muscles. Be gentle and slow in your movements, and when you find an area of tension hold sustained pressure for three to five minutes. You may practice self-massage with the same rules (see below.)
Try assisted fascial release.
The experts at Bendable Body in New York practice and teach a form of assisted stretching called True Flexibility Training. In my experience, it can truly help your body age in reverse! If you can’t get to New York, or to one of their group trainings in other cities, check out their YouTube channel, or search for experts in your area who have similar training. Some other methods of assisted fascial release include: myofascial release massage, Kenesis Myofacial Integration, fascial unwinding, Active Release Techniques (ART), the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method, and even Rolfing.
Many osteopaths, chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists are beginning to embrace fascial therapies. Talk to different therapists and ask questions about their techniques to determine what feels right for you. Acupuncture is another good method. Remember, you don’t need to be injured to try these techniques. In fact, many athletes, dancers, and musicians use fascial release to keep themselves in peak condition.
Perform self fascial release.
Yoga, Pilates, stretching, self-massage, and other self fascial release techniques, such as the MELT Method, can keep your fascia moving freely. If you use a foam roller, remember a softer pressure is better and you should not feel pain. If you push into the pain zone, your muscles will tighten up. This causes your fascia to grip down and crystallize. Be sure to warm up the area you are working on, then slowly work deeper into the tissue for more release. (Check out the MELT Method YouTube channel to learn more about this method.)
Also, tightness in one area of your body can affect your entire body. Your iliotibial (IT) bands are a good example.
If you have a tight IT band, most likely the mid-thoracic area of your back is tight. When you work on releasing this area of your back, your IT band will also release. These external techniques for addressing fascia tension can help support your stretching or assisted stretching program.
Listen to your body.
Every body needs time off to rest. This is a basic self-care premise. Trying to “push through” an injury sets you up for a potential chronic problem. So, take some extra time to relax when you need to. This allows your body to regenerate, and ensures that a temporary imbalance does not become permanent. One easy way to relax your body and mind is by taking a warm Epsom salt bath for 20 minutes before bed each night. When you get out of the tub, move your body lightly for about 10 minutes. This will keep blood from stagnating in your muscles.
Remember, you don’t need to be injured to try these techniques. The benefits of facial release are numerous. From less pain to better posture, deeper breathing to increased energy, improved flexibility and coordination to better fitting clothes! In fact, many athletes, dancers, and musicians use fascial release techniques to keep themselves in peak condition for their profession.
Have you tried fascial work? If so, what have you tried? And, what improvements have you experienced?
I have chronic myofascial disorder and self treat now w/ various release balls, foam rollers, etc. I’ve have years of fibrocystic breast disease and huge uterine fibroids w/ hysterectomy since no doctors seemed to connect to estrogen dominance for most of my life!
Now I’ve been reading about Serrapeptase as something that breaks down fibrin and is good for fibrocystic breasts. But I’m most interested in how it would work for the break down of overgrown or tight fascia in muscles. Thank you.
I’m so glad that you wrote this article. I’d like to also encourage people to find a trained John F Barnes MFR therapist. This will change your life!
Another wonderful workout routine is Miranda Esmond White’s’ Essentrics ‘also know as ‘aging backwards’ which is
shown on PBS (daily where I am). She has several stretch and strengthening routines as well as connective tissue and fascia
workouts. Got me back on my feet after a back, neck, IT band injury.
There are many types of fasica muscles, question do u have any thoughts on the women’s health issue with bladder prolapse especially when a hysterectomy was done n it’s harmful medical surgery of mesh n in hernia problems. I came to realize that is all fascia related n threw u I found the link with acupuncture n yoga n wonder if more beneficial links can be made to for my above questions. I also have a son with DM1 which affects muscle n somehow see that dsyfaslia is also these types of muscle failing to provide it’s important role to continue the complex cycles of having the body keep preforming healthy.
I was told I have FAI impingement in my hip. The typical remedy is arthroscopic surgery to clean out the hip joint, but because I also have moderate arthritis I was not a candidate. Told I’d have to wait several years for a hip replacement; meanwhile physical therapy and exercise. Both caused excruciating pain. I then stumbled (pun intended, because I could hardly walk by this point) on the FAI Fix at Upright Health in Redwood City, CA. They use a combination of fascia massage, stretching and strengthening, in that order to help you heal. I’m 3 weeks in to the fascia massage portion and can honestly say that within 24 hours I was nearly pain free. I’m floored and so relieved. Up until now, I’d not known much about the fascia but am trying to learn all I can. I believe there really is something to all of this and am so grateful for Dr. Northrup’s sharing of wisdom and resources around healing and rejuvenating the fascia.
I keep my fascia healthy with the fascia blaster! It is a game changer! Will never go without it.
I am from Sweden 78 years and I have Done massage in combinatio with Fasching maschine that goes deeper in the body than only hand massage with fantastik god results
During one year once per week I feel yunger as than I was. 65 IF you want more details you van contact me
Hello, Can someone tell me if there is a specific modality that also helps you address the emotional triggers that come up with fascial release? I’m thinking like a combined therapy and bodywork session.
There is something called TRE by David Becelli……it’s excellent for stored trauma release. You will want to find a trained practitoner to experience it…..there are links on his website. Or check out Raphael Cushnir’s Emotional Liberation techniques which are very helpful for dealing, healing and feeling emotions.
David Berceli – sorry for typo
You might want to look into the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping). Google the Tapping Solution — lots of good info and a practitioner listing if you’re interested. Good Luck!
What about the opposite problem with IT bands … released and loose and clicking?
My hypertonic thigh muscles that had been holding me together with my hypermobile SI Joint were released in PT and are not working properly now.
Prolotherapy worked to tighten the SI tendons but not the thigh
Hi, I have had Trigeminal neuralgia for 8 years. Could it be possible that a fascial “strain” could be affecting the Trigeminal nerve in some way? Have you ever heard of such a case? If so, what could be done?
The fasciablaster is literally rippling people’s fascia apart, causing damage to skin, hormonal problems, burst appendix, blood clots, miscarriage, and other serious, possibly permanent or fatal issues. It was never studied before release and the company owner and inventor has anything negative delayed that she can, so it call be difficult to discover the detrimental effects. Most users do not notice the bad effects until they stop using it. There are women who may require plastic surgery to repair the skin damage and do require hormonal therapy. The damage caused by this thing resembles long term blunt force trauma. Please do more research. You really have to dig. There is a facebook page for people suffering from negative effects, as anyone who complains to the company is deleted and blocked. Look at the terms on her website, and just changed them yesterday with no notice to the users.
