Massage Therapy  with Dee Hiatt, 
Wonderful World of Fascia
October, 2000
Fascia is the connective tissue that covers individual muscle cells, separates muscle groups and extends to wrap the entire surface of the body (beneath the skin and adipose tissue) like a tight elastic body stocking.

Fascia gives support for motion and it helps maintain posture. It is known for its elasticity as well as its ability to contract. It becomes looser when moved or heated and stiffer and when cooled or not moved. Its ability to tighten persists throughout life, but its elasticity decreases with age. Its sensory nerve endings register pain.

A form of myofascial release massage that I learned from George Kousalous from the Core Institute, involves slow, even stretching of the fascia. The techniques can be applied to most areas of the body. Stretching fascia in one area affects more than just that area. A small amount of cocoa butter or lotion is usually used as lubricant to facilitate the stretch with a minimum of discomfort. Pressure is applied at 45-degree angle for comfort and effectiveness. It is usual to experience a feeling of being longer, lighter and looser after the massage. How long the effects last will vary. Rest, decent nutrition, attention to posture, good breathing, and regular movement will increase the benefits.
© 2004, Dee Hiatt
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