From head to toe, we all want to feel our absolute best. And by taking care of our fascia – which just happens to run from our head to our toes! – we can dramatically improve the quality of our lives by easily implementing a few techniques into our daily routines.
If you haven’t watched the video interview I did with Cheryl McMurray a few weeks ago, go back and check that out so you can understand more about this amazing part of our bodies. Click here to see that video, and then keep reading here to learn about some tried and true techniques to make your fascia super happy and healthy.
When we think of fascia as a webbing throughout your body, it makes perfect sense that we’d want ours to be smooth, hydrated, and unbound. There are several ways to help our fascia become smoother and overall healthier, and most of them feel ah-mazing when you’re doing it. I say “most” because when fascia is bound up, man-oh-man can it create discomfort and even full-on pain.
Let’s begin with a nifty little tool called the Fascia Blaster. I was given my first one by a friend of mine a couple of years ago. As someone with Fibromyalgia, my body is very often super cranky, and this little gem of a device has changed my life. There are different types of Fascia Blasters available, but my favorites are this one, this one, and this one, and a kit with several of them plus other goodies. Here’s a link to some videos you can check out to learn more about what these tools do and how they help. With regular use, I’m in less pain, my cellulite is almost completely gone, and my lymphatic system is also benefiting. #bonus
Another great way to help out your fascia is by using small therapy balls such as the Yoga TuneUp balls. In addition to giving yourself a fantastic massage, rolling on the balls helps to break up fascia adhesions. These balls have made my rock-solid neck and shoulder muscles release their grip and can be used while on the floor, against a wall, and even while driving. You can use tennis balls if you want, but the TuneUp balls are, in my opinion, better suited and definitely more comfortable.
Skin pinching is also fantastic to help break up fascia adhesions. To perform this technique, using your fingertips, pinch some skin (dry and unlubricated) and essentially roll it in a wave-like motion. It’s kind of like you’re using your fingers like a lobster claw and sliding/walking/pinching the skin above and away from the muscles. Try to not include muscles into the movement when possible. It isn’t a massaging of the muscles but rather an attempt to unglue, if you will, the skin from the muscles. This will be easier to do in some areas than others, so expect varying sensations when rolling your skin.
Lastly, Yin Yoga is another option to help with optimal fascia health. You can read more about the benefits of Yin here, which include working with the connective tissues of the body (in this case, fascia, plus ligaments and tendons). Andrew teaches two blissful Yin Yoga classes for us – Tuesdays at 6p PT and Saturdays at 9:30a PT, so give your fascia some love and take his class on the regular.
While I use each of these techniques, some days I’ll have better results with one over another. Once you’ve given these techniques a try, let us know whatcha think and how you feel in the comments below.