What is Fascia?Postpartum
Fascia. The word that seems to be trending in the massage, health, and healing industry, but what is it and how does it affect you? According to the dictionary fascia “is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.”
The talk about fascia may leave you confused about its importance. Since it is everywhere in your body connecting everything—that’s why it is central. Fascia is a natural tensile area like a spider’s web. It’s white—gross alert—look at a raw chicken breast and it’s the white stretchy membrane attached.
What does this mean if you have an incision from a caesarean section?
There are many layers of fascia in your abdomen: under the skin, the peritoneum (a membrane lining the abdominal cavity), and surrounding each muscle and organ. In a surgical birth, the fascia is disturbed and cut. Because of its connection and relationship to every other part of your body, you may feel the effects of that incision, and its scarring, as it heals in a seemingly unconnected area—like your shoulder for example. In this drawing of the lines of fascia, you can see how fascia runs diagonally across your torso and how extensively it connects various areas of your body.
Why does it hurt?
Scars form tissue that are more rigid, and less elastic than fascia. You’ve seen scars on your skin, but they also form internally where they are called adhesions. An adhesion will cause a pull or twist in one area that can be transmitted in another area. Imagine pulling on one corner of a stretchy fabric like jersey…what happens is a tightening on the opposite corner. When the whole is equally stretchy, there is no uneven strain. But if there is a scar—or on a fabric, a seam—this scar will be rigid and cause strain and perhaps pain or discomfort or limited range of motion. Fascia is embedded with nerves that can send a pain message to your brain that says, “Stop that movement!”
Does Craniosacral Therapy help?
A few craniosacral treatments can improve the mobility and stretch-ability of the affected tissues even deep under the surface of the body. It also improves the ability of fluids to lubricate the fascia so that they glide rather than stick to each other. Whenever there is surgery, there is trauma or shock to the nervous system that can remain in your tissues. This therapy is highly effective in reducing the arousal of the nervous system—that survival mechanism we know as fight-or-flight. You may not be aware that your nervous system is activated. It hums below the level of awareness for many people. After a craniosacral session, you will feel more grounded or settled.
The light gentle touch of craniosacral therapy is safe, non-invasive, and comfortable.
Try it! It works.
We encourage you to learn more about our "What in the World" series. Please see our A to Z index for a whole host of pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting information and terminology.
Linda White has been practicing Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) since 2013 after many years in the field of social work. She is excited and awed by the healing power of this kind of therapy. Initially, she was intrigued by BCST when a craniosacral therapist put her hands on her ankles and could tell her what was going on in her body! BCST taught her to be more aware of her body and to tune in to stresses and discomfort before they became acute and painful. She takes a 'whole person' or holistic approach to healing, and deeply acknowledges the inter-connectedness of body, mind and spirit. Linda loves history and genealogy. She also loves cooking, especially soups.