Working with your fascia – or the connective tissue within your body — can help improve mobility, flexibility and strength which has been recognized as one of the keys to longevity.
In fact, maintaining your mobility as you age can directly boost your mental and emotional health, as it helps you maintaining good balance and prevent injuries.
Research has correlated flexibility with lower mortality rates among adults ages 65 and older. To that point, less flexible people had a 50% higher risk of dying during the study period than those who were more flexible.
This has to do with the fact that reduced mobility and flexibility put your muscles under greater strain when performing daily tasks including lifting heavy objects or bending down, which then increases the likelihood of injury. Mobility and flexibility also help you maintain independence as you age by allowing you to continue doing activities that are important to your quality of life
What is Mobility?
Mobility refers to the ability to move your body’s joints, muscles, and bones freely and easily in any direction, which enables you to perform daily activities. Flexibility – or the ability of your joints to move through an unrestricted, pain free range of motion – helps to support your mobility.
Unfortunately, when you lack flexibility, your body begins to compensate and alter your movement patterns in order to execute tasks without pain or discomfort. In doing so, this places undue stress on structures of your body that aren’t designed for these altered postures or cannot handle these loads, making you more prone to injury and damage from overuse.
How Does Healthy Fascia Support Flexibility and Mobility?
Your fascia is connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, skin, organs, and bones, holding your entire body together. Fascia is what allows for coordinated movement and movement efficiency throughout the body.
You might think of fascia as the scaffolding that gives your body it’s shape and form. Your fascia is responsible for enveloping and separating our muscles. Because fascia envelopes our muscles, when it is tight, it decreases the amount of space your muscles have to move and contract, which in turn decreases your flexibility.
This is one of the reasons that fascia accounts for approximately 50% of your flexibility, hence tight fascia leads to a decrease in muscular flexibility. If your body is stuck in a posture where your fascia is dense, thick, stiff or full of adhesions, , it can restrict movement and contribute to poor mobility and painful stiffness.
Releasing and reorganizing your fascia may help decrease muscular tightness and increase your mobility and flexibility. Your fascia has highly adaptive capabilities. It remodels itself based on the stimulus it receives, which means it can help increase or reduce your movement capacity, including your range of motion and flexibility. When the fascia can move freely and unrestricted, it allows you to move more efficiently and with greater freedom.
For example, connections of fascia work and integrate together throughout your body One of these connected fascial lines is known as the Superficial Back Line which runs along the entirety of our “back” line, from the bottom of our feet to the top of our neck. If one part of this fascial line is tight, it will cause reduced flexibility throughout the entire connected line, decreasing overall movement in that direction. By releasing tightness in any part of the fascia line, you can increase flexibility through the entire line.
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The Interplay Between Fascia and Your Nervous System
Your fascial system is your number one sensory organ. Your fascia is permeated with an estimated 250 million nerve endings belonging to the sympathetic nervous system, which carries messages between your brain and spinal cord and the rest of your body
More specifically, proprioceptive nerve fibers – which are sensory neurons that provide your brain with information about the position, movement, and orientation of your body — are found in soft tissue, including muscle, fascia, and skin. Fascia has six times the proprioceptive nerve fibers compared to the muscles, which means is plays a significant role in mobility, movement, flexibility and performance.
By providing your brain with accurate information about the position and movement of our body, these fascia nerve fibers help you make quick and precise adjustments to your movements, which can reduce the risk and severity of an injury and improve performance.
You also have pain receptors that live within your fascia which means that when you experience pain, it is the nerve endings within the fascia that communicate with the nervous system to tell your brain there is a problem.
Research on “The interaction between pain and movement” notes that “pain symptoms are intensified by stress, as the fascia is innervated by the sympathetic nervous system, especially in the area near the blood vessels; therefore, it is likely to produce vasospasm and ischemic pain. This negatively affects posture and walking.”
This interplay helps explain how interference fields — or areas where scar tissue disturbances or fascia is too dense, adhered, or disorganized — blocks the nervous system pathway and downstream signaling to the body.
Essential Oils for Mobility and Flexibility
The Fascia Release™ blend helps improve flexibility and mobility by helping to unravel deeply held tensions, constrictions and release adhesions, fascial restriction that impede movement and energetic blockages in your tissues. . Fascia Release™ also helps to increase circulation and lymph flow which helps to move fluid out of the tissues of the organs, muscles, tendons, bones and joints and consequently, decrease swelling and improve mobility and flexibility.
As you know, 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. They also have an analgesic effect, relaxing the muscles and reducing pain.
Essential oils can be used to revitalize and de-stress the fascia and muscles, working quickly to break down inflamed, fibrous tissue, removing toxins from the painful area.
Essential oils help with collagen production by reducing free-radical damage. The antioxidant properties of essential oils may also promote collagen growth by both reducing free radicals and increasing collagen cell growth and formation.
Essential oils with detoxing properties help reduce inflammation that may weaken collagen fibers.
The essential oils in the Fascia Release™ blend is uniquely formulated to unravel 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.
Penetrating essential oils, such as the combination of Angelica Root, Black Pepper, Cypress, Elemi, Frankincense, Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Vetiver, Litsea Cubeba, Rosemary and Ylang Ylang work synergistically to create warmth to break up congestion while relaxing tissues and releasing constriction and congestion and improving mobility and flexibility.
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