Healthy Fascia Takeaways

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By Dana Bregman

How to keep our fascia in optimal condition. The fascia is a scaffolding that holds our skeleton and organs in place, as well as being a multi-dimensional system that allows our life force energy to flow through it, our cells to be nourished and our body to have the capacity to heal itself. Therefore, it is so important to keep our fascia in optimal condition. There are a few little things that we can do throughout the day to support our fascia to support us. 

  • Hydration is, as we all know, super important. Drink water throughout the day, but slowly. This allows the water to absorb into the fascia rather than be flushed through.  It facilitates the fascia’s fluidity. The Chinese recommend drinking hot water to support our life force, our Chi.
  • Yawn/stretch regularly. This is known as pandiculation.  We allow the body to guide us into the movement it needs rather than following a formal series of movements. We close our eyes and listen to the body as it tells us what it wants, and allow it to move as it wishes – we follow the body, rather than trying to control it.
  • Continue the movement into a ‘Wiggle’. We open up all the pathways by starting with hands, elbows, arms, etc, rotating, multi-directional movement of whatever wants to move. Start slow and pick up speed as the body wants to, until this becomes a full body movement integrating the fascia and you feel ready to run/exercise. This keeps you feeling light, bouncy and ready to go! 

So yawn/stretch and wiggle every hour or so to maintain your fascial system and keep yourself energised.  If your fascia is stiff and stagnant, the muscles have to work harder to keep posture, and in doing so, as they contract they compress the joints. If muscles are supported by a healthy fascia, then less compression occurs.

  • Use a soft prickle ball to stimulate the feet.  Important that the ball is soft so it does not hurt (if you only have a hard ball put a flannel or soft cloth on top of it so it does not hurt, or wear a thick pair of socks.  Best done standing but, if needed, do under the table.  Two ways of using the ball:
  1. Roll sole of foot over the ball to stimulate circulation of blood and lymph.
  2. Press gently into the ball to facilitate proprioception.  If you have a pain anywhere in your body, you will often find the correlating place on your foot will be tender; gently pressing into that area of the foot will help alleviate the pain.

Increasing your body awareness will reduce your perception of pain, because there is a relationship between the firing of the proprioceptors and the firing of the nociceptors – a seesaw relationship means that the more body awareness => less pain, and the less body awareness => more pain. 

  • Grounding/Earthing – connecting to the earth for fifteen minutes by removing your shoes outside or hugging a tree charges your electrons which in turn reduces inflammation, blood pressure, blood viscosity and the level of free radicals. It restores your biorhythm, bringing you into alignment with the earth and cosmos.  It increases vagal tone by 67%.[1] 

If you are unable to be outside, you can buy a mat to put under your desk, an earthing sheet for bed, and other devices, to connect you to the earth while working/asleep.[2]

Stocking filler ideas for the fascia-conscious!

  1. Prickle ball – soft
  2. 7” Pilates ball
  3. Metal bottle with metal straw – encourages you to sip constantly rather than gulp fluid down. The metal allows for hot water to be used.
  4. Earthing mat, earthing sock or earthing sheet.

Find out more about Dana’s work here

[1] The Earthing Movie

[2] Sample supplier

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Dana Bregman

For full bio see website

I hold a degree in physiotherapy from the Tel Aviv University School of Physiotherapy (1989), am a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and Health and Care Professions Council, and have completed a vast array of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses.

With nearly 30 years in a wide variety of clinical settings, including working in leading NHS hospitals, I now work as a private practitioner providing physiotherapy, predominantly as a Myofascial Release (John F Barnes MFR) specialist.

I have an interest in persistent (chronic) pain, postural management, ergonomics, movement and hypermobility. My experience and holistic approach put me in a good place, enabling me to work well with those with complex and long-term conditions. I have recently added Sharon Wheeler’s Scarwork and Bonework techniques to my tool box.

Combining my teaching skills with my passion for exercise, I am also a fully certified (APPI) Pilates instructor and teach Pilates classes and one to one sessions in Englefield Green and Egham (Surrey, UK).

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