Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds, permeates, supports and connects all our organs, muscles and joints. Some parts of the connective tissue are naturally tougher, other parts are more flexible and softer. Normally, fascia of the muscles - also known as myofascia or 'deep tissue'- is relaxed and somewhat elastic. When we move, the adjacent and superimposed layers of fascia can slide along each other. Under the influence of incorrect posture, stress, overload, (former) injuries and trauma, the connective tissue becomes tougher and the layers can adhere to each other. This causes restrictions of range of movement and changes in posture, breathing and movement patterns. By differentiating and stretching the deep tissue layers, and bringing them back in the right position, the body will regain its natural alignment.
Natural Alignment and Structural Integration
Fascial release is based on, inter alia, the method of Structural Integration by Ida Rolf and the Anatomy Trains concept by Thomas Meyers. The body structure and fascial tension lines are brought into balance in relation to the force of gravity by applying slow or stimulating deep tissue manipulations. Additional exercises are given to anchor the changes in posture and movement in the body consciousness.
Fascial release is applied according to the specific direction that follows your postural pattern. At the beginning of a session we do a 'body reading'. By this we determine where the greatest stresses are and how we're going to bring them into balance. Treatment consists mainly of slow, sometimes deep 'strokes'. The fascia is stretched and moved with fingers, knuckles, forearms or elbows. In conjunction with your trainer, you make specific small movements in the area where the work takes place. This way you'll create shear between the fascial layers. This solves the adhesions. As you become more familiar with the technique and feel, it becomes easier to distinguish what your muscles are doing and how they work in concert.
Reeducation of movement patterns
In sitting and standing the same principles are applied. You'll move while your trainer stretches and brings the tissue 'where it belongs'. Additional exercises are given as homework. This integrates the new balance in your daily movement patterns.
Breathing is key
Conscious deep breathing is essential for the achievement of your goal: lengtening of the connective tissue, activation of the deeper layers, space in the joints, balance between the parts of your body. Fascial Release manipulates both superficial and deep layers. The deep layers can be sensitive and tense. By sending the breath into the tissues being worked on, your body stretches from the inside and can release held tension.
Fascial Relesae for Structural Balance - the series
Fascial Release is done in a sequence of sessions. Sequential work helps to initiate change in your posture, your movement, your energy and knowledge of your body.
Feet - a Spring in your Step
The feet and legs support and determine the balance of the body. If the arches in your feet or your knees do not function properly or hurt, they disturb the natural balance of the body. Then, for example, we see that by stiffness in the ankles and the back of the legs the pelvis shifts forward. The upper body adapts by bending backwards: The lower back muscles then will shorten. To keep balance the head reaches too far forward, so upper back muscles will be overstretched and the neck muscles will shorten. To change this postural pattern, we start with the foundation.
Feet - a Spring in your Step treats the arches, ankles, calves, knees and thighs front and back, so that they support the body in a better way.
Around the Pelvis
The hips are the joints that determine symmetry and balance. Restriction in muscle length tilts the pelvis forward or backward. This strains the lower back. Asymmetric restrictions shift the pelvis over to one side or shift one hip forward and the other backwards. This causes functional differences in leg length and rotations in the spine.
Around the Pelvis treats the inner leg muscles, the muscles on the side of the pelvis, the deep gluteal muscles, lateral rotators and the psoas complex, in such a way that this important bridge between legs and spine can regain balance.
Balancing the Neck
Pain in the neck and upper back is a common complaint, especially in people with sedentary jobs. This pain is caused by the head being held too far forward with respect to the shoulders. Neck muscles become unbalanced; some muscles are stiff and short, while other muscles weaken and are overstretched. The natural curve of the neck might be lost, nerves become overstimulated and cause a burning aching pain in the neck and between the shoulder blades. When this condition becomes chronic, we speak of arthritis; arthritis or osteoarthritis; wear and tear of the joints.
Balancing the Neck treats the muscles that move the neck, respiratory muscles and deep postural muscles of the neck and upper back.
• feeling taller and lighter
• greater range of motion
• more comfortable in your own skin
• awareness of postural habits
• good 'alignment'
• relaxed and meditative
Spring Pilates BodyMindTraining
Pilates | Fascial Release | GYROTONIC® methode | GYROKINESIS® methode
Achter de Barakken 13, 6211RZ, Maastricht
Tel.: 043 326 18 11 | email: info(at)springpilates.nl
Tekst, ontwerp en realisatie: Aisha Trimbach | Fotografie: Jean-Pierre Pilet | ©2015 Spring Pilates.
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