Fascia is the biggest sensory organ that we have, our skin being the next. Everything we do involves fascia. Fascia wraps around everything.
Fascia is a three-dimensional web of tissue that connects all the soft tissues in the body. We have two levels of fascia in the body; the first being Superficial Fascia, this sits near the surface of the skin and helps the skin connect to the tissues underneath. The second type of fascia is called Deep Fascia; this type of fascia binds together muscle and ensheathes the nerves, blood vessels and organs.
If you think of a chicken breast with the skin left on, as you peel away the skin from the breast the white fibers in-between are the superficial fascia. If you were eating a chicken drumstick, just near the bone you would also find the connected tissue that join the meat to the bone, this is Deep Fascia. Think of fascia as the “in between”. You can also see fascia when you buy a beef roast, the white stuff that the butcher’s leaves on the top is also fascia. So as you can see by the places fascia is found, how vital fascia is too function and movement. If fascia is restricted or irritated it will impact on the immediate area the fascia is located, and will also impact on the other areas of the body through the connected fascial lines of the body.
The Different Lines of Fascia in our bodies:
Superficial Back Line – This line runs from under the foot (plantar fascia tendon) up the Gastrocnemius