A Fascia Detox for Spring
Something to keep in mind with shorts season just around the corner: your fascia may need a detox...
But what is fascia?!
Fascia is the tissue located directly beneath your skin, connecting and wrapping itself around every muscle, joint and organ inside of you. Although the fascia is incredibly thin (and easily uneducated about) it is also the very thing shaping you. When toxins enter the skin (via pollution or hormonally-disruptive lotions + creams), the fascia is the first thing to interact with, and hold onto anything undeserved. Harvard Medical School now holds an entire conference around fascia health, called the Fascia Research Congress. So, you know it’s of legit importance. Even if you have great muscle tone, great endurance and the promise of a six-pack, if your fascia isn’t up to standards, then your workouts are almost, dare Harvard say, not fully counting...at least, not like they could.
What is a fascia detox?
Detoxing the fascia is about reshaping your posture -- it's about strengthening your inner web and massaging it to a point of smooth mobility, and cleanliness. Imagine a rubber cord stretched from point A to point B. In between the two points, you find a knot that no tugging from A to B can kink out. This is what merely stretching before or after a workout does. No stretch from hip to knee can work out the knotty kinks on your thigh fascia without running something between the two tendon points.
Just because a modern day fascia detox has more to do with factory made rubber than it does organic stones or forest material, doesn’t mean that it’s a brand-new practice. The ritual of fascia detoxification and re-structuration has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. This is what Ayurvedic deep tissue and hot stone massages do. This is what lymphatic drainage simultaneously helps with. This is, more or less, the same exact thing as your masseuse running their entire forearm across your back.
When the fascia isn’t properly detoxed of, it thickens, hardens, knots up and becomes super damaged. A damaged fascia leads to a damaged posture, and a damaged posture means lack of abdominal engagement. The promise of that six-pack becomes erroneous when day to day muscle engagement is lacking. A toxic fascia comes to us due to lack of sweating and intense physical activity, as well as the opposite: far too much sweating and physical activity without the act of foam rolling (and if Akin does it...).
But what is foam rolling?
Foam rolling, respectively called Self-myofascial Release (or, SMR) is the act of gliding your body back and forth across an ~three foot roller, made of foam. For an everyday fascia detox, SMR can be done at home, no masseuse or hot stones required. SMR is best performed using a foam roller, however lacrosse balls and posture balls alike have been proven to get get the job done. By applying cylindrical pressure to specific points on the body, you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles to assist them in returning to normal function much faster. Normal muscle function feels like elasticity, flexibility, and being able to perform at any moment’s notice. It feels like Warrior Status. The points you most want to focus on are, unfortunately, the ones that hurt the most. These are where the knots live. Releasing these knots will leave you pain free in the long-run and ultimately, re-structure your fascia (yay!). Releasing knots will also allow for seamless, healthy blood flow to all the right places. Foam rolling across kinky fascia points may leave you pretty sore the next day, but it’s a good kind of sore -- the one you know is providing your temple a whole lot of good.
When should foam rolling be done?
Foam rolling should, ideally, be done before and after working out. Though, just after is better than nothing! Again, stretching can aid in flexibility and recovery, but foam rolling will aid in working out all the nasty that's stuck between the two.
What can foam rolling be coupled with for extra musculoskeletal detox powers?
- Eat clean, eat whole. Consume the cleanest, most cell-loving and detoxifying foods from Earth's floor. Also, be sure to drink plenty of filtered water! You want to flush the excess toxins you've released while foam rolling.
- Drink a tall class of CALM magnesium mixed into warm water before bed. Not only will the magnesium aid in sending you into deep, restorative slumber, but it will aid in muscle recovery and full body re-mineralization.
- After foam rolling, take fascia detoxification and lymphatic drainage to the next level with a pre-shower dry-bushing session. Hop in the steaming shower, finish it out with chilly water, pat dry and oil up! For a post-shower cellulite-banisher, apply a spoonful of castor oil with peppermint oil to the thighs to stimulate epidermal turnover and keep blood flowing long after rolling. For full body oiling, mix organic coconut oil with lavender for a hydrating and calming experience.
Your body is your temple. Show it so much love -- right down to the very last inch of fascia.