It seems that I can’t see it or hear it often enough: Fascia is amazing. It holds us together. It is our body’s silent communication system, more rapid than nerves. It transports fluid between muscle, organ and circulatory tissues, keeping them supple. It collects fluid around damaged tissue like a bandage. Think of healthy fascia as a series of fine net stockings or cobwebs that surrounds every fiber, bundle of fibers, groups of bundled fibers, tissue groups, organs, separating body compartments in large sheets or diaphragms, supporting and holding everything in it’s place. It’s everywhere. It’s pervasive.
Fascia can be physically damaged by injury or as a byproduct of some medical procedures, just like any other tissue. Fascia also reacts to our emotions by contracting over the trauma that is energetically held in the body like a bandage.
“Damaged” fascia is not the fluid flexible net of fibers that functions fully. Injured fascia is tense, jumbled and convoluted, like a fisherman’s net that has gotten balled up and tangled. Over time these areas, will become tightened, knotted and kinked, stiffening into armor like hardness.
In this compromised condition, fascia can not transport fluid nor relay messages as is normally found. The tissue is it supports become dry and brittle and incommunicado from the rest of the body.
Injured fascia can cause severe, disabling, chronic muscle pain. It affect not only the tissue that is armored, but all muscles and tissues that have to work differently because of this restriction.
When there is a restriction in one area of the body, there will be compensation on the other side of the body in a diagonal direction. That “overworked” area will cause another area, diagonally across the body to compensate.
Pretty soon there is a zigzag of stressed body areas. So often what hurts is not the originating point of the problem. Neck injuries can become hip and leg issues and vice versa. Ankle issues can show up in the shoulders. So what needs help the most? Where it hurts now or the original injury?
Bowen to the rescue!
Bowen works with fascia as it’s target. When skin, muscles and tendons are moved, the fascia they are connected to moves. If gently and methodically done, the fascia will again separate into it’s beautiful web-like structures. The armor will soften, the tissues are hydrated and the information highway is connected again.
On the other hand, tissue and it’s associate fascia is moved quickly, hard and fast–it resists and stays in it’s armored state. Remember the corn-starch and water experiment? If you handle it with too much force, it resembles a solid brick. But if you handle it slowly, it feels more like sand or liquid. The same is true of fascia–the slower and gentler the better.
In my opinion, almost all all chronic pain announces an underlying fascia issue. The longer the pain has been in place, the more compensating patterns have been erected. And the more hardened armor, locking it into place will be present.
A series of Bowen session will unwind these patterns. By gently manipulating fasical sheets through their connections to other tissues, the elasticity is returned. Relaxed fascia loosens it’s grip on muscles, organs and other tissue allowing the communication and fluids to flow at more appropriate levels. Oh, what a relief!