is a process that no one can avoid. It is part of our evolution. As aging occurs, most of us begin to stiffen and to shrink. This does not have to happen.
is a fibrous tissue that ‘connects’ every cell in our body. This connective tissue forms a 3 dimensional web of our body, extending from our head to our toes. It surrounds and infuses every muscle, muscle fiber, bone, blood vessel, nerve and organ in our body. It also directly affects our body systems like our muscular and neurological systems.
“Fascia – or connective tissue, is what glues us together. So, it’s a broad use of the word fascia. What we are really talking about is the body extracellular net that holds us together” – Tom Myers
Let’s look at an orange. You can segment it into pieces because each segment is divided by a clear yet strong sheet of tissue. Within these segments, the juice is further segmented – forming the pulp – by this same type of tissue. It’s exactly the same for us! We are segmented yet intimately connected by fascia.
What we can do to help ourselves!
The health of our fascia determines the state of our body as we age. Immobility is death for fascia. Lack of movement and increased pressure will stiffen it; when this happens the fascia tends to glue together through a process called hydrogen bonding. This process is further advanced by stress because stress tends to shorten muscles as part of our protection from fear. Back and forth movements that are repetitive and machine-like and movement that are contractive in nature, tend to tighten the body. This tightness affects the body adversely and will lead to the demise of the fascia in the long term.
Along with hydration and other healthy lifestyle choices, Yoga (especially slow yoga like Yin Yoga), change our connective tissue. We can promote relaxation and restore our fascial fluidity! Regular expansive movement like yoga heats the gelatin matrix in the surrounding fascia and helps maintain the fluid-like nature of the fascia instead of turning it to rubber. When the fascia is more expansive and fluid, greater energy or Chi flows through the body. Remaining fully hydrated is also important for maintaining the health of our fascia.
We do not have to shrink with age nor stiffen and become brittle. Our spine does not have to shrink and compress. Our fascia does not have to harden. We will all age. How we age becomes the critical question.
To stop moving in an expansive fashion and remaining idle will only harden and shrink us. Doing nothing to reduce your stress levels will shorten our muscles and harden our fascia. The choice is ours. Examining our commitment each and every day will determine the nature of our fascia. Let’s get moving!
We are never too old, never too bad, never to sick to start all over again!