During the month of August we will be focusing on improving the mind-body connection and increasing your ability to listen to your fascia. Join us this month at Lifestyle Pilates to get practical experience stretching, releasing, and training your fascia!
What is Fascia?
Fascia is the elastic connective tissue that runs throughout our whole body. It is made up primarily of densely packed collagen fibers that connect from the sole of your foot all the way up to the back of your head and everything in between.
The elastic nature of fascia provides support to the body and determines alignment of bones, joint spacing, and movement with in our bodies. Inactivity, whether sitting at a computer all day or being fundamentally sedentary, causes the network of fibers to become a dense web that loses elasticity which results in decreased function. Inflammation, dehydration, and position of our bones and muscles may also cause a distressing effect on fascia.
There are several ways to release fascia in our bodies including massage, chiropractic care, foam rolling, stretching, and of course…Pilates! Releasing fascia helps bring blood back to the articular system which allows for nourishment to the fascia as well as an opportunity for strengthening and loosening of the tendons and ligaments.
How Pilates Affects Fascia
Fascia responds to various types of training and the Pilates method is an excellent way to effectively work your fascia.
Some of us find it easier to stretch and bend than others and a lot of that has to do with our fascia being a source of elasticity and flexibility. In Pilates, we use controlled movements and breath that allows for our bodies to rhythmically move in various planes and directions. Incorporating bounce or jumping on the jumpboard also helps our fascia by challenging it’s recoil and elasticity.
Pilates helps us focus on body awareness. By sitting up straight on the reformer while doing arm work, or extending in your lumbar spine doing swan, you are learning to listen to your fascia.
3 Nutrients for Your Fascia
In addition, to keeping your fascia healthy through movement or corrective care, providing the proper nutrients is essential to the health of your fascia. Here are a few of the nutrients necessary to keep your fascia functioning well.
Collagen: This is the main protein of connective tissue. Bone broths, and grass fed gelatin are excellent sources.
Lysine: A major component of elastin and collagen. Chicken, turkey, fish, crustaceans, and pork contain lysine.
Vitamin C: It is a necessary nutrient required to convert lysine into hydroxlysine – the from used to build collagen. Vitamin C is found in papaya, camu camu, rosehips, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kiwi, oranges, and kale.
Desjardins, K (2014, November 25). Train your Pilates clients like a Fascia-nista. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from http://www.bodyharmonicsshoptalk.com/2014/06/11/train-your-pilates-clients-like-a-fascia-nista/
Fascia and Extra-Cellular Matrix – Stability and Movement. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2017, from https://www.anatomytrains.com/fascia/
Mateljan, G. (2015). The Word’s Healthiest Foods (2nd ed.). Seattle, WA: George Mateljan Foundation.
Padarin, H. (2015, June 07). Ingredients for Healthy Connective Tissue. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from http://www.nourish-ed.com/2014/ingredients-healthy-connective-tissue/
By Colleen OGrady, PMA-CPT, NC