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When I added a myofascial self release to my regular self care routine, it seems like I turned a page for a new life and new experiences. From pain and discomfort, I arrived to the place where I control my body, enjoy its flexibility and celebrate the joys of life.
Because my path to an effective self care wasn’t direct, rather I spent three years in pain, I would like to share this information with you. If one woman could use and benefit from it, then it is a win. But deep in my heart, I suspect that many could learn and take advantage of an easy process that sounds foreign. But in fact, it is one of the most natural abilities of our bodies to regroup and stay strong throughout our lives.
That is why I would like to share this information about fascia release and how I discovered this true magic through my personal pain and a long search for answers.
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What Is Fascia and Myofascial Tissue?
A fascia (/ˈfæʃ(i)ə/; plural fasciae /ˈfæʃii/; adjective fascial; from Latin: “band”) is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. – Wikipedia
Fascia is a connective tissue frequently referred to as “myofascial tissue.”
You see, our muscles and organs are literally suspended inside fascia sacks that allow them slide and glide without friction and coexisting with each other. But fascia, like any other organic matter, has some properties that can become dangerous, if we do not lead a healthy lifestyle. Especially when we cross out any movement and good stretching out of our life.
Fascia generates its own byproduct that looks like a gummy substance. This substance can be easily eliminated by regular stretching and exercise. However, when we spend our life more in front of the computers, TV, working at the office, we allow this gummy stuff to collect and become really hard to the point when it becomes strong to adhere to the neighbor muscles and organs and begin its destructive mission. Let’s dissect this process and what to do with it step-by-step.
What Makes Fascia Tight?
With time, we call it aging, fascia becomes tight. On the inside, you can visualize a picture of fascia becoming gummy and crinkly. This state of “gumming up” causes a very serious state of fascia – adhesions.
Once adhesions form and stay in place for year, a human body becomes more and more limited in flexibility. You may notice that as you are getting up in year, you can do less things with your body. Twisting and turning to the side, up and down becomes painful or much harder than it used to be. Some of the culprits are the adhesions in the fascia of the body.
Too Little Movement, the Stiffer Fascia Becomes
However, the major reason for a tight fascia and fascia-related muscle pain and stiffness is too little movement during the day. It has its own name – a sedentary lifestyle.
It is when a person moves too little every day, day after day, year after year. The fascia does not move with the body and becomes shorter, stickier and acts as a cast to the organs, muscles, and even blood vessels.
As one muscle sticks to the other, they develop adhesions. The final effect is partial or total immobility that lead to pain weakness, numbness, tingling and limited range of motion.
Trauma or Injury May Cause Tight Fascia
During an injury or surgery, the structure of the fascia can become broken. The process of healing of the injury itself causes adhesions on the inside of the body. Such adhesions become the epicenters for painful beginnings of many conditions associated with tight fascia and also the increased acidity of the body.
All the beginnings are small, but these adverse conditions spread out throughout the body barely fast, creating inconveniences and small aches and pains first. As a result, the body becomes more acidic and tighter at the same time which gives a perfect environment for pathogens to thrive.
Examples of trauma or injury that cause a destructive tightening of fascia matrix:
- any surgery
- broken bones
- cutting in accidents
- whiplash injury
- emotional stress (arguments, constant worring, stressful daily commute and many more)
Repetitive Movement Can Be a Cause for Tight Fascia
Sometimes repetitive movement of one part of the body can cause tight fascia, hence pain. This condition has its own name, RSI or Repetitive Strain Injury. It can affect any part of the body and the entire body. Restoring fascia in the body is the key to getting rid of RSI effects and pains.
If a person ignores taking care of fascia on the regular basis, the chronic pain will take over the organs and body parts leading to injuries, more new pains and diseases.
Muscle contraction generates a pull throughout the entire fascia matrix. Having adhesions and knots within the myofascia makes these contractions more painful. The pain resonates to other organs and body parts. Living life can become a very painful experience, as everything is connected within and with our fascia matrix.
Here are some examples of the prolonged and repetitive use of the same muscle:
- typing for hours every day
- sitting for hours every day create a shortening of the connective tissues and muscles at the front of the new and torso. With time, these symptoms will materialize themselves in the upper shoulders and lower back.
- texting non stop for hours
- writing with a pen or pencil for hours each day
- bad posture (yes, not paying attention to your posture generates problems with your connective tissues)
For example, when you are doing the same action, let’s say typing non-stop for hours each day, you are holding the fingers in the same position for hours and days and years. Layers of fascia begin to build up around these specific areas in the fingers to prevent injury. To avoid such a buildup, you gotta stop frequently – preferably every hour – what you are doing and perform stretches for that part of the body.
How to Loosen Tight Fascia with Self Myofascial Release
Our fascia has a truly magical function and the ability to restore back to its beautiful and powerful state. It can be done through specific stretching and fascia blasting that will release adhesions that lock your muscles. Once released, you can feel the freedom of movement of your body again.
Stretching exercises can be done for each body part that is affected by myofascial tightening. It is recommended that we all do stretching every morning to get rid of the stuffiness in the body. Yoga is one of the greatest ways to stretch and keep the body function like a well-oiled wheel. But stretching alone won’t be enough when you’ve accumulated years of tight fascia.
Here are the practical ways and tools to begin a healing process for the fascia inside your body. I’ve done all these steps by incorporating them into my myofascial self release therapy, as I was discovering and testing them out.