One other thing – massage therapists have most certainly been aware of fascia on this level. I am a former message therapist and learned about fascia in depth in massage school.
That’s because these are FALSE accusations. How can a tool that does not penetrate the skin cause an appendix to burst? It also cannot ’cause’ blood clots. And there are warnings about using this tool if you’re known to have them.
The Fasciablaster is changing women’s lives. Stop these crazy accusations. They’re ridiculous! I have helped many people completely ELIMINATE chronic pain with this tool. It’s not the only tool one can use to treat fascia, but it does indeed assist in over-all health and wellness. And as a body sculpting tool, there is NOTHING like it. If you want to look at the percentage of woman who’s lives and health has changed for the better as a result of these tools – the numbers are OVERWHELMING.
I love, love, love my fascia blaster from @AshleyBlackGuru; I have been blasting for 4 weeks today and not only has years worth of pain left my body (TMJ, Plantar fasciitis, spinal stenosis) but I’ve lost inches and reshaped my body!
Hi Dr. Northrup,
I have to thank you for saving my life 25 years ago when I saw you at your practice in Maine, after I had been treated with Lupron Depot for 6 months in ’92 for my endometriosis. It literally crippled me, and the ten point plan you gave me to get me back to health was life-changing. You were the only doctor out of 18 specialists I saw in a year that spoke of the mind/body connection, you entered the office by stating that I had some serious first and second chakra issues to deal with, and helped me devise a plan to take back my health and my life. I became a Kripaly yoga teacher, body worker, and yoga therapist all in the following year. I added a new mind/body certification training every other year since then, based on your approach to my health. I had developed fibromyalgia as a result of the Lupron and found yoga changed my life. I recently fell down a flight of stairs, resulting in a labral hip tear which led me to a total hip replacement, and am just two years post surgical, with significant numbness in the left leg. Another recent fall, resulting in my first broken bone and stitches (at 61 y.o.) in my left foot, had me researching Fascia issues, and I discovered Ashley Black’s Fascia Blasters, which I decided to purchase to help resolve my post fall issues. I love them, and hope to help with my chronic fibro pain as well. Along with Restorative Yoga (studying yin more recently) and a recent purchase of Cooley’s “Genius of Flexibility”, and a primer on Feldenkreis, and one on reflexology, I’ve got my summer reading in line with working my Fascia to restore my body, my health and my life. I thank you for your invaluable lessons over the years, for this great article, but mostly for saving my life 25 years ago, when I didn’t know how I was going to continue on. With your help, I am still thriving.
I also took Lupron injections for 6 months. It took a while to recover, but then I felt better for a little while. Over the last three years I have completely regressed to a state worse then before. I have wondered if the Lupron could have triggered fibromyalgia or lupus. I have all of the symptoms, but have not gotten through the gauntlet of specialists and tests to see a rheumatologist yet.
I have had severe bone pain since taking lupron 15 years ago, also diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
Great information!! I am so excited and encouraged to see the awareness of the important role healthy fascia plays in our vitality. I discovered Assisted Fascial Release (and by the way, NOTHING else compares to this method) about 6 years ago and it saved me from back surgery. I have continued working with Greg and Elina at The Stretching Room and I have continued to upgrade both my mental and physical health ever since. Just wanted to share and if anybody in the Florida or SE Georgia area is looking to experience this life-changing therapy, please look them up and call today http://www.thestretchingroom.com. It’s magical just as Dr. Northrup describes!!
I just got the Fascia Blaster, so was happy to learn more info on what I was actually releasing. So far, I’ve got the black and blue marks to show that I may have been rubbing too hard, but plan to continue to test if this actually releases my tight IT band and other sore areas and reduces the dreaded cellulite. Namaste! Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Energy Diet
I never even heard the word fascia last year! And now I read about it everywhere 😀 I use the FasciaBlaster from Ashley Black and try to educate myself in any way posible, learning about fascia
Ashley Black ‘s. Fascia Blaster! Is an unbelievable tool, to release bound fascia. I use it, I love it! #BeTheMovement
You are a ray of light in this world. I am the author of a book called “Touching Light: How To Free Your Fiber-Optic Fascia” with a foreword by Gay Hendricks. It is written for the layman from my experience and research as a former speech pathologist and myofascial release specialist. Thank you for shining light on this very important aspect of health. An understanding of this can be very empowering to each individual.
I nought your book and loved it. It makes perfect sense..They should be teaching this in depth in school with health class.
I’m so glad that you wrote this article. I’d like to also encourage people to find a trained John F Barnes MFR therapist. This will change your life!
Could your Fascia being out wack cause MCTD?
Hi you might have solved my problem. Before I had hip surgery my it band hurt a lot. Now after hip surgery my it band has been hurting and having problems with back.. Sharp pains that make me yelp out at times. After reading your article I am going to try some of your exercises as I feel they may help. I am excited as I finally found a good article on my problem. Helping to understand.
Really lovely simple read. Thank you. There are now vibrating rollers on the market with 4 speeds. (Pulseroll) What are your comments on this type of roller? Be very interested to hear your comment.
I am 42 years old and last year my body felt it hit rock bottom, I was suffering from daily migraines, anxiety, and just not feeling like myself. So I began to look for information and I started to research “the change” (since my mother started early, I thought that was what was happening to me), I felt I had no control over my body anymore. All my doctors could do was prescribe different types of medication and did not make me feel better just numb. Around Oct of 2016 I came across the Fascia Blaster and decided to try it for my Migraines and at the same time found your videos on YouTube and started listening, learning and took control of MY health. Now I eat clean, exercise, massage my fascia regularly and know that I am in control of my body. I feel great, and I want to thank you for your wisdom.
Hi Chistiane! I’m a huge fan of your work. I too practice assisted stretching called Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST). We target not only muscle fascia, but superficial fascia and fascia in your joints. It works wonders to increase range of motion in one visit, and clients tend to notice a decrease in pain – also in one visit. I’m located in Massachusetts and would love to give you a sample any time you want! We say ‘Set it Free with FST ‘.
