What is Fascia?
Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. In fact, according to Prevention Magazine, fascia has 10 times as many nerve endings as your muscles. So, that makes it your pain highway.
Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.
What to Expect?
I operate from a private in home studio in Georgetown. You will fill out some forms to determine history of injuries, etc. Then you will climb up onto the massage table and I will begin to work on you. The best way I can explain it is that much like when you buy a boneless, skinless chicken breast, it's not actually skinless. There is that fine silvery skin that covers the meat. It is the myofascia or the fascia that surrounds each muscle. We also have regular fascia, that basically holds everything together. Much your bed sheets are nice and smooth after you make the bed, prior to sleeping in them, they are wrinkled when you wake up. The same thing happens inside your body. Injuries, surgeries, trauma, etc. can make it a lot worse. I will smooth out your internal bed sheets, so to speak.
Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.) A high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial problems, but are not diagnosed.
What Happens to the Fascia?
Fascia (the blue parts in the image) plays an important role in the support and function of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When one experiences physical trauma, emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body.
Trauma, such as a fall, car accident, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture and repetitive stress injuries has cumulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system influences comfort and function of our body. Fascial restrictions can exert excessive pressure causing all kinds of symptoms producing pain, headaches or restriction of motion. Fascial restrictions affect our flexibility and stability, and are a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.
Think about some parts of your body pulling on joints, bones, other parts of your body, etc. If things are being pulled out of proper alignment in your body, then there will most definitely be physical consequences. Even something as simple as poor hydration can affect the fascia; as it becomes dehydrated, hence it will lose its flexibility.
Have You Heard of Plantar Fasciitis?
It's a condition that causes stabbing foot pain with your first steps in the morning. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fibrous tissue (plantar fascia) along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis can cause intense heel pain. Many people have difficulty walking and need orthotic inserts in their shoes to help the problem. This is just part of one of the many fascial slings in the body.
With all fascial slings, they criss cross across the body, connecting our our right ear with our big toe. This is the system that sends messages through the body to different parts. We often compensate across the meridians of our bodies and can criss cross back and forth a few times. This is called a compensation. For example, if you've hurt your foot, then it's possible that your knee will cause problems or experience pain, the same can happen with your hips, even up to your shoulders. You've heard that old song "The knee bone is connected to the leg bone, etc." Well, the song is absolutely accurate; every part of of body is connected.
What Can You Do to Help?
Some stretches will help to elongate the fascia, to help to keep it from pulling on other parts of the body.
Drink lots of water to keep the fascia and your body in general, hydrated.
Receive assisted 'Active Stretching'
Book a 'Fascial Release' treatment with me or another practitioner.
Fascial Release may also be combined with Reiki
How Does Fascial Release Help?
I use a number of osteopathic/massage techniques such as strain and counter strain, kneading the connective tissue, and regular massage. I will investigate with my fingers, to determine where you have fascia that has become wrinkled. Scar tissue and other injuries directly affect the fascia and how it behaves.
I will smooth out your internal bed sheets, to use the analogy from above. I will work the fascia in a way that will allow it to release and lengthen. I also will work out lumps and kinks in the body. (See the before and after pictures of a client's back with some fascial knots) You can easily see by the images that by smoothing the internal bed sheets of this client's back, the lump dissipated and she experienced relief from the pain.
Fascial release can help to untangle connective tissue that you may have been slept on the wrong way. However, if there is an underlying musculoskeletal injury, then the body may return to its compensation. In the physical assessment (done in advance of the personal training), I determine if the body has compensations. If you have sustained an injury, even many decades ago, it can still have an impact on how your body moves and functions now.
What is a compensation?
A compensation is something that your body does, that you don't even notice, while performing physical movement. It is a movement outside of your body's proper alignment. If you have gone over on the same ankle more than once, or have a shoulder that you injured in your youth, it can affect your bio-mechanics later in life. If we do not address the imbalances, then the core issue will never be resolved. An example of compensation is when someone limps, due to pain created by each step.
Our body compensates, or "finds ways around" stepping in such a painful way. We will often use the opposite side of the body to help carry the load of our body weight. As we do so, it throws out the balance all the way up through our hip and shoulder girdle, right up to the top of our heads.
The images show you just a few of the many fascial slings/lines within the body. The blue is where the fascia connects various parts of your body together.
Spiral Line Posterior
Superficial Back Arm Line
Deep Back Arm Line
Spiral Line Anterior
Deep Front Line
What are the benefits to a Fascial Release Session?:
Limber up tight legs
Improve your range of motion
Alleviate stress in the body
Increase blood flow
Feel better all around
Be your best you
Expressions of Gratitude
"I felt like a new man after you worked on me. I've had physio, traditional massage and chiro and never felt the same level of relief. My legs felt great for the first time in years!"
Bill C. ~ on Fascial Release & Reiki with Kelli
"Kelli has also treated me with Reiki to improve healing of both my physical and mental health. It is amazing how much a Reiki session with Kelli reduces swelling and pain in injured tissue, muscle and joints. The relief is immediate and long lasting. I also suffer from depression and anxiety. Kelli’s Reiki healing has lessened symptoms of both significantly and assisted in my healing. I would recommend Kelli to anyone. She is a kind, caring and knowledgeable practitioner of Reiki and personal training. In fact I have recommended her to my family and friends, who are all very satisfied."
Jane C. ~ on Reiki & Fascial Release with Kelli
"One day I mentioned how sore my feet were and I expressed how disappointed I was with how it affected my every day enjoyment of walking and travelling. She suggested that she might be able to help and asked permission to try some fascia release techniques on my feet. The procedure was overwhelmingly positive. I walked out of the gym a changed woman – the days of sore feet behind me and my walking journey forward no longer restrained.
But there is more. It does not take long to notice that Kelli puts all of her passion, caring and enthusiasm into everything she does. Something as fundamental as the physical release of the fascia is enhanced by Kelli’s instinctive empathy and kindness that channels through her. Her Reiki energy is bright and shining and generous. I am fortunate to have found such an inspiring Reiki teacher to tutor me. Kelli shares her experiences freely and offers me her guidance and advice without judgement of how I apply it to my own evolving Reiki practice. Kelli has great respect and honour for my journey and I am grateful to have her support and expertise."
Jackie T. ~ on Fascial Release & Reiki with Kelli