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💪 What is Fascia? (Part 1)

Mitigate Stress sent this email to their subscribers on September 22, 2023.

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Email Image Good evening, When you bite into a piece of steak, do you ever notice the spider web-like structure? That's fascia. The more cooked it is, the more dry and dehydrated it is. The more raw and healthy, the more hydrated and smooth it is. This web-like collagen structure runs through our bones, organs, and muscles, virtually holding and connecting everything together. Fascia connects us from head to toe and is coated in mucous, which keeps it smooth and lubricated. Literally, our feet, calves & hamstrings connect to our scalp.  Instead of thinking we have 600 different muscles or so, think of One Giant Muscle with 600 Attachments. The body operates through slings and chains; we have the posterior and anterior oblique sling, the posterior chain, the anterior chain and more. Fascia, throughout our entire body, operates under a constant length and tension relationship. When we walk, we are stimulating all these chains like a giant 'X.' We step forward with our right leg and twist our upper body towards the right leg, connecting the opposites; one side is lengthening, and one side is shortening.  Our fascia accounts for 60% of our total body's water storage. Like our liver stores glycogen (our battery pack), our fascia stores water. Unfortunately, with the majority of the population being chronically dehydrated, our fascia is more dry, stiff, hardened, and weaker than ever. The main fluid in the body is water. The 'inner sea' is known as 'interstitial fluid.' In addition to lymph (when it's in the lymph vessels), plasma (when it's part of the blood), and cytosol (when it's inside the cell), interstitial fluids can flow freely to cerebrospinal-spinal fluid (CSF), ovarian fluid, etc. The fascia, however, encapsulates a large amount of water. Many individuals state that the water contained within the fascia is divided into two categories known as 'bound' and 'free.' This is considered controversial, but 'free' would indicate just 'passing through the fascia' (mostly water) as interstitial fluid passes by all the cells to deliver nutrients and pick up 'garbage'.  Bound water is different. This form of water is bound to the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs — snotty/lubricating mucus) part of the fascia, which binds water in the same way gelatin binds water to fern-like molecules. These molecules can hold a lot of water molecules (and affect millions more nearby). Thomas states that the molecules holding the water look like ferns; each 'frond' contains the GAGs that bind water. Many assume that all water in the body is bound in some way and that none of it is free. Thomas disagrees. He believes there is "a useful distinction to make between water passing through and water bound into the tissue." So, does fascia really stretch? Not really. It's not actually the collagen fibers stretching but the fibers sliding along each other on the Glue of the hydrated GAGs mentioned earlier. (Sbriccoli et al. 2005).  If we take the water out of the GAGs, the results simply lead to tearing and making it virtually impossible to stretch (Schleip 2003). As Meyers states, GAGs are just long words for snot. We are basically held together by mucus. Depending on the chemistry variation within each of our bodies, the substance can vary from a watery, lubricating fluid to a thick and sticky substance. This is why trigger-point release therapy, guasha therapy, walking, playing, and moving more intentionally are so critical to our body's systemic hydration on a cellular level.  Next week, we will discuss some ways we can properly hydrate our fascia while avoiding habits that tighten and dehydrate our fascia. This subject is something we cover in our Free Hydration Guide. Go check it out if you are interested! In Christ, Nick & Nathan  Check Out Our Website Mitigate Stress © Mitigate Stress Inc 2021 All Rights Reserved. P.O. Box 158, Haymarket, VA 20168  Stay In Touch! social iconsocial icon | | Forward to a Friend
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