Thank you for so much vital information and inspiration! As a practitioner and instructor of Bowenwork, I too, recommend it to you! Extremely gentle and non-invasive release of fascia is what we do. Recently I had a client who had been hit by a car as a teenager, decades ago. It struck her directly in the hip and threw her 50 feet onto her face. Though she didn’t feel aware of residual effects from the accident, she experienced a lot of energy shift, and especially notable was release of the ‘permanent’ dent in her hip!
Thanks for sharing. I am having Bowen Therapy and been advised to avoid other ‘therapies’ during the process. That means I have given up my massages for the time being but I am missing my Fascia Blaster – can I still use this as usual.
So great to see you educating people about fascia. You are bringing so much important knowledge to us. Thank you!
Another fabulous modality for treating tight fascia is Bowenwork. It has made a huge difference for me in healing neck and acid reflux issues. The Bowen technique manipulates the facia directly. I highly recommend checking it out.
I’d like to see pictures of the tools used you mertoned
as well as instruments used to do self care without always having to be going to a professional
And technique to use with each instrument to allow us all to help our selfs help ourselves
You can see the fasciablaster here and see videos of how to use it. You can also see many videos on You Tube and on the fascisblaster Facebook group page.
Michelle, The MELT Method is also excellent. https://www.meltmethod.com/about/ Take a look and see if this speaks to you.
There’s a lot to be said to working with the fascia. I have had a few Rolfing sessions and they have been delightful. This despite their theory being opposed to that of the Feldenkrais Method – and as I am training in Feldenkrais I ought to be anti rolfing. As it happens Drs Rolf and Feldenkrais were friends and admired one another.
Rolfing is wonderful! I had a ten-series done several years ago and it made a big difference in my chronic pain (which had progressed over the years after a bad car accident). I hope the Feldenkrais training went well, I have a huge amount of admiration for people like you who go into healing professions. I did not realize there was a Feldenkrais/Rolfing divide!
I use my Fascia Blaster almost daily!! Love it!
WOW!!!! Life-changing for me. Thank you so very much for sharing this vital information.
I am a physical therapist in Phoenix, AZ and was fortunate enough to be exposed to John Barnes approach to myofascial release about 10 years ago and have never looked back! You cannot deny the results and it is back by extensive research. We incorporate myofascial release with all our patients and they become believers almost immediately. Their common question is why it’s not used by more in our profession. Maybe someday!
So glad it is finally get the exposure it deserves.
Yin Yoga is all about stretching tight fascia. We have several yin classes locally and my husband swears by them!
Hi Christiane. Firstly I love your work and am a big fan! I work as a therapist The Bowen Technique and Kinesiology and I am constantly referring clients to your information. So empowering. This article was very interesting. Have you come across the Bowen Technique? I am sure you have. This technique works with Fascia in a big way. I would love to tell you more or for you to feature the technique somewhere in one of your blogs as it is truly amazing. With very warm wishes. Helen Mawson, UK
Here’s a great article on fascia. I have worked with these trainers at http://www.bendablebody.com Wonderful people. Great approach. https://bestselfmedia.com/bendable-body-flexibility-training/
Christiane, Isn’t the Bendable Body theory the same as Bob Cooley’s Resistance Flexibility that you were into in the past?
I have recently completed my advanced training in PIDDDS and am now building my practice working mainly with people with long term chronic conditions.. Working with light touch on the fascia is releasing and unlocking people from pain and limited mobility.. So interesting how many different therapies are focussing on the fascia.. i like to think of it as the life Reset Buttons.
Thanks so much for this. The more people we have addressing fascia, the better!!
I found this really interesting as I have a multitude of muscle and skeletal issues including severe scoliosis, DDD, spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, bone spurs, anterolisthesis, retrolisthesis, facet joint problems and on and on. Possibly the most painful thing is the lipomas. Everywhere!
I live in a sonewhat rural area and have had no luck getting a doctor or surgeon to take Dercum’s Disease seriously but I just know I must have it. I have had 2 surgeries for removal of deep sub-fascial lipomas bilaterally off the iliac crest and along the spine. They just grow back. They are now in my arms back, ribs, hips, behind the knees is really painful but the very lower back seems to hit nerves. The 2nd surgeon kind of threw in the towell and said they’d never get them all because they keep growing and are like fingers wrapping along my spine.
Anyway, I am hoping when I order this fasciablaster, that it indeed helps and doesn’t cause more lipomas to grow as some people fear. I’d like to prove them wrong. Just like every Dercum’s patient is not obese.
I don’t think I could stand having a rapid increase in the growth of them.
I just turned 50 and also had extensive heart surgery by two world class surgeons in 2014. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to my stents, bypass grafts and other work these amazing surgeons did.
The lipomas are on my gastric wall now so I think it’s time to try something on my own.
Again, I mainly wanted to say thank you for the information and the opportunity for some pain relief!
Hi Anna– check this out. It may be just what you need. http://worldserviceinstitute.org/webregister.html
I had a car accident years ago, and have had a tight shoulder and not able to raise my arm. The doctors only wanted to give me Botox shots in my neck and shoulder area. I refused but still have issues. This looks like something I would consider because it is painful and no one knows what to do.
Trust me– something like this WILL work!!
I was suffering more and more from “tight hips” – yes, that was the official diagnosis from a respected Orthopedic doctor after he read my MRI scans! The only thing he could suggest was Physical Therapy – I went and like a miracle, the pain went away – for a bit. I could keep it at bay by doing some simple exercises and then after a few years it came back and I couldn’t seem to get rid of it. Then I almost couldn’t walk for 4 months – could not stand straight up, could not go up a step, had excruciating pain down the fronts of both legs and then numbness and “electric” needles in my shins. Went to a chiropractor and they were kind of stumped – never talked about fascia! I had done lots of research and had come to that conclusion on my own. Went to treatment 3x a week and barely made any progress and then suddenly, it just felt okay. By then I could barely stand up from the toilet since I couldn’t put any weight on my thighs for 4 months. About a year after that episode, I found Ashley Black’s Fasciablaster. I immediately got one and let me tell you! I try to use it regularly, but certainly if I ever get stiff or start to feel any hip pain and it immediately gives me relief! Everyone should have one, but if you have joint and hip pain, get one immediately and you’ll never look back!
See a really good massage therapist.
I was in a car wreck as well in 2012 and my shoulder froze over a period of about 6 months (so painful during the freezing process!)
