Last week, I had the great please to attend a lecture by Gil Hedley, PhD, on the role of fascia. I had known of him for years. His research forms one of the foundations which Sue Hitzmann has adapted for the MELT Method. Gil Hedley has studied fascia in dissections of thousands of human forms and has thus furthered an understanding of fascia.
Gil Hedley has famously used the word “fuzz” to describe fascia and even has a “fuzz speech” to give an impression of it. Here is a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdRqLrCF_Ys.
Fascia also comes in the form of adhesions which form as a result of inflammation or when we immobilize a part of the body. This can also be the result of being habitually in any one position, such as prolonged sitting. My favorite example is a long-distance flight. Personally, I always feel dreadful when getting out at my destination and cannot wait to start moving. What happened is that the fascia between muscles has formed little strands to glum together surfaces that are supposed to be gliding on one another. When I begin to move, those little strands dissolve and all is well again.
We can easily see the result of this process when people are not moving and are not dissolving those little strands. They get denser and denser, and a little moving no longer suffices to return the tissue to its proper function. Muscles that can no longer move get stuck in chronically shortened position, resulting in postures that are more and more compromised. In the absence of an acute injury, that in turn is often the cause of neck, low back, hip, shoulder and knee pain.
There is a growing number of techniques to deal with fascia. I teach some of them which people can apply to themselves, namely MELT, Relief through Rolling and other related self-myofascial release techniques. After listening to Gil Hedley’s lecture, the importance of such techniques is even more evident to me.
(As an aside: I myself have decided to donate my body to science unless it can be used for organ donations.)