Wholed It Together – W.I.T
Blog entry 8 of many
Fascia is connective tissue that encases and holds our entire body. It is a protein responsible for much of our embodied experience. As massage therapists, we work directly with fascia whether as our primary focus or indirectly. The fascia has a particular weave and density. Is it tight and dense? Loose and supple? There’s no judgment ascribed here, just an acknowledgement. The weave of the fascia may be weaved into the entire life experience you and your client have.
Our bodies are more than a vehicle of transport, rather, they are interwoven into how we move throughout the world physically and figuratively. Our fascia density has a way of guiding our thoughts and actions. Our breath, energy, stamina, comfort, pain, flexibility, range of motion, stability, strength, and general sense of being is at least partially determined by our fascia.
Listening to the podcast, Liberated Body EP61, Brooke Thomas was speaking about her childhood experience of having a tightly weaved fascia. She mentioned how trauma added to the tightness and disembodiment that ensued. It sparked my own memory of having tight fascia which led to a perceived inability to thrive in childhood avenues. It reminded me of my disempowerment felt by the disembodiment I used as a tool to distance myself from the painful physical experience. Tight fascia was not visible so it became a trapping of my own mind. I felt stuck, toxic, and different from others. I couldn’t do the same things other kids did. I had unexplained pain and often did poorly in school because the tightness was a distraction.
The very weave of my fascia effected specific choices in my life. Having a systemic tightness was both a painful and challenging aspect and, also, what led me into massage therapy which has been the single most important choice I’ve made.
I has been my mission to meet people where they are. To communicate with clients on a level they can relate to so their bodies release into a trusting space. Using myofascial release and trigger point therapy in a way that values fascia with the highest regard. Meeting the fascia where it is, too, and complementing a tight weave with a loose pressure and a loose weave with a firmer approach. This is more complex than just doing deep work on Gumby folks and using effleurage on body builders. It is a combination of presence and quality of touch. It is using tools – vaulted fingers, energy work, rocking and shaking, pointed elbows – that support the specific needs.
Continue to research fascia, learn about it on a scientific level. Dig into the spiritual significance of fascia and the psychological effects. Let us come together as massage therapists to learn and admire this beautiful connective tissue and recognize how it connects all of us to the universe in its intricate weave.