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How’s your fascia?

Don’t worry if you don’t know – few people understand the importance of this flexible connective tissue to our bodies and our health.

Park Igls Health Retreat Tirol Austria Mayr Clinic Fascia

Fascia was long regarded as relatively useless and uninteresting ‘sheath tissue’. Its primary function is to envelop and connect all organs, muscles, bones, joints and nerves. Now we know that it contains over 80% of our free nerve endings and pain receptors – far more than any muscle. Adhesions and hardening of the fascia are guaranteed to result in ailments.

The body’s shock absorber

In the past, therapists barely even thought about fascia, and it was not considered important. Now, though, things are beginning to change, and many physicians, therapists and researchers are describing fascia tissue as the body’s largest sensory organ. What’s more, they recommend regular training and an alkaline diet to protect against a loss of elasticity due to over-acidification.

‘Regular training, either using a fascia roller or targeted, dynamic exercises, is important for this,’ explains Alexander Ataii, physiotherapist at the Health Retreat Park Igls. Alexander leads the regular fascia training modules that you see advertised in our daily programme, and knows from personal experience that poor posture, inactivity and stress not only affect musculature; they also affect the fascia.

Even though fascia disorders are only just starting to be researched, it is already becoming clear that they are responsible for the majority of unexplained back pain. Dr Schleip, a leading scientist in fascia research, speaks of ‘the body’s domino effect’ and points out that a knee injury, for example, can trigger shoulder pain several years down the line.

Avoid over-acidification!

Alongside over- or under-exercising, significant causes of fascial adhesions include stress, surgical scars, radiotherapy, bones that have spent too much time in a plaster cast and poor nutrition. Dietary over-acidification in particular wreaks serious fascial damage. Over-acidified connective tissue causes hardening, thereby impairing muscle activity, blood circulation and lymphatic flow. Alkaline foods as offered by Modern Mayr cuisine at Park Igls can have direct and preventative effects.

Physiotherapist Alexander Ataii recommends:

‘For best results, add these three exercises to your daily routine and do them whenever you can, whether it’s during a break at the office or in the evenings in front of the television. Three sets of 20 is perfect!’

Fascia training at home

  • Bounce, hop and jump on a soft surface.
  • Bend your knees, place a fascia roller between your back and the wall and roll it up and down.
  • Stand up, tilt your torso forwards and place your hands over your knees. Transfer your weight to one side and extend your other leg.

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