Hi everyone! There are many elements to optimal health and I feel often we overlook some in search of something more complex. Today, I want to talk about something we often overlook but is important, basic element of health and wellness. It’s the structure — our posture. Are you postured of optimal health?
Our Structure as a Whole
We live in an advantageous, technologically advanced world. We are constantly occupied with electronic devices bidding for our attention every minute of every day. This not only creates separation of our mind from our bodies, but robs us of our “mindfulness”.
When our mind is occupied with cluttering thoughts from the world, our physiology changes. Posturally, we lack the ability to hold proper posture and alignment for optimal functioning of our nervous system.
Awareness of oneself is required for us to hold ourselves accountable to what posture is best for us. So when we lose our “sense” and awareness of our body in space, our structure declines.
Posture is an Important Part of our Wellbeing
We need to pay close attention to our posture and create optimal muscle memory to hold us in space to keep our joints and muscles aligned for optimal performance. Everything that we do keeps us from properly “connecting” to our body. It’s causing us a serious lack of self awareness that can lead to disease and degeneration.
So why does posture matter?
With increasing sedentary inducing advancements, we are not moving as much as we were designed to move. This creates weakening of our muscles. When our muscles are weak, we lose strength, flexibility, mobility, and stability to move freely in day to day functioning.
As the adage goes, if you don’t use it you lose it.
When our muscles atrophy and weaken and keep us from moving freely in our lives, it can threaten our overall health.
Movement is Medicine
Movement is essential for metabolism, detoxification, respiration, ph-balance, and overall health systems in our body including our immune system. Stagnant energy typically lends itself to create a toxic, acidic environment where the cells struggle.. It’s imperative to keep a healthy environment to keep our cells functioning at its best by taking care of its environment for it to flourish.
This means keeping active and moving our muscles. Let’s talk about the essential structure for our musculoskeletal system, the Myofascia.
We hear about myofascial. Myo is muscle and fascia is the tissue that encapsulates the muscle fibers.
Myofascia is the multi-layered connective tissue in your body that holds, stabilizes, and connects everything. Without the myofascia, the bones, blood vessels, muscles, organs, and skin won’t be able to hold together to form a structure.
Think about it like a full-body suit – covering everything from the top of your head to your toes, including your eyes, nose, lips, and mouth.
It stabilizes the essential part of your body. It’s more than the hypothetical glue that holds our body parts together. This is much more complex than that.
The Myofascial Tissue
The multifaceted myofascial tissue – or fascia as it’s sometimes called – is made up of water, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. But it also contains:
White Blood Cells are part of your body’s immune system that defends against bacterial and viral infections, prevents disease, and destroys cancer cells.
Mast Cells – that protect the body from allergens, toxins, and bacteria.
Fibroblasts – play an essential role in wound healing and building and repairing the skin. Pericytes regulate blood flow to our brains and central nervous system.
Lastly, Adipocytes – aka known as fat cells – contribute to the functioning of the endocrine system and hormone production.
It’s also full of highly receptive nerve endings that can detect pain, movement, and spatial awareness sensors. They send signals back and forwards to the brain to help you from injuring yourself, falling, or bumping into things.
Different Types of Myofascial Tissue
- The Superficial Fascia lies underneath the skin and the dermis. It connects the skin to the rest of the body – the bones, muscles, and organs. It’s also sometimes referred to as the subcutaneous layer or hypodermis. It is this fatty layer of yellowish myofascial that is a vital part of the neck and spine anatomy. It separates the delicate structures, like veins, lymph nodes, and the platysma muscle – into protected compartments.
- Deep Fascia. This dense and strong fascial layer supports and protects the muscles, holds our bones in place, and envelops the tendons, ligaments, and delicate network of blood vessels that run throughout the body. This is where the sensor system is. It serves as it is highly dense with nervous structures that are receptive to pain and pressure changes in the body parts.
- Visceral Fascia surrounds our internal organs. This layer keeps our hearts beating, lungs to expand and contract, as well as to keep digestive systems working at its best. The Visceral Fascia holds these structures in place with a web-like matrix of connective tissue and holds and protects the nerves and blood vessels to keep them functioning.
But regardless of the type, the objective of the myofascia is always to protect, stabilize and maintain homeostasis. It helps us to protect from illness and injury – keeping the body in balance, alive and functioning. It’s the peacekeeper.
Why Is Myofascia Important?
Myofascia is involved in brain and central nervous system signaling and a host of other chemical reactions – like hormone production and immune system function.
There are studies that suggest a bi-directional link between fascia, hormone balance, fertility, and post-menopausal symptoms, particularly for women. If your fascia is functioning well, your hormones are more likely to be balanced and vice versa.
Releasing tension through Yoga also allows blood flow and oxygen to flow around the body without interruption. This increase improves the thyroid and pituitary gland function and the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes’ health.
So, suppose you’re struggling to get pregnant, suffering from hormone imbalances or severe menopausal symptoms. In that case, it’s worth considering practicing Yoga in conjunction with other complementary therapies and advice from your Doctor.
The Role of Myofascia
Myofascia is critical to its proper functioning, especially in the case of immune system. It helps manage diseases and serious illness prevention. The multiple layers of superficial, deep, and visceral myofascia protect us from invasive pathogens.
As the master messenger of the body, when the body is stressed or injured in one spot, like a neck, shoulder, or knee injury – the trauma reverberates throughout the body via the sensitive myofascial tissue.
So, it’s easy to see why problems with myofascia cause a whole host of chronic health problems that traditional physical therapists and Western Medicine doctors miss. Because they focus solely on the initial site of injury, illness, or inflammation, once that spot appears to be “healed,” they believe their work is complete.
Awareness with Your Own Body
So often, pain reappears in other body sites that seem unconnected – often many years later, and Western medicine doesn’t connect the dots, which is where posture and alignment awareness comes in. First, to bring awareness to the connection with your body, posture, and alignment for proper healing.
So next time you consider solutions to your clients or patient’s problems, consider integrating the basics by addressing simple posture and alignment by facilitating body awareness to bring focus back to the mind body connection.
It’s great to think in fragments, it’s how we were taught in school but in real life applications, we must pull it all together and address the big picture.
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