Removing Excessive Fascia
Fascia is a plastic like material that surrounds your muscles and other soft tissues. The fascia's rubber band like qualities return your body to an original position after being elongated. What occurs during assisted RFST is that we continue to elongate the fascia while the person resists until we exceed the tensile strength of the fascia, thus causing it to shred. This thinning of the excessive build up of fascia frees the body to move optimally. When you resist while being stretched during Resistance Flexibility Training, the resistance you create while the assister moves you literally strips away layer after layer of excessive fascia. This fascia shredding is then absorbed by the circulatory system and cleaned by your lymphatic system, later to be eliminated by urination, sweating, and defecation.
Strolling Under the Skin
by Dr. Jean Claude Guimberteau
Fascinating images of living fascia
Fascia has several very unusual, and until recently, unknown properties:
All past traumas are stored in the fascia. These traumas literally warp the natural form of the fascia, and deform it, thus holding the person into the damaged position. When the fascia is 'thinned' during RFST, the memories of those events surface and are brought to light so as to finally release the person from being held in the past.
Most health professionals have largely ignored the fascia. My fascial discoveries are a hallmark of my work on flexibility. Only in 2007 was the first international conference on fascia held at Harvard. We are presenting at the 3rd conference in Vancouver.
Fascia has no nervous innervation. It is not connected to your brain and therefore produces no sensation when being worked on. You can detect its existence by using your hand to feel this taut tissue beneath your skin. An important thing to note is that you create thousands of pounds of forces when you resist while stretching while having little to no feeling of those forces. This is easily explained by the fact that fascia has no wiring from the brain to it - unlike muscles, tendons, etc. which are wired from your brain thus allowing you to feel them easily.
There is no innervation of fascia, so there is no sensation when it is being affected!
Fascia has tremendous tensile strength compared to muscular strength. Scar tissue has exponential tensile strength compared to the fascia. Dense fascia can have tensile strength that is 2-8 X's the strength of the muscle it surrounds. Normal amounts of fascia are around 2 X's and dense fascia up to 8 X's the resistive force of the muscles strength. It is important to note that tremendous forces are generated by the stretcher when they are being resisted during assisted Resistance Flexibility Training. It requires this amount of force to break up the fascia. The person generates the force, while the assister moves the person. It is like the person being stretched is a surgeon on himself or herself while the assister helps move them.
It's All About the Fascia
A fun way to imagine how excessive
fascia limits freedom of movement
The amount of force necessary to break up the fascia cannot be tolerated if administered from outside the person in deep massage or rolfing.
Fascia is the most energy efficient material in the body. For example, when your bicep contracts and shortens, your tricep's fascia is stretched, and when your bicep stops contracting, you tricep does not need to contract to bring your arm back to the starting position because the fascia acts like a rubber band and simply springs you back.
Excessive repetitive movements or trauma dramatically increases the density or mass of the fascia resulting in significant impairment to movement, circulation, lymphatic flow, and substitutional movements. It holds you into the damaged position, and limits your ability to move out of that position and holds the bones in limited and unnatural relationships. This damage or trauma situation now requires enormous amounts of energy to move instead of efficient movements.
Chronic pain is most often resulting from an accumulation of excessive dense fascia and scar tissue.
Traditional stretching methods that do not use resistance while stretching unfortunately produce more fascia and scar tissue. Animals naturally resist while stretching.
Olympic coaches have described assisted RFST as the most intense workout they have ever experienced. The reasons for this include: the enormous amount of force that is being generated by the fascia, the concentration necessary to participate in the 'surgery like' resistance stretching process, the significant recovery/healing that follows, the psychological education and processing that is necessary from the changes, and the perspective and life upgrades that occur as a result of freeing the person from their past. An unusual 'time-space' warping occurs from removing fascia.
Again, there is no sensation of this tautness or resistance, so huge amounts of dense fascia are being removed while there is little to no sensation of it happening. Most people new to resistance stretching are shocked at the rapid postural changes and freedom of movement that results from removing the dense fascia.
Removing excessive dense fascia results in freeing the muscles to develop, increases the biomechanical efficiency, and allows the body to be in normal or supernormal bone rotational relationships. The elimination of overly dense fascia and scar tissue within the myofascial structures becomes a freeing agent psychologically.
Resistance flexibility is more a subtractive technology and the changes that result are permanent, not transient like in strength training.