I tried everything to resolve it at the time, eventually I saw a shoulder surgeon (ortho) and he did a MUA (manipulation under anesthesia). It was life changing for me and not very painful at all. Of course trying myofascial release and fascia blasting and maybe Rolfing if in your area and/or PT first would be wise to rule out these options.
What type of shoulder issue where you facing? Was it like the fascia was wrapped around the shoulder joint? That is what I am facing at the moment following a shoulder trauma
Thank you for bringing the importance of fascial health into the public eye. I’ve been going for Bowenwork, a form of bodywork that gently manipulates the fascia, for seven years – when I mention it to my friends and neighbors they become skeptical, especially because it is so gentle. It has helped me heal hip, back, shoulder, and wrist pain. It also helps balance my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Best of all, I am much more aware of my body and its messages as a result of Bowenwork because of the “waits” between “moves.” I now go once a month just to keep my body primed – love it!
Excellent article! At our clinic in Bellevue WA were Alexis Kurtzman (www.spaalexis.com) is the lead manual movement therapist, we take into consideration the fascia at every appointment. Licensed massage therapist, licensed massage instructor, certified personal trainer and many certification, including level 3 Neurokinetic Therapy with David Weinstock, classes from John Barnes, we offer Ashley Blacks Fascia Blasting, Cupping Therapy, Gua Sha and more.
LOVE THIS!!! Thank you!
Very interesting article, Dr. Northrup — thank you. As a yoga, Feldenkrais, and (amateur) resistance-flexibility practitioner, I’ve experienced how my behavior patterns have a huge impact on how I move and the health of my fascia. Conversely, I’m aware how rejuvenating my fascia through various modalities, has helped alter those patterns and open my eyes. Few healers understand this in more depth than Bob Cooley, (thegeniusofflexibility.com); he has been working with this knowledge for decades, and inspired studios you mention in your piece. Bob has a thriving practice in Santa Barbara, and continues his fascia research there and in Boston, always in the context of healing the whole person, not just an injury. Through my work with Bob, and other highly dedicated professionals who are willing to go deep, (including Anat Baniel, and Dona Holleman), I learned the value of always giving credit to those who helped me transform my teaching and self. Interestingly, the act of giving credit in itself is a gesture that can improve the health of one’s fascia. It’s a reaching out, a sharing, and most importantly, an acknowledging of a gift. It’s a movement in itself. Fascia is informed by many things, including the human spirit.
Hi Mark– thank you so much for posting this. I completely agree with you. Bob Cooley’s work has been transformational– for me and for many others.
I agree with Mark, that acknowledging the source of a technique and teaching is important for ourselves as practitioners and the work.
Bob Cooley has revolutionized the techniques of stretching to include facial change. No other yoga or bodywork method does it so efficiently and rapidly. I suggest people check out http://www.geniusofflexibility.com. The principles can be put into any other technique to upgrade body mind and spirit. Love
Dr. Northrup: YOU ARE WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for writing this article. I couldn’t have said any of this better myself. I am going to share this far and wide. And if you would like to know anything about how the fascia can be used to alleviate headaches, including migraines, without pharmaceuticals, please send me a private message on fb. My name is Charles Soupios, and myofascial work is my specialty. Thanks again.
Wow! What an amazingly thorough description of fascia Dr. Chris. Thanks for spelling it out so clearly. I feel like we have tried every trick in the book to help people understand this elusive and somewhat mysterious tissue… and you have de-mystified it effortlessly is this post! Visit us at bendablebody.com and start stretching your fascia… after this post it should be pretty clear just how important it is! Love to you Dr. Chris – Sita, John and Chris
I am a Fasciablaster following Ashley Black. I have the big one, the mini 2 and am waiting on the Faceblaster. I am 65 yrs young, a licensed esthetician of 25 yrs and continue to work my own practice doing microcurrent facials performed with my arms held out in front of me as I use the implements for sculpting and lifting the face. Often by the end of the day I cannot turn my head, and experience sleep disturbing pain in my arms and shoulders. I have an infrared sauna where I have been blasting diligently for nearly 3 months. I also have a massage therapist who goes through my trigger points and breaks up fascial adhesions. She told me me my hamstrings are better since I have been blasting. I have some nasty gravel like areas that I am determined to keep working on. It’s very true that being fascia bound makes us old and in discomfort.
Great post!! Now– add a few self stretches as outlined on the you tube channel of http://www.bendablebody.com And that will help a lot.
Hi Christina, I am a Bowtech (Bowen therapy) Practitioner from Cairns, Australia. Bowtech is the original Tom Bowen therapy. We work with the fascia as well.
This modality never ceases to amaze me especially when I have found so many people have written themselves off and accepted they will live in pain forever.
Thank you for your informative blog.
Hi Dora i am glad you mentioned this beautiful modality! i also practice Bowtech Bowen, and it is true – the more we know about it, the more we can connect the dots. The physical and emotional releases that can happen during and/or after a treatment never ceases to amaze me! Happy Bowening!
Great direct explanation of many gentle body techniques…I have explained cranial body work in so many ways over the years myself..
Christiane, you are a genius. You have made a HUGE DIFFERENCE in the lives of women. I use your daily calendar like clockwork and am continually inspired by your willingness to find what works and talk about it. We have a mutual friend, Gay Hendrick. I am his myofascial release therapist weekly. He encouraged me
to write a book about fascia and it’s entitled Touching Light: How To Free Your Fiber-Optic Fascia.
At some point, it would be lovely to speak with you about the even further studies that show the magnificent role fascia plays in our mind/body/spirit complex.
This delicate matrix is so responsive to the subtlest touch and movement. It would be a shame for anyone to get the impression that “raking” it is even close to a good idea. This only creates damage and further scarring and resistance in fascia.
You mention the Fascia Blaster and Ashley Black. Please dig deeper into her background. You will find that she has no formal training in the study of fascia. She has made many claims that are absolutely unsubstantiated in fascia research. This person and this product are WAY off the mark regarding this amazing aspect of our physical health. I hesitate to use her name or product name because every time I do, she gets more exposure and has algorithms that track comments so she can hop on and bury negative comments with what she calls “sciency” videos that are not all proof that her product helps heal fascia (i.e. using the fascia blaster on a piece of chicken).
