Fascia is a miracle of the human body. It connects every muscle to every other muscle in the body in ‘trains’, or kinetic chains, that can stretch from the end of your little toe to the top of your scalp. To give you the briefest explanation;
Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle. – Wikipedia
Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers is a ground breaking resource that maps the whole-body fascial and myofascial linkages, showing how (through the fascia) a problem in our right shoulder could be caused by a tightness or dysfunction in our left ankle that could never be understood by contemplating the ankle alone. These myofascial connections follow easily identified ‘meridians’ and explain many of our movement compensations and how they could be caused by imbalances and dysfunction further along the kinetic chain.
These connections highlight the new paradigm that Muscles connect to muscles’ whereas the old paradigm explained that muscles connected only to bones. The energy produced by the contracting muscles can be delivered or absorbed through the fascia more or less effectively depending on the direction of the ‘grain’ in the fascia.
Fascia has a grain just like fabric or wood, and this grain is the pattern along which the fascia absorbs kinetic energy. Any dysfunction or interruption in the grain of our fascia, or the muscle it surrounds, has the potential to affect any other part of that fascial chain, and this is why maintenance of the fascial sheath is so important.
Here is a brief video that explains the fascial chains in the human body.
One of the first courses I am preparing for learning on the Primal Coach website will be effective Self-Myofascial release using tools such as Foam Rollers, Bak Balls, Lacrosse and Tennis balls and even a rolled up towel. Feel free to comment if this is something you would be interested in learning more about.