Myofascial Therapy to Support Your Fascia
Myofascial therapy is a manual therapy technique used by a trained therapist to locate and manipulate the painful points arising from the tightness of fascia. Using sustained pressure on the fascia knots, a specially-trained therapist can loosen and lengthen constricted fascia. From my personal experience, you gotta go to a person who has been trained how to do it. Getting deep tissue massages won’t help you to get rid of fascia tightness.
As my life taught me, dedicated massages do little to the overall personal health when we are in pain. As I found later, after my self-education and deep digging in order to nurse my body back to health and normal functioning, massage therapists, in a huge majority of cases, know nothing about the unique rules for the lymphatic system or myofascial release. For a client, we do not know where to begin, what to look for, hence we go to a specialist with hope to be helped. But my hopes vanished after a lengthy period of doctor visits and seemingly endless alternative treatments and modalities.
The breaking point forced me to stop all that and begin on my personal path to find what was wrong with my body and how I could restore my health and be ME again. The three years of chronic, excruciating pain, inability to walk for a long time had to be dealt with. It clicked inside of me that I was the only one who could help myself.
Fascia Blasting using the fascia release tools
My preferential – and the cheapest – way of myofascial self release and self care is a bold variety of specific myofascial release tools available to anybody. This is one of the best options that can be used at home by you.
The main idea of fascia blasting is to use a special claw-like tool, sliding it quickly, but rather gently, against the skin. Each body part and each area on which you are working on gets anywhere 2 to 5 minutes fascia blasting. Doing it regularly, 3-5 times a week, will allow the fibrous adhesions and gummy, sticky fascia to be separated and become its own stand-alone structure again.
This dedication to fascia blasting will bring a new feel for the range of motions you could do. As a side effect, the skin will acquire a new glow, and the fatty tissue will lose its puffiness and unattractive look.
You can order the tools to blast tight fascia to be delivered to your home.
Important: All fascia release tools must be used on a bare skin. Do not cover the areas you are working on with clothes when using fascia release tools!
My favorite and self-tested myofascial release tools I use at home
IMPORTANT! Before I begin my self myofascial release therapy at home, I use a body oil or olive oil or jojoba oil to moisturize the part of the body I am working on. Do not use a fascia release tool on dry skin! You will damage it!
Separate your tight fascia from scars and adhesion-impaired muscles and organs with these excellent fascia release tools HERE.
FaseBlaster™ is a small tool that can be used on the face, neck, buttocks and all over the body. This unique fascia blaster is so versatile and easy to use all over the body. You can travel with it and be in tip-top shape when it comes to fascia health. Buy it HERE.
Elite Blaster would be excellent for the entire body, from torso to arms and legs. Shop for it HERE.
Fascia Blaster with 4 claws is a larger Fascia blaster tool that is excellent for the all-over the torso! Get it HERE.
Myofascial Release Lacrosse Ball is available HERE.
This is a great tool for relieving Plantar Fasciitis. I have a great post that covers this issue and the Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis in my separate post.
Practicing Forgiveness and Letting Go As Part of Self Myofascial Release Therapy
Allowing a process of forgiveness to take over your mental state is one of the best ways to release all mental “adhesions.” This is a first and final step of making your tight fascia loosen up and begin a process of self-healing. And in between, you can practice all other modalities of loosening your tight fascia (tools, yoga, water, myofascial therapy and more).
Hydration Supports the Health and Recovery of Myofascial Matrix
Water is the magic that makes our fascia nice and pliable. When hydrated, it allows all the muscles to work on their own, slide, glide and function as they should.
With lack of hydration, fascia can quickly become a bit stickier adding more friction to the muscles movement. With time, the muscles that lie near each other can become tethered to one another, restricting each other’s movement and causing pain with contraction.
Drinking water becomes part of the daily therapy and prevention of any fascia tightness. Good hydration is one of the key things you can do to allow fascia be loosen and be free of stress. Clean water is part of our self myofascial release!
Tight fascia and adhesions do not form within a day or two. They are forced on a person with a sedentary, non-active, low hydration life style. It can be all changed! YOU can change it.
EASY Things to Do to Loosen Your Fascia During the Day
Fascia truly responds well to a combination of movement, pressure, and hydration.
When you are sitting for long hours, get up every 45-60 minutes to stretch and circle your hips and shoulders. Do it while focusing on each body part and enjoy the movement, the so to say un-sticking of the fascia.
If you can, turn up the volume of your favorite music and dance, free form, a little bit in your office. Taking music breaks should be a given in the office environment!
Another effective tool to support the myofascial self release is a fascia release yoga. But what I found out for myself, many yoga poses relieve tension and break up the stickiness within fascia. Thus yoga is a super amazing way to maintain agility and youth no matter your biological age.
Besides, fascia grows every night while we sleep. That is why it is important to move and stretch in the morning to allow it to be reabsorbed without any consequences to our healthy living. Moving during the day, getting off the chair, doing profilactic exercise that breaks repetitive moments – all that supports a healthy state of myofascial connective tissues.
Myofascial Release As Daily Part of Your Life
In short, only when we choose a comfy sitting for hours in front of the computer or the phone screen, fascia will let us know of its existence. It will be years removed from you feeling just great. But it shall catch up. Why wait for something that can be prevented and taken care of every day? With the simple movements and stretching like our physical body calls for, you can achieve a natural self myofascial release.