Fascia Informed Bodywork

Fascia Informed Bodywork

Fascia Informed Bodywork is an extremely effective hands on therapy for the treatment of chronic injuries, pain, discomfort and reduced mobility, as well as for emotional holding patterns. The techniques are safe, gentle, permissive and profoundly effective. For many patients who feel they have tried everything Fascia Informed Bodywork can provide a very welcome relief from pain and discomfort. Fascia Informed Bodywork aims to treat injury at its source, allowing the patient to heal at the deepest level. Hands are placed directly on the skin, and sustained, gentle pressure is applied into the body.  The trained therapist feels into the connective tissue restrictions and facilitates change within the fascial network. To be truly effective the techniques take several minutes, as fascia cannot be forced; the body will resist if too much pressure is applied. Fascia Informed Therapy, works with the physical and emotional component of injury.

Fascial techniques help to remove the “straight jacket effect” from the body by facilitating change in restricted fascia. A skilled therapist will look at and treat the entire body, releasing fascial restrictions, helping to restore balance, decrease pain, increase function and improve systemic health.

What is fascia?

Fascia is a strong connective tissue than runs like a 3D web throughout our entire body, from head to toe. Fascia surrounds blood and lymph vessels, infuses bones and organs, and protects every other tissue in the body. In health fascia is relaxed, providing a cushioning, supportive mechanism, allowing us to move safely without restriction or pain. Fascia is made up of collagen, elastin and ground substance (the non-cellular constituents of extracellular matrix);

The importance of fascia has been missed in scientific research for decades, for two main reasons;

  • Fascial restrictions do not show up on CAT scans, MRI or X-rays
  • Historically scientists worked on cadavers (dead bodies) and removed the fascia to look at muscles, bones, organs etc without recognising the importance of this continuous 3D web.

More recently the plastic surgeon Dr JC Gimberteau used endoscopes to look inside the living human body, this highlighted the importance of a healthy fascial system. See clips:

What causes restrictions to occur?

Physical injuries and emotional overwhelm will negatively impact the fascia, repetitive movements, poor posture, inflammation (from accidents as well as disease) and surgical procedures can all cause fascia to bind down, cause restrictions.  The fascial network loses its pliable consistency and internal structures can be pulled out of alignment, causing pain, restriction and reducing function. Restrictions in one area lead to others, as we compensate to maintain our posture and health.  Traditional healthcare frequently labels and treats symptoms or groups of symptoms, the aim of Fascia Informed Bodywork is to look for and treat the cause of the pain and immobility at its deepest level, restoring health and function to the entire system.

How The Tissue Responds

One restriction in the fascial network can lead to another, as the body compensates, a skilled therapist can feel into restrictions beyond their hands facilitating change at the root of the problem.

Memories and emotions are connected to holding patterns in our physical body, these can manifest as pain. With the help of Fascia Informed Bodywork the physical and emotional content of any injury can be addressed in a safe, gentle and effective way.

Most patients can feel subtle sensations as changes take place in their body. The experienced practitioner can feel the fascial restrictions and the changes that take place as the tissue responds during the session.

To book an appointment or for more information

please call 07557-262-357 or email appt@clinicofbodywork.com
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How can Fascia Informed Therapy help?

The aim of these techniques is to reduce pain and increase function, treating the root cause of pain and dysfunction. A skilled therapist will slowly feel into the fascial network, using a variety of different techniques and responding to the needs of the patient. The patient learns to bring their attention into their body and begin to feel what is going on inside their body. The therapist works with the patient at all times, engaging them in the treatment, as without feeling there is no healing.

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What the patient feels: This varies enormously: some patients will feel very little going on, others might feel pins and needles type sensations, heat or cold running through their body, others will feel referred sensations to a totally different area of the body, which gives an indication of further restrictions. As the fascia is released movement of or within the patient’s body can occur. If the patient is aware of changes within their body it is helpful to communicate these to the practitioner. The therapist takes into consideration what they see in a postural assessment, and works directly with what they see, feel and sense during a session. Inevitably, there is a physical and emotional component to this work.

Why is Fascia Informed Therapy different from other modalities?

The trained practitioner reads the body and responds to the needs of the patient. We do not just treat symptoms, but look beyond the symptom to the root cause. The time factor is essential in order for a restriction to fully release. Most traditional bodywork therapies do not allow sufficient time for the collagenous component of the fascia to release and therefore the results are temporary.

The elastic band analogy. If you take an elastic band and stretch it apart between your fingers, it will lengthen. As soon as you release it, the rubber band returns to its original length, producing temporary results just like traditional therapies. If however you put an elastic band around a book and leave it for 5-10 minutes, the elastic band will have lengthened, just like the lengthening of the body’s tissues. This is what myofascial therapy achieves – lasting results.

Emma teaches nationally and internationally and is Director of School of Bodywork, you can read her published articles here.

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