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Fascia and Memories

By Jodi Cohen

I have been obsessing with fascia release blend to help support all the areas in my body that I spent decades avoiding – like my tight hips, broken heart or tense back.

Whenever I apply the oil, I consistently notice two things:

  • The physical tissue feels better
  • Emotions seem to bubble up to the surface as I release the tension in the tissues

In other words, releasing fascia releases emotions.

When the emotions release, I often notice that a memory of the experience that triggered the emotion is also released.  Specifically when the emotion triggers an emotion grounded in trauma, I often recall the traumatic experience – but not in a way that requires me to re-live it.

Instead, I am able to view it more as a movie that I watch myself release.

Research is finding the same thing – that fascia holds memories – and releasing fascia constrictions helps to ease and even erase the intensity and pain of the memory.

The study “Does fascia hold memories?” dives into the idea that “tissues may possess some sort of memory”, noting that these memories be erased or eased by releasing the fascia and restoring tissue function.


Research on Fascia and Memories

The research notes that “Memories in the body may be encoded into the structure of fascia itself. Collagen is deposited along the lines of tension imposed or expressed in connective tissues. Mechanical forces acting upon the internal and/or external environment, such as in postures, movements and strains, dictate the sites where collagen is deposited and create a “tensional memory”.

In cases of functional strain or mechanical stress through collagen bundles, substance P – a neuropeptide that functions as a neurotransmitter, which is widely distributed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and actively involved in inflammatory processes and trauma (Study) –  is released of from nerve endings, particularly driven by the hypothalamus following emotional trauma, may alter the collagen structure into a specific hexagonal shape, referred as “emotional scar”, i.e. encoding memory traces in fascia.

The research also notes that:

“Initially, memory traces were thought to be stored as patterns in specific areas of the brain: so that electrical stimulation of these areas could activate sequential records of ‘memories’. However, the same recollections could also be evoked by stimulating the brain at different sites, as well as different recollection being produced by repeatedly stimulating the brain at one site.

Therefore, it seemed that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are diffused throughout the brain. A new interpretation was then advanced suggesting the possibility that the brain may store memories as interference patterns, in a holographic-like manner. According to this theory, memory, including that of pain, is to be found not in the patterns of neural activity of a specific brain region, but in the interference patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that laser light interferences crisscross the entire area of a film containing a holographic image. It is suggested that this phenomenon may be extended throughout the organism, via the neuro-fascial interactive function, involving a process of encoding memories in the connective tissues in a holographic-like manner.

The brain (and maybe all connective tissues?) may then be able to compare stored holographic patterns with newly acquired ones, directly through “adaptive resonance”, allowing rapid processing of recognition and learning.

Another mechanism by which fascia may store memories is via chemical messages. A variety of substances are constantly transmitting innumerable messages throughout the body, including peptides whose messages are relayed through receptors in target cells. Depending on the precise external or internal stimulus a particular ‘information substance’ will flow through the body and bind to specific receptor sites. When this binding occurs, particular feelings are perceived encoded with a given memory. Such chemical messengers act reciprocally on the brain and the rest of the body, thanks to the denser presence of their receptors in the limbic (emotional) portion of the brain

The body might therefore be conceived as a single organ with full sensing capabilities, where any tissue may store emotional memories based on the specific receptors they possess, and the nature of the chemical messages they receive.


Treating Fascia to Release Trauma Related Memories

Fascial treatment may access such memories and obtain therapeutic effects. For instance, in indirect types of fascial techniques, the unloading of the tissues may cause a consequent decrease of neural input, quieting the nociceptors. Local and spinal cord level autonomic reflexes would be stilled, particularly the sympathetic drive which may have encouraged vasoconstriction and diminished lymphatic flow.

Fascia lies just below the skin so topically applying essential oils onto the skin allows for easy and immediate access to the fascia.  The skin is your largest organ and is relatively permeable to fat-soluble substances like essential oils.

Topical supplements play an important role in supporting fascia health and recovery from inflammation. For example, essential oils easily penetrate layers of restricted fascia, creating warmth to break up congestion, increasing circulation, lymphatic drainage and mobilizing adhered tissue.

Essential oils soften the myofascial tissue, allowing the deep and constrained tissue to stretch and move as it is designed to function.

The essential oils in our Fascia Release™ blend are uniquely formulated to simultaneously work on physical and psychological levels, working quickly to break down inflamed, fibrous tissue, removing toxins while unraveling deeply held tensions, constrictions and energetic blockages in your tissues to reduce pain, improve blood and lymphatic circulation and release fear, repressed emotions, and tension held in the body (organs, muscles, tendons, bones and joints) or the mind.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.