Self Myofascial Release (SMR) Explained
With more and more research validating and quantifying Self Myofascial Release (SMR) as an effective method to improve not only our mobility but stability and with more people talking about it than ever, you might be asking what it’s all about… In simple terms Stability and Mobility underpins every movement we make, no matter what we use our bodies for. Be it elite level sport, carrying your kids, hauling groceries or walking down the street. Life is about movement and fascia is the system allowing optimal functional movement.
Fascia is a three-dimensional complex matrix threading itself throughout the entire body, surrounding our muscles, organs, nerves, bones, blood vessels and even our cells.
Fascia is roughly 68% fluid in its natural state but after trauma and injury becomes hardened and tightens and loses fluidity.
It is responsible for stability of our joints, binds our bodies and holds everything in place but is also; Flexible, infinitely adaptable, strong and completely connected, meaning as one area of fascia is impacted it ripples throughout the entire body.
All fascia is connective tissue, but NOT all connective tissue is fascia.
There are 4 main types of connective tissue, Proper Connective Tissue, Blood, Bone & Cartilage.
So What is fascia
Our fascia responds to every movement we make as well as trauma or injury that we have sustained or bad postures that we repeat. When we regular move through our entire range of motion and practice SMR techniques we promote fluidity in the fascia that allows the muscles, nerves and blood vessels to slide and glide through, next to, and across one another. If we sustain and injury practice bad posture or even become dehydrated, fascia tends to drag on the structures it supports. Sliding and gliding of nerves and blood vessels becomes limited. Muscles become tethered to one another making it harder to contract fully and bringing about symptoms of stiffness and weakness. To put into context just how important fascia is think about this… With no muscle, our ability to lift an arm, a leg, bend forward would be limited. Without fascia it would be impossible!
Fascia not only moves us but can heal!
Everything is connected to everything through the fascial matrix.
Meaning if a muscle contracts, the contractions generate a pull through the matrix, affecting all other parts of your body because of its interconnectedness. Fascia Creates a Sliding and Gliding Environment and fluidity allows the muscles, nerves and blood vessels to slide and glide through, next to, and across one another. Because of this, it is essential that fascia be constantly released and maintained using effective SMR tools and techniques. When you restore balance and proper function to fascia, your body has the ability to heal itself of your injury, safely, naturally, and non-invasively.