Not just sore muscles

Well, my back is still in recovery from the race, much to my annoyance. I’m rearranging my schedule to sit on lacrosse balls and my PVC pipe “foam roller” instead of hitting the gym today. My upper glutes are the worse – if I move to tuck my tailbone, I feel a deep ache pull on my low back.  I was in more pain during that race than I want to admit and today I have an empty water bottle wedged between my lower back and the chair trying to desperately get the tightness to relax.

I use to be really good about getting regular massages with most of the VIP membership going towards 2-hour deep tissue abuse to try and loosen my muscles. Sometimes it worked and others just did not get deep enough to the root of the problem. Only one therapist explained to me that it wasn’t my inflexibility causing the problem, but the fact that I was “fascia bound” so bad that my muscles could not move.

That day I learned Fascia is.

Fascia is made up primarily of densely packed collagen fibers that create a full body system of sheets, chords and bags that wrap, divide and permeate every one of your muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels and organs. Every bit of you is encased in it. You’re protected by fascia, connected by fascia and kept in taut human shape by fascia…

 It wraps around each of your individual internal parts, keeping them separate and allowing them to slide easily with your movements. It’s strong, slippery and wet. It creates a sheath around each muscle; because it’s stiffer, it resists over-stretching and acts like an anatomical emergency break. It connects your organs to your ribs to your muscles and all your bones to each other. It structures your insides in a feat of engineering, balancing stressors and counter-stressors to create a mobile, flexible and resilient body unit.

fascia4

Ever trimmed a chicken? That is fascia.

 

 

  Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that your fascia maintains its optimal flexibility, shape or texture. Lack of activity will cement the once-supple fibers into place. Chronic stress causes the fibers to thicken in an attempt to protect the underlying muscle. Poor posture and lack of flexibility and repetitive movements pull the fascia into ingrained patterns. Adhesions form within the stuck and damaged fibers like snags in a sweater, and once they’ve formed they’re hard to get rid of.”- Runners’ World

That last paragraph sums up my entire body right now. My calves only move when poked. My glutes and back, well.. my spine is protected with a sheet of armor. Hubby has actually beaten my lower back and the only takeaway was his wrists ached afterward. I’ve had massage therapists ask how do I run because my muscles just…do. not. move. period.

Last week I finally admitted that I need something that will fix my fascia so I can work out without pain. Lacrosse balls and foam rollers only stretch the tired muscles, not loosen the harden layers of connective tissue so they can move freely and optimally.  I can do plenty of yoga but as it stands my range of motion is ridiculously limited.

There was a tool (actually 3 options) to help me with this. It’s called the FasciaBlaster created by Ashley Black. She’s studied the fascia system for over 20 years and developed the tool specifically. I loved the fact she took the time to make videos of every possible demo and there is a whole YouTube library of both her tutorials and the ‘blaster” community. I like the results I see, while I’m using this for a specific reason many in the community experience fat loss, lost inches, muscle toning, flexibility and less cellulite. You could call this a body sculpting tool in all truthfulness.

 

On my birthday I placed the order for all 3 products and, to my surprise and delight, they just arrived today! Before I start using these tools I’ll take my measurements and before photos to document my success. Right now I need to get some massage oil and a 60+ inch ribbon tape measure to be authentic.  🙂 I’m so excited!

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