Thank you for all you do and feel free to contact me personally at my email address email@example.com
If you are in Ojai and looking for a stellar myofascial release treatment, I’m your source! Gay will tell you.
HI Ronelle, What a graceful and lovely post. I love the way you stated everything. Truly grateful. Love to you.
Breema is a gentle bodywork, much like assisted Yoga, what gently stretches the fascia and assisted in getting more flexibility in the body. You can find out more at http://www.breema.com.
Hi Dr. Northrup, Thank you for such a great article and topic. I have been doing Yoga for the past 17 years. My instructor has taught us much about the fascia and I enjoy the rich results of that. I do my Yoga and stretching 6 days a week as well as go to my class. I remember releasing a deep sense of sadness in the beginning of my study. After that I then released a ton of anger….all from my fascia I’m sure. What a wonderful release!!! I also remember new people coming in and some of them crying without knowing what was wrong……more release from the fascia I’m sure. I work with a lot of people that are way younger than me and I am in superior shape compared to them. I’m so happy I am into Yoga, stretching the fascia, meditation, good nutrition, etc. I LOVE IT!!!!!! Thank you for bringing this to others who had no idea!!!! Love to you!!!
Another great therapy method that addresses the whole body by using the connective fascia is Bowen Therapy. This complementary therapy is revolutionizing healthcare worldwide and has been around since 1950’s. Here is their website.
I teach Yin Yoga – experts are Bernie Clark and Paul Grilley.
I would encourage you to recommend them in your excellent article, which I will be using in my classes.
I’ve taken several Myofascial classes with John Barnes and it’s an amazing, complex, mysterious system.
During our Q&A, John was asked to compare the effectiveness of his myofascial release technique to other forms of massage and the only technique John felt could come close to his is Cupping.
I took a 3-day certification course in Cupping and have been using it on my clients for 5 months now. What amazing results! It has taken my bodywork to a whole new level, presenting consistently good results that last longer in-between massages than traditional “deep tissue” work by itself.
Cupping is AMAZING. I highly recommend it.
Thank you Dr. N for your years of service to us all. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, you come up with more tools for me to add to my kit for a healthy, juicy , long life. You should know that my grown daughters are now following your work as well. I also want to thank everyone who posted some very nice recommendations .
I LOVE THIS!! thank you!!!
Thank you for introducing me to this information about fascia a couple of years ago. I continue to learn and apply the techniques which have helped with a variety of pain in my body. I love the Weekly Bends you are sharing from Bendable Body and I always re-share them to my FB friends. I am currently recovering from being hit at very high speed by a cyclist while crossing the street. I’m so grateful to know what I do about the fascia while I work with the various professionals assisting in my rehabilitation. Also a HUGE praise for “Making Life Easy” …. I have read hundreds of books on well-being and this is the best comprehensive guide available in my opinion.
I have been working with a body practice called Block therapy. Its been 3 years now. After being off work and on disability for over a year with no answers to my issues I found this amazing practice, I am so grateful. I took the teacher training after 6 months because I knew this was going to really help heal my body. I am now a Block Therapist and Instructor I have been back to work the last 1 1/2 years as well as teaching. I also am a Registered nurse ( for over 30 years)and let me just say, the fascial system is amazing and I have learnt so much in my journey. I would love to share with anyone wanting to get better. I was unable to walk properly, sitting to standing was very difficult I was in chronic pain and had very limited range of motion in my right arm… This is the answer to so many health challenges
Awesome explanation of this extremely important aspect of our bodies and our general health. I work with clients every day and see how critical it is people understand what and how fascia tissue is. When we understand how important it, we pay closer attention to it. I’m so grateful for your insights, Dr. N.
The MELT METHOD saved my life. It works the entire connective tissue and restores fascia back to its fluid state. I could hardly walk once I turned 40. I sought out a ton of therapies. It was MELT that got me out of pain and has kept me out of pain. I’m able to go on 12 mile hikes
I just found out about Joe Pinella: at joepinella.com. He teaches a wonderful combination of tai chis and qi gong called Healing Movements System that is gentle and effective for increasing flexibility. I ordered his DVD that takes one through the exercises.
Thank you! Suddenly, one day, and for three years thereafter, I was unable to walk long distances, climb stairs, get down on the floor, or even stand for more than a few moments. I was in terrible pain 24/7. I saw 5 practitioners. My doctor said my only recourse was Tylenol for Arthritis and, later, surgery when the pills no longer worked. I searched until I found Kristine Coumartin, an RMT who practises Barnes’ Myofascial Release. I felt relief immediately. After six sessions, my pain is gone, I can walk without a limp without weakness for greater distance and even climb stairs, holding to the railing. I can raise my arms up and my vertigo is gone. My body is now telling me what it needs, stretches, lying on balls, movement. Now I feel I can go back to Yin Yoga, Feldenkrais, and Qi Gong. After three years, mostly on my back in bed. Grateful and very happy! Happy I didn’t give up.
I was so happy to read your article about fascia, it’s all true, and there is more!
Did you know that fasciatherapy exists as a full-fledged method, with a five year training course like osteopathy? It is called Fasciatherapy DBM (of the Danis Bois Method). It has been around for over 40 years in France and since 1991 in Quebec, Canada.
Fasciatherapy DBM is almost unknown in the US because the schools are in French. The only US English website I know of is: http://thecsbmt.com/dbm. The website describes how much more there is to fascia!
University research is ongoing: http://www.cerap.org/ More links:
I have been a clinical fasciatherapist for over 27 years near Ottawa, Ontario. You can read about me: nicoledostaler.com
I’ve read many of your books & often share your articles on my Facebook & Twitter pages, so it’s so exciting to me that you’re endorsing the FasciaBlaster! I regard it as an essential tool in my health regimen, which also includes clean eating, HIIT workouts & strength training. It’s exciting to me that I can feel better in my fifties than I did in my thirties!
Wow! So many fabulous points made here… I think my favorite is: “when you are hurt, your whole body hurts.” Pay a visit to Bendablebody.com, join our email list, and get 3 free stretch videos so you can start taking care of your fascia right now! Email us with questions, come see us, whatever it takes – we are here to help. Thanks again Dr. Northrup! Sita, Chris, and John at Bendable Body.
