Recently I crossed paths with a woman named Elisha who does fascia release therapy. She’s passionate about fascia and the role it has with chronic pain in your body.
After meeting with her, I became intrigued to explore more about the role of fascia with endometriosis and chronic pain.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue under your skin that’s primary made up of collagen. There are different layers of the fascia that connect with your organs, muscles, glands and nervous system.
You have more fascia than anything else in your body. It’s what keeps your bones, muscles and organs in place. It surrounds every single nerve ending in your body. It’s where your musculoskeletal, circulatory and nervous systems unite.
Fascia & Chronic Pain
Fascia is the single most pain-sensitive tissue in your body. It forms a body-wide network that communicates with itself like nerves do. Fascia’s communication with the nervous system makes it a physical example of the mind/body connection.
Fascia’s meant to be flexible and able to move as you do. Overuse, underuse, injury and/or surgery can cause your fascia to shrink, dry up and adhere to itself. This causes pain.
When dried up fascia that’s stuck to itself tries to move with you, it can’t. As a result, blood doesn’t flow freely to your muscles, joints, and organs. Your nerve signals are inhibited.
Surgery, Scar Tissue, Fascia & Endo
Every time you have surgery and are cut into, your body’s natural way of healing is with scar tissue. Scar tissue is primary made up of collagen, just like the fascia that surrounds everything.
That scar tissue, combined with fascia, can envelope your insides like cobwebs, suffocating the normal blood flow and nutrition to the areas of your body.
As a result, you feel stiffness, tightness and pain. Chronic pain. Fascia needs space so that blood can flow.
While fascia is found throughout your body, large sheets of it cover your abdomen, flanks and lower back, where a lot of pain can reside.
It’s also readily present in your digestive tract. Adhesions that form in this area can make it so your digestion doesn’t flow well.
Tight fascia can start to pull on organs and can go so far as to pull your pelvis out of place.
How to Release the Fascia
The good news is that it’s possible to get your fascia moving freely again. I was shown this about a month ago when I set up an appointment to see Elisha. She does a unique fascia release therapy that she has coined as Kinetix™ Fascial Integration.
The therapy combines pinned body weight from the therapist’s foot and focused movement from the participant. The process breaks up fascia adhesions and gets the fascia to change itself from the inside out.
This happens through the mind/body connection with the fascia. Since I was consciously doing the movements she suggested, as she released my fascia with her foot, my brain was engaged in the process of release.
She focused on releasing the fascia in my legs, which was surprising to me, since the relief I sought was in my lower back and hips. She explained that when the fascia pulls from down below, it influences your core. I had the most pain in my thigh areas, which had been tight and tensed up with pain over the years.
Elisha taught me that the fascia layer holds imprints of your entire life. She could tell that I played soccer as a kid and that I had knee problems because of the tension in the fascia from that.
Since the fascia layer encompasses the mind/body connection, it’s a storage depot for unexpressed emotions. This causes additional stagnation that can start to impact you mentally.
As the fascia’s released, emotions are often released too. That was the case for me. After the session I had different emotions come up. I felt through them and allowed them to release.
Other Fascia Release Therapies
Another option is deep myofascial release therapy. With this method sustained pressure is applied to loosen and lengthen the constricting fascia. The practitioner works on breaking down adhesions between the tissue.
There’s also Clear Passage therapy which was founded by a woman with severe endometriosis. They do hands on therapy with the Wurn Technique™ which is designed to help break up adhesions and stimulate movement back to your fascia.
If you’re not in a position at the moment to see someone that does fascia release therapy, there are some things you can do at home to help break up the fascia.
One option to try is a foam roller. You can use the weight of your body on the roller to help break up the fascia. Keep your movements slow and focused.
Or check out the period pain exercises here that use a tennis ball to help break up the fascia. These exercises are from Chris Toal who does deep myofascial release therapy on women with endo.
Avoid surgery if possible
After learning more about the role of fascia with endometriosis and chronic pain, it’s clear that less surgery is better. The more you get cut open and into, the more scar tissue you get, which makes things worse in the long run, especially with surgery for endometriosis that include ablation methods rather than the preferred method of excision. (Read more about the difference here.)
With surgery, the problem is exacerbated. I think many ladies get in the habit of having surgery every couple of years to clear out the scar tissue, but the process only adds more. Scar tissue is 1,000 times more sensitive, combined with the pain-sensitive fascia layer.
For me, surgery didn’t help that much, in fact I think it made things worse. I think resulting pain from scar tissue & tight, dried up fascia can cause more pain than the endo implants themselves.
On the Positive Side?
After a single session with Elisha I did notice a difference with the chronic pain in my right hip. The sensation of release was a bit strange, as I felt blood flow again to the areas of my body that have been tight for years.
As I left the session, I picked up on her passion for fascia and belief that it’s possible to live life without the chronic pain that you may have become accustomed to. I walked away with hope.
I have been witness to many ladies who are struggling with chronic pain and endo and I feel like fascia is a connection that may have been missed. I hope that this inspires you to look more into releasing your fascia too.
Have you tried fascia release therapy? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.