- Chronic Pain & Wellness
- Chronic Pain & Wellness
Fascia: Let’s Get Cellular
Do You Have Supple, Strong, Stable Cells?
When I first learned about connective tissue, scientifically called fascia, I was told it was an “accessory tissue.” What does that even mean? Why would my body have any accessory item in it at all? It turns out there’s nothing accessory about fascia.
It’s well understood in anatomy that fascia serves a role in structural support, being the architectural fabric that is essential in the connection and separation of structures to sustain space and stability of all components under our skin. However, connective tissue supports something even more profound than our muscles and bones. It supports our sensory nerves and is the environment our nerve endings live in. It also assists our body in metabolic functions, defends our body against foreign organisms and bacteria, and helps our cells transport nutrients to other cells. Fascia houses cells called macrophages – cells that assist in tissue repair and defend against bacterial invasion. Stop and think about that: If your fascia isn’t in great shape, do you think you have a higher tendency to get sick? It’s a big factor many don’t consider.
As research has shown, daily life – regardless of age, activity level, or diet – causes an impact on the supportive qualities of fascia. In other words, repetitive postures, movements, and stress overall affect this tissue – most often in a negative way. On a structural level, if we repeatedly create tension on our supportive tissue, it’s like stretching out a sweater. After a while, it just doesn’t return to its original shape. If we keep doing the same things day in and day out, our tissues adapt to provide support for the most repetitive thing we do. From sitting at a desk to training for a sport, daily life challenges this tissue and its resiliency, thus the body’s ability to remain efficiently stable. During this adaptation, the fluid flow vital to fascia’s integrity is compromised – and this is what can cause cells to adapt and be affected in a negative way.
Beyond structural adaptability
Fascia serves a role in nutrition as well. Different metabolites diffuse through connective tissue membranes during their transportation between blood capillaries and cells and other tissues. Fat (adipose tissue) is caused by excess calories that are unused in our day. These calories convert into lipids and are stored as adipocytes until they are utilized. If they aren’t utilized, they simply get stuck in the superficial fascial spaces called microvacuoles and ultimately can be stored in our viscera or gut. This is a primary catalyst for poor absorption and digestion – not to mention the unsightly clumps on your thighs and butt called cellulite. So not only can fascia adapt on a structural level causing macro issues like poor posture, joint pain, and muscle strain, it adapts on a micro level causing cellular degradation and an increased tendency to become sick, lowering our immune system, and ultimately accelerating our aging process.
Can we boost our body’s repair potential through fascial care?
I’m going to propose to you that yes, it can be done, and improving the fluid flow of your fascial system is a simple, easy, and effective way to keep your fascia in good condition so it can remain efficient on a cellular level.
Over the past 16 years of working on the method of MELTing, I’ve seen client after client restore their health and balance to their structure and cellular system by simply using the 4Rs of MELT: Reconnect, Rebalance, Rehydrate, and Release.
The protocol is simple: First, identify where “stuck stress” or fascial dehydration has accumulated and what it’s doing to throw your body out of balance – that’s Reconnect. Next, learn how to quiet the stress reflex in the nervous system and restore the neurological core system’s balance and stability – that’s Rebalance. Finally learn to Rehydrate your connective tissue through specialized compression and length techniques developed with the fluid flow of fascia in mind and use that newfound fluid flow to Release the joints that are misaligned and compressed as well as renew the multimicrovacular spaces on a cellular level.
The good news: This protocol takes as little as 10 minutes a day, 3 times a week. For those of you who are committed to making 2017 a year of health and balance, try 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week, and you will make even greater changes. If you have a disorder or a specific issue, there are a number of protocols in the MELT Method book that have worked for thousands of people, so if you work “by the book” you will have an asset that you can use for years to restore balance to your body.
As a founding member of the Fascia Research Society and an expert in this field, my goal has been to simplify the science of this cellular system so that anyone can take action and live pill-free and pain-free, improve their quality of life TODAY, and enjoy a better tomorrow. It starts with YOU and your desire to take action. I’m asking you to take action by learning how to MELT. To get started on your own or to find a MELT instructor, class, or event near you, go to meltmethod.com
About the author
Creator of the MELT Method®
Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, is a nationally recognized somatic-movement educator and manual therapist. Her decades of practice, research, and study of anatomical science and alternative therapies... View Articles