Great info. Thank you Christiane! ❤
Thanks for this info on fascia. John Barnes myofascial release technique gave me my life back . I suffered from chronic Pain. Was given several missed diagnosis. MS ..chiari syndrome..etc ( fascia restriction do not show up on standard test mri , ct scan etc.. ) I was scheduled to have a spinal cord stimulator implanted in my spine , thankfully I was introduced to a JBMFR THERAPIST . Canceled surgery after a few months of treatment I was in much less pain and Medication free !!. I have now become a JBMFR THERAPIST . I am grateful to John for all his knowledge and his stepping out of the box . Dr Northrup I love your book “Women’s bodies women wisdom.” I discovered your book from a book my mfr therapist loaned me called “Miss America by Day!! ” I have given a copy of your book to all my friends!! You understand the whole body connection..
While my initial response to my first view of Ashley Black’s FasciaBlaster was to roll my eyes, I went on to watch her videos, look at before and after pics, etc. Then I saw a comment from a “blaster” who claimed their chronic pain was improving. Pain??? Having been under the care of a Pain Management specialist for over 4 years, I was intrigued by the idea of pain relief. In October I asked my doctor if he had heard of the FasciaBlaster. “No.” I asked again in January. Still, “No.” By then, I had purchased one but hadn’t actually used it much. I went ahead and scheduled two procedures: RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) of the nerves around my lumbar facet joints, and of my SI joints–the only procedure we have done that has provided me with significant relieft. After doing so, I got serious about using my FasciaBlaster. Even though I wasn’t as consistent as I could have been, within 2 or 3 weeks, my hip pain–which had been waking me every 20-30 minutes ALL NIGHT LONG–the same pain that necessitates my RFA procedures–resolved.
When Ashley’s new book, The Cellulite Myth: It’s not Fat, It’s Fascia, was released, I bought a copy for myself and one for my PM doc. I told him that I wanted to add another tool to his toolbox–something his patients can use at home. I see him next week, and I will be rescheduling the March procedure to June. If all goes well (and I can’t imagine that it won’t), I hope to cancel all future ablations b/c I will be able to address my pain myself–without meds–and without RFA. I am thrilled that fascia is becoming a topic of discussion, and overjoyed to have found the FasciaBlaster!!! Thanks for including it among possible treatments. While I have had theraputic massage, the “blaster” was a one-time expense and doesn’t require that I make an appointment with someone else for pain relief!
The Gokhale Method “8 Steps to a Pain Free Back” re-teaches people healthy posture 24/7 while sitting, standing, bending, walking and even sleeping. Walking correctly by engaging the posterior chain can do wonders for stretching the muscle, fascia and boosting basil metabolic rate. Kidney beaning the feet is great for Plantar fasciitis. Esther Gokhale (who is also an acupuncturist) promotes roller work, posture modified yoga and everyday activities that promote a healthy body. This work is certainly beneficial for fascial health. http://www.gokhalemethod.com
Hi Christine! I am a proud member of the Ashley Black Fascia Blaster movement!!
I blast from head to toe with great relief from any aches or pains and amazing success in cellulite reduction!. I truly believe Fascia release is the next medical miracle for so many who suffer…. We are just at the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Thank you for this educational and informative article… I shared it with a group of my gal pals whom I am converting to Fascia Blasting… Peace and Love
Great article and great comments!
I have just qualified as a VHT practitioner in the UK (Vibromuscular Harmonisation Technique). It is non invasive, non diagnostic, gentle manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, primarily on the fascia. We work across the tissues of the body, from head to toe, to vibrate the fascia and bring about holistic balance. VHT promotes the body’s own innate healing system. There is no need to remove the clothing to benefit from a VHT session.
Great article. I’ve been using the fasciablaster for a year now. I’m 52, my skin is smooth and I’m managing my chronic low back /hip pain. I’m working on posture, symmetry, and alignment to help keep it that way. I’ll check out bendable body! Stretching is so important. Thanks
Good evening Dr. Northrup, could you please tell me what the name brand of the magnesium supplement you use ? Thank You, Many Blessing, Love & Light !
When I am tight and sore, or emotionally vulnerble or physically tired, I find immense comfort and healing in Yin Yoga as taught by Paul Grilley. My main practice is Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga, but Yin is Soul Healing….and great for fascia release….
Its long hold, floor based poses….
Hi Christiane! My twin sister, Carol, (Dr. Carol Davis) is one of the world’s fascial experts, teaching John Barnes myofascial release all over the country, and has lectured on fascia all over the world. She’s written and edited a text book, “Integrative Therapies in Rehabilitation”, and it’s on its 4th edition. Her chapter on fascia is excellent, so I encouraged her to contact you about it. The current research on fascia is very revealing regarding many misunderstandings about how to help fascia return to its naturally healthy state. The Barnes method involves finding the restriction and melting it through sustained heat from the therapist’s hands over 5 minutes, rather than using direct, intense pressure. I’m so glad you’re bring all this awareness to the masses, as you have with so many critical issues! I cherish your mentoring in women’s health.
I’m reading Carol’s book right now! She is so amazing. Hope to get to meet the 2 of you one day!
Also, Jill Miller and Yoga Tune Up is fantastic for working with the fascia. She uses several sizes of balls and you can find her on You Tube or her own page. She is a yoga teacher and an anatomy geek, and her teaching style is very accessible. This work has helped me tremendously, as I have cervical disk disease, fibromyalgia, and I am a senior. I also am a yoga teacher and dancer, so I need to practice self care so I can keep on dancing and moving!
Yes, yes, yes! As a former massage student, I can say yep, we learned all this in classes. Fascia is super important.
Dr. Kim Caspare, DPT, at PHLEX in New York City uses the techniques you describe. The benefits and results are remarkable.
Reflexology is also amazing for fascia release.
So pleased you made this commment as Ive recently become interested in the fascia system and I practice reflexology. Reflexology has always amazed me with its results and I’m ‘blown away’ because my thoughts and feelings are thinking that reflexology is actually releasing the fascia in our body. So when I saw your comment it made me smile. Thank you. What a great article too and comments are interesting.
Great article and I’m glad the medical community is finally starting to acknowledge the importance of fascia in the body. I have been using Ashley Black’s Fasciablaster for a little over four months and it has made such a huge difference, especially in my legs. My calves used to feel rock hard and would hurt for no reason and I couldn’t figure out why. Now I know, and I am a believer!
Omgosh finally, someone who explains my life 100%.
I suffer from myofascial pain syndrome.
