Updated: 2 days ago
When your child is having trouble with movement and postural control (tight muscles, lack of head control, or difficulties for developing motor milestones), knowing about fascia and how it serves the body offers a great strategy to help.
I will try to keep this very simple (this blog is for parents) but I am adding some great links below for those of you who want to learn even more.
I just need to say something here: Fascia is not a new tissue. It has always been there, but those who first studied the human body took it away, as it was interfering with the observation of the most obvious structures. For many many years, we learned about the human body without seeing the fascia, and therefore we never included it in the model we use to understand our bodies.
What is fascia? Fascia is a network of connective tissue that is everywhere in our bodies. We were developed as embryos in it. Every part of our body, every muscle, organ, nerve, vessel, cell ....every single part of our body is embedded in it.
The "jello" matters and this is why:
• It creates pockets to hold every part of our body in the right place. It determines what belongs where.
• It holds our posture (it's a tensional system). Like the guylines of a tent, we need the tension of the system to hold our posture.
• It organizes how we feel our body (proprioception). We need to feel our bodies so we can organize our movements. The sensors that send that information are embedded in the fascial system and they are influenced by the tension of it.
• It creates space so the joints can move. The bones in our body don't touch each other. They can only move if there is space between them. This space is created by the pull the fascial system gives. Fascia pulls the bones apart so the joints can work.
• It allows the muscles to glide and move freely.
• It brings nutrients to the cells and tissues and removes residues.
• It keeps our vital functions well balanced (homeostasis).
There are many other functions fascia has, that are vital to our body to work properly. The more we look at the fascia, the more we learn about its crucial role.
Thankfully, the research related to fascia is growing every day. There are many groups in the world learning about this amazing network and bringing light to how it works. For us, manual therapists, it is very rewarding to read the science behind what we feel with our hands (we always felt it, but sometimes we couldn't explain it, because fascia was not part of the model we first learned).
Here are some great links you can check if you want to go deeper:
WeFlow´s tip for you!
As any jello, fascia needs water! Make sure your child is given enough during the day.