Fascia: The Wonderful Web

Fascia

Fascia is a supportive network of tissue that covers and invests muscles.It also cradles the organs, vessels and nerves. Fascia absorbs impact, gives the body shape, facilitates easy movement and more. Some experts believe that injuries affect the fascia most, not bones or muscles.

Because fascia is so ubiquitous and intimately related to so many structures in the body it is often involved in pain syndromes. Often focal points of pain or trigger points are located at important junctions in the fascia and major nerve pathways pass through openings in the fascia.
fas
The network of fascia connects you from head to toe and can be affected by seemingly localized injuries such as plantar fasciitis, low back injury, sprain, breaks and overuse (i.e. sitting too much). One explanation for this my be due to the fact that nerves located in the fascia are sensitive to pain.

Osteopath Leon Chaitow states that “Muscle and Fascia are anatomically inseparable ”. acting with muscle on joints, ligaments and tendons. Fascia is also involved in positional sense and therefore important to posture and ease of movement.

Even though fascia can be affected by injury and outside stresses , because of its fluid and elastic composition fascia responds to skillful touch, appropriate exercise and postural improvements.

Posture and Mood, Occupy Your Body

headlessbadp

When I was first working on my Egoscue posture exercises  I had an experience where  realized my posture and mood were directly linked.

I was doing great with my exercises, feeling less pain, having more energy and had not felt depressed in awhile. One day as I momentarily started to shrug my shoulders forward and let my back go with it a definite  wave of depression hit me. At that moment I felt I could choose my mood by changing my posture.

I’ve reflected on the is experience many times to challenge my assumptions about my mental attitude and state.

Sometimes we become very used to a way of standing or  a way of feeling to the point of resisting any change, as if to consider another approach a threat to our very existence!

There are physiological reasons why we stay with a less than great posture,  the sensory motor area of your brain tells you that how you are standing is straight because you have habituated to it , awareness of this is helpful as any significant progress requires change in such engrained habits. It certainly shows that a mood can dog you if it is linked to your nervous system!

Posture teacher Ester Gokhale writes about the power of posture work to help us make significant progress on our bodies in the moment:

“Posture helps us work on our bodies in a healthy way that gives immediate rewards for little effort and no expense. Short of pricey interventions, those wrinkles won’t disappear. Exercise can help us lose weight and become stronger, but it won’t happen overnight. With posture, however, you can improve your physical appearance and feel healthier in a matter of seconds. You’ll increase circulation, improve your breathing, begin to build muscle in the core and buttocks, and find an outlet for the mental energy that would usually fixate on the shape of your thighs or the bulge around your middle. “

Egoscue method,which is the method I teach,  consists of gentle exercises that also can quickly help you to feel and look better. I find that the steady improving of muscle awareness and function through movement to be extremely effective.

So if you are experiencing any unwanted moods, you may want to check out your posture.

http://news.sfsu.edu/research-posture-yields-insight-treating-depression

Where do you stand?

A recent study encourages office workers to stand at least two hours a day and to try to extend that to four.  Gavin Bradley whose company Active Working co-commissioned  this study says you need to mix it up, neither sitting or standing for too long. Bradley recommends using Scandinavian style adjustable standing desks. Famous standing creators include Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill and Vladimir Nabokov and Philip Roth.

The health reasons sited for this recommendation are myriad, including higher incidence of type 2 diabetes , cardiovascular disease and increased cancer risk found in sedentary populations. Guardian writer Esther Addley did on the job research with humorously mixed results. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/01/four-hours-standing-time-office-worker#comments

Addley’s article  illustrates well the need for good equipment for workers and the expenditures this will surely entail.

Here is the original article: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/01/office-workers-on-feet-standing-fours-hours-day-study-health

What are your thoughts about this, have you worked in a standing friendly office or used a standing desk at home?

Is standing better for your health?

Is standing better for your health?

 

 

Massage turns on the good DNA!

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An interesting article about how massage suppresses the inflammation associated with exercise and promotes energy building cellular activity in the muscles. This is according to studies done by Mark Tarnopolsky, a neurometabolic researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2012/02/massages-mystery-mechanism-unmasked

 

My Story

I started to do Egoscue exercises to see if I could recommend them to my massage clients, not thinking too much about my own posture related pain issues. As I did them I found they were helping me a lot and I learned things I didn’t know before despite having a long background in dance and movement.

After two car accidents and a yoga injury and  I was messed up, the easiest way to explain this is that I was crooked and unstable and couldn’t do many of the things I had done for years; backbends Triangle pose, handstands, half moon pose to name a few. These positions require strength and stability and I didn’t have those things anymore. I had injured my lower back and I had developed painful compensating muscles in my hips and legs . It affected my joints my posture and movement. This was a wake up call for someone who had always taken these things for granted.

This loss of movement function happens over a period of time so you don’t realize it’s happening. and like most people I was neglecting to take any kind of decisive action because of being busy with other things and did not knowing how to proceed.

Thankfully I began doing exercises from Pete Egoscue’s book, Pain Free – A Revolutionary Method For Stopping Chronic Pain. I was so pleased with the immediate results that I decided to train in the Egoscue Method, training that I continue to this day.

New Blog and Website for Peggy Burgess Massage and Bodywork!

Hello friends, please take a look at my new website and tell me what you think! I will be discussing massage and  bodywork techniques and Egoscue postural method, as well as many other subjects that affect your health and happiness.