I found manual therapy at a physical therapist helped. I also use therapy balls.
Therapeutic yoga is along great.
Thank you thank you
Rolfing has been a miracle for me. Got a 10 session pack from Karl-Heinz Eisner in Kassel, Germany back in 2005. Healed my heel spur and mild scoliosis.
Great article. FasciaBlasting has changed my life. Ashley Black has her finger on the pulse of the Fascia revolution. Without God and Ashley Black, I would be six feet under. True story.
Excellent Article! I have been following Ashley Black and using her fascia Blasting techniques over this past year. I can’t even begin to tell you all the health benefits I have experienced including a reduction in the appearance of cellulite that has plagued me all my life. I had no idea that it was linked to so many other health issues that could be reversed by restoring my fascia! I just finished reading Ashley’s new book — the Cellulite Myth, it’s not fat, it’s fascia and let me tell you it is an excellent read as well! So happy to see that fascia is getting the attention it deserves because understanding it has the power to make a massive positive impact in the lives of so many people!
I have been using the Fasciablaster too. I have hypermobile joints and I’ve had ankle pain for over 40 years. Using the Fasciablaster to free the fascia in my ankles and calves has made the ankle pain disappear! I use it all over now, but I’m a big believer in maintaining our fascia for a more flexible, pain-free body. I can now wear all my shoes without fear of horrible pain by the end of the day. It’s just a huge relief!
Oh I just LOVE hearing about this Bonnie!! Thanks so much for sharing. It will help many others.
What is a Fasciablaster?
Google Ashley Black… it’s a fantastic tool for healing!
Look up her Facebook page Ashley Black Guru. Also, Watch her you tube videos. The Fascia Blaster is only $89. Definitely a game changer.
The FasciaBlaster is a medical grade tool invented by Ashley Black, with the purpose to provide people a way to get their fascia healthy and maintain that health in the privacy if their own home at an affordable price. You can go to fasciablaster.com to learn more about the product(s), see before & after photos, view videos on proper technique, get background on Ashley Black and her research, etc.
I have been using the FasciaBlaster by Ashley Black for over a year now. It was $89, so I said what the hell. I’ve tried things way more expensive than that to help with my ROM and “cellulite.” Best $89 I have ever spent. My muscles feel great after using it, I can go deeper with my stretching now, you can now see my muscle definition a heck of a lot more. Who knew that my fascia was pretty much strangling my muscles from all the years of working out! All I know is, Ashley Black is an amazing, well educated woman who knows her stuff. Much love to her!!!!
She does indeed. Now– go over to http://www.bendablebody.com and add some of the amazing internal muscle stretches to your regimen. A marriage made in heaven!
Thank you thank you so much. I have been to the doctors on many occasions and test were taken to he knows my uric acid level and prescribe to having gout. So I was given elipurinol for gout and neproven for anti inflammatory. Because my father had gout I Kew this isn’t gout so I never took the gout pills but I did take the anti inflammatory because they helped immensely. Iv have had plantar facitis for the last 2 years. I recently started a new job and have been there for 6 months one of my work friends noticed I was hobbling when walking she asked me what was wrong so I preceded to tell her the doctor told me I get gout but I don’t think they are right. She asked me about the pain where I got when I got and how it felt she then told me see had the same issues but it was called plantar facitis. I work from Douglas pharmaceuticals and we distribute arm, elbow, knee,heels bands and there is one for people who get plantar facitis around do the heel area you wear at night and it keeps for legal in an L shape. I wore this for about 2 weeks but the effect it had was instant I could get up in the morning without hopping and walking around to warm my foot up. I do stretches when I feel the need to and I wear this every night lately I been able. Thank you so much you are amazing right when I need to know something and can’t understand how other people explain it you come along and shine a light on the situation. You are truly heaven sent I greatly appreciate this Dr Northrup. Love and light and great blessings to you and all who surround you.
If you really want learn more about Fascia utube Ashley Black. She just wrote a best selling book called
“The Cellulite Myth it’s not Fat it’s Fascia”
The book is great and her fascia blasters are the best. No more TMJ and neck issues which means no more chiropractor in over a year now. I have totally reshaped my body using it. Love that Dr. Northrup is discussing it. Great article!
I am fortunate enough to live in Santa Barbara and experience Resistance Flexibility stretching with Nick Ware. Also doing self stretching using these techniques. I have been a yoga teacher for 30 years and this work has done more for my body than anything else. Great article Dr. C. Thanks for sharing…
Nick is the guy who first introduced me to the importance of fascia. Along with Bob Cooley. So glad that you are enjoying the benefits!!
The FasciaBlaster and Ashley Black have changed my life! The pain from my knee surgery over 20 years ago went from a steady 7 to almost non existent.
So INSPIRING!! Thank you!!
Great explanation of fascia. I have had much success in releasing fascia: Feldenkrais, Qigong (Yuan Gong is the one I practice and teach) and acupuncture are my personal favorites but there are so many options to active our self-healing abilities.
Good article, good advice. Another person to try is Yumana Body Rolling. I have some of her balls & dvds, they are fabulous. She is in New York, website & Facebook. She has an awesome story.
All the fascia information can be overwhelming, but just starting with the Epsom Salt bath, a little movement and checking your posture is great!!
You got it!! Hydration helps a LOT too!
I learned about fascia after a knee replacement surgery which affected my back and the fascia along my leg – it’s a kind of pain and malaise that just won’t go away until the fascia is released – in fact it was a yoga pose that litterally saved my sanity – I remember clearly the moment it happened – my whole body relaxed – my chiro is also of great help when my back gives me trouble and she helps release the fascia – more people need to know about fascia – I remember trying to take more medicine – but even strong medicine will not help – the right exercise or chiro work will
Thanks to your lecture at IIN, I bought Bob Cooley’s book and tracked down Bendable Body. They teach in Washington, DC once a month and are just great. My fascia thanks you!
Love hearing this!!! May we ALL have the opportunity to get healthier fascia!!
Essentrics anti-aging Miranda Esmond White,
I came across this by surching something to get in shape and reverse some pain in the shoulders and neck.
It was really an eyeopener. It works on the whole body, also the facia who are important in a way that is adept to your body, not forcing and certainly not going in the pain. The really fun part is that you also get a better figure and mobility. You can do it at home with the DVD’s ore surch a class. It is so good that I now want to become a teacher, I am 57, for the golden age here in Belgium.
I came to this page by chance and saw your comment – welcome to Essentrics! This is Betty, a L4 instructor in NYC. I’m glad you find Essentrics helpful and that you’re becoming an instructor. Yes, like Bendable Body, Essentrics works our fascia – head to toe, in every workout. If I’m not mistaken you’ll be our first instructor in Belgium. Thanks for highlighting Eccentrics here and for spreading it in your part of the world!
Thank you, Dr. Northrup, for once again adding more pages to our physical owners’ manuals!
I’m a personal fitness trainer and Reiki Master. I this role, and among other topics, I have the privilege of teaching women about fascia therapies. The results, and expanded understanding has been an amazing journey! Thank you for supporting a drug and surgery-free method for feeling great!
Rolfing is unparalled for fascial release–I had 12 sessions of the painful kind and don’t regret it. It changed my life. However, osteopathy, especially with a practitioner who knows about fascia, is also excellent and not painful. Lymph drainage massage works wonderfully with the fascia as well.
I bless the women who finally brought fascia the attention it deserves!
I would like to know how rheumatism and arthritis can be helped via the fascia/fascial release.
Timing of the article couldn’t been better. Just went yesterday for acupuncture for everything described above. Long time pain in upper back. Acupuncture already helped.
This is a great article but is missing a key point which is that tight fascia is a symptom of intestinal permeability and food allergies and changing your diet is key to relieving fascial pain. I was a dancer all my life and currently teach ballet and yoga. When I was dancing professionally we always rolled on balls in between rehearsals. I was always flexible and, apart from usual dancer injuries, had no chronic problems. I began teaching yoga and dance when I retired from performing and always kept up with a regular personal practice. When I hit my mid 40’s, I, rather suddenly, became very stiff and my facia tightened up all over. Both of my shoulders completely froze and, even turning over in bed at night and getting dressed in the morning was extremely painful. I had a healthy diet, drank plenty of water and was moving and stretching several times daily but no amount of stretching (which was suddenly very painful) could help me. What I discovered, after years of research (I was not able to find a doctor who could help me) was that I had Intestinal Permeability (leaky gut syndrome) and Hashimotos Thyroiditis, which is caused by Leaky Gut. I changed my diet. I cut out all gluten and was very careful about how much dairy, soy, corn and sugar I consumed. I also ate a lot of probiotic food and made my own bone broth and drank it daily to heal my gut. I am now in my late 50’s and feel great. I still have a regular yoga practice and teach 20 classes a week. I also regularly roll on balls to keep the fascia fluid. I often get students, who complain about full body pain, because their doctors send them to yoga to stretch. They can barely get to the floor let alone do any yoga poses. I know exactly how they feel! The fact is that, when you have Intestinal Permeability, your body fluid is toxic and, no matter how much water you drink and stretching you do, your fascia refuses to soak it in and so it glues together and becomes stuck. There needs to be more available information and articles about leaky gut and it’s relationship to fascia and how it is completely treatable through diet!
Great information. Thanks so much for sharing!
An exercise system called T-Tapp is also great for working fascia.
A knowledgeable trainer at my gym instructed me on the basics of myofascial release, and foam rolling has been an indispensable part of my routine ever since. He taught me that rolling out the “silver skin” of the muscles allows more blood to flow into them during a workout, preventing soreness afterwards. For more than 10 years foam rolling has been an indispensable part of my routine.
Thank you for the information. I’ve been studying Fascia for the past several years and it truly is amazing! There is an incredible technique from Stretch to Win in AZ called ‘Fascial Stretch Therapy’. It has had a tremendous impact for me.
Thank you for sharing this. Very helpful!!
Thanks for this detail about what fascia does for us and how to care for it. I have had pain in my fascia for many years (although at the time thought it was just muscle pain) and only recently discovered that eating wheat seems to inflame my fascia in my legs and back. I’m checking out these resources you mentioned. Love your work and thank you a million times!
Love that you are sharing information about fascia! I love my Fascia Blaster, and it’s made huge improvements in my emotional health! Also check out T-Tapp, a mind-body workout that incorporates fascia fitness in each move! http://www.t-tapp.com
Great article and timing. I have just started to learn the importance of looking after my fascia by taking Yin yoga classes. TU for the work you do!
I wasn’t able to finish your book before I had to return it but recall reading about women having right shoulder pain. I wonder if you can tell me where to find that information? I was able to check the book out of our local library today. I have had issues on and off for over 2 years. Thank you.
Which book of hers? I also have right shoulder pain that won’t go away (and I’m left handed).
Check this out: https://journal.thriveglobal.com/do-you-have-anger-frozen-in-your-shoulder-434c13350c4a#.rdtvh2pkz
I am so glad that a friend of mine mentioned your name to me. I am happy to finally read about the importance of massage and facial release. I kept mentioning a web like feeling over my back and there was no doctor ( and I had been to many ) that took the time to explain what was going on. I was referred to a physical therapist who did treat me with heat and massage therapy. I began both Yoga and Pilates along with performing stretching exercises and felt great. I am now 2 months post PT and have been exercising regularly but as of late I am experiencing more and more of a “sticky” feeling in my muscles. Would this once again be issues with the fascia? I am beginning to believe that therapy needs to be an ongoing thing and should not have been cut off abruptly. How often do you think that massage should be performed to keep healthy?
Hi Chris. I’m a Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapist. It’s a massage technique that is used to open the fascia throughout the body, yet doesn’t necessarily require deep pressure to do it. Normal massage that presses and pushes on you for deep pressure can exacerbate circulatory problems. I wanted to clue you on to this info that many aren’t aware of. And Pfrimmer can benefit best if not more than 4 weeks go between sessions. It cleanses so well most can’t handle receiving more than once a week. There may be skilled hands in your area.
Thank you for this Mandy. Very helpful!
I have been using numerous facial release techniques (trigger point therapy) for years. I have learned to treat myself for literally every part of my body however always enjoy a good massage. It’s easy feels great and good to know I can fix myself without going to a doctor! More people could help themselves, only draw back, takes time and most people won’t put time into this but if you do you will very happy.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing the importance of massage and acupuncture! I am a licensed medical massage therapist and always explain the need for these therapies to my clients, friends, and family. The way you explained the function of fascia and how our daily lives effect out health was wonderful. The mind-body connection is such a powerful force,