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 What is the Fascial System and how is it treated

The fascial system is described as a system just like your cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels), musculoskeletal (muscles, joints, ligaments), and digestive systems (esophagus, stomach, intestines) to name a few.  If you looked at the fascial system with no other objects around it, you would see an organized maze much like a spider web.  This is tensegrity at its finest or to put it another way, *the building is stable and ready for occupancy*

If we did not have fascia, our body would most likely be a puddle on the floor, which is not practical for the lifestyle that human beings are accustomed to living.  Fascia is the material that makes our form and permits the body to retain its normal shape.  It is the tough connective tissue that runs from head to foot, front to back, side to side and weaves through our other systems.  A restriction in the fascia may cause us to function in a less than optimal state.  We may have symptoms mimicking problems associated with these areas, depending on the part of the body affected. 

Generally, we think of 3 layers of fascia:
1.*Superficial Fascia lies directly below and throughout the skin
2.*Deep fascia surrounds and permeates muscle, bone, nerves, vessels and organs.
3.*Deepest fascia, which is made up of and within the dural system. You will hear more about the dura when we speak of the cranial sacral system.

In myofascial (myo-muscle) and neurofascial (neuro-nerve) techniques the therapist uses palpation (the touch sense) to feel subtle changes in the fascia known as restrictions.  The therapist then uses proprioceptive sense to find the beginning and end of a particular restriction and release the tightness.  This takes the pressure off the fascial system; decreasing the symptoms.
In craniosacral techniques the therapist monitors the spinal fluids and deeper fluids to affect a change to the system. This has a direct affect on the fascial landscape.

Technique terms:

1.*Manual Therapy:  A techniques such as mobilization, manual traction, massage, or joint mobilization to produce a change in soft tissue in an area of the body.

2.*Craniosacral:  Having to do with the cranium, dura, spinal cord and dural sack

3.*Myofascial release Having to do with relaxing the fascia as it interfaces with the muscle

4.*Neurofascial Having to do with relaxing the fascia as it interfaces with the nervous system

5.*Mobilization:  Technique for movement of tissue


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