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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Haverfield

What is Fascia, and Why is No One Talking About it? - A Unique Approach to Heal Your Body - Fascial Maneuvers

This year, I discovered a movement philosophy created by Human Garage, a collaborative dedication to empowering individuals to heal themselves. Co-founders Gary Lineham, Cynthia Leavoy, and Jason van Blerk, set out to change our society's modern, unhealthy lifestyle. Together, they collaborated their experiences and knowledge to develop fascial maneuvers, a universal solution outside the healthcare system that encompassed the most successful components of every area of bodywork and combined them into a unified movement practice.


Fascia is a multidimensional web of connective tissue that surrounds and supports every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve, and muscle in the body. Fascia looks like a single, undivided sheet of tissue. It is constructed as a three-dimensional network with many layers of hyaluronan, a fluid-filled material that stretches as you move. Certain conditions, however, may cause the Fascia to thicken and become sticky, which may restrict mobility and cause painful knots to form when the Fascia dries and constructs around muscles. This network resembles a complex web throughout the body and is essential in storing memories and emotions and regulating movement tendencies.


You may be wondering what to do with this information. It can be valuable to understand the biology of Fascia; however, this post aims to highlight the tools necessary to incorporate this knowledge on how to heal our bodies. Our bodies are filled with energy; each organ is a hard drive for trauma, grief, loss, distress, depression, you name it. Our bodies' normal functioning and healing remain impaired when in constant distress. Healing the Fascia in our bodies has many benefits and does not require you to get a gym membership and work to the extent of physical exhaustion and sore muscle pain the next day. Instead, incorporating fascial maneuvers can activate our bodies' natural healing and growth processes. A fascial maneuver combines intention, movement, and breath to relieve tension that limits our movement and body functions. By incorporating the maneuvers into your lifestyle, you can alleviate pain and promote healing in all areas of the body, from muscular dysfunction to hormonal imbalance.


Intention setting acts as an impulse for the simultaneous coordination and order of all body systems, optimizing their influence because of the impact of the Reticular Activating System (RAS), a brain network shaped by our experiences throughout our early developmental years, stores personal narratives that shape our self-perception and worldview. The RAS, a protective mental mechanism, is frequently influenced by unresolved trauma, encouraging self-limiting attitudes that impede psychological and physical improvement.


The idea is to reprogram the RAS to be used effectively. This is when intentionality comes into play, progressively aligning our beliefs with the best possible outcomes. When you plan to stretch a muscle before making a fascial motion, your mind naturally directs your attention to the muscle, establishing a mind-to-muscle connection. On the other hand, setting an intention to relieve fascial constraints surrounding the muscle alters your brain focus, forming a new mind-to-fascia connection. In this approach, intention can be used to reshape our mental view and optimize physical outcomes.


By pinning and locking the skin, you can target specific parts of the body's fascia to release tension. Pinning can be demonstrated by gently twisting or stretching to activate the fascia, whereas locking entails steadily applying pressure to the skin to prevent movement. The majority of maneuvers begin with pinning and locking.


For balance, the body moves in counter-rotation; for example, think of how arms and legs move in different directions when walking. Fascial maneuvers use this counter-rotation and the internal pressure of breathing to restore the body's normal flow. It's like wringing out a towel, squeezing out stagnant fascial tension. To effectively relieve fascial tension, move gently throughout exercises to prevent activating the body's defensive response to abrupt movements. Move slowly and cover all angles surrounding the stuck spot for the best release.


Breathing is essential for fascial release. Intentional breathing techniques aid in driving air into compressed areas, hence increasing stretch. The upper body is affected by nose breathing, while the lower body is affected by mouth breathing. Deeper breaths allow more fascia layers to be released. Take a quick walk after each maneuver. Walking allows the body to adapt to variations in pressure and range of motion, allowing the consequences of the movement to be fully integrated. Every three minutes of walking generates a new fascial movement format, allowing the brain to compute the most effective method for the body to move. This process is observed when people "walk off" injuries, allowing the body time to incorporate new movement patterns.


Take note of how your body reacts to fascial maneuvers. This accelerates your comprehension and connection with what works for you. Tune into how you feel after each maneuver -- looser or tighter, invigorated or fatigued. Recognizing changes in perception improves your bodily awareness, allowing you to respond to your body's requirements more effectively during maneuvers.


In conclusion, fascial maneuvers offer a unique and practical approach to healing your body. I hope this post empowers you to incorporate this knowledge to listen to your body's communication and activate your body's natural healing and growth processes. If you are interested in learning more, there is an attached PDF of the beginner's guide to fascial maneuvers. Understanding and applying these principles can unlock the door to a healthy body.



By Samantha Haverfield, LMSW

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