Myofascial Bodywork, Structural Integration and ScarWork Therapy
Join me in a little experiment: Lift your left arm up as far as it feels ok and then lower it down. With your right hand grab a fistful of your clothing somewhere on the left side of your belly, near the hip, and lift your left arm again. What changed? Did you notice that your left arm did not move quite so far, or if it did you probably had to use more effort? Keep holding on and now turn to the left, then face forward once more and then bend to the right. Did you feel some more restrictions? You may also notice some lines of tension along your clothing which will change along with the change of your movements.
The experiment is a demonstration of what can happen with our myofascia – also called ‘fascia’. Myofascia is the connective tissue system that supports and contains every muscle, ligament and tendon in our bodies. Unlike clothes, our fascia is not made up of distinct items or layers, but it is a three-dimensional net. You can think of it like a 3-D bodysuit connecting top to bottom, left to right, front to back, inner to outer and vice versa.
What can happen
Through injury, trauma, scars, posture and movement habits our fascia can get denser (fibrotic) or sticky (adhesive), it can get tethered and feel tight. Over time fascia loses its fluidity and elasticity and we may lose flexibility, strength and power. This has an impact on our ability to move, to sit or stand comfortably, and to perform sports and hobbies. It might even contribute to discomfort and pain. We are all unique so our experience will also be unique. When our fascia are fibrotic or adhesive we can feel the effects some distance away from the problem – as shown by the experiment I started with. A tightness near the belly or hip can be felt in the shoulder or arm or along the side or around the back of the torso.
You may have experienced this yourself
A “niggle” in the sole of your foot or ankle could affect your legs or hips and influence your walking or running. Tight legs could affect your back mobility or contribute to back pain. A tight jaw might contribute to a stiff neck or shoulders. Tightness in the shoulders or upper back could be the result of staring at the computer screen with your head forward for too long; a tight or ropey scar on your abdomen could contribute to shortness of breath as it pulls you forward and down … the list could go on.
There is help!
All my approaches – Myofascial Bodywork, Structural Integration and ScarWork Therapy – address the fascia: releasing adhesions and tension, softening dense ‘knots’ and fibrotic fascia, re-establishing sensations where there is numbness, desensitising where there is pain, refining your body awareness and improving your movement and postural habits.
I have had success treating a wide range of issues from back and hip pain to shortness of breath or surgery scars. Overall, my work with the fascia can help you avoid injuries, help recovery, provide freedom from aches and pains and relief from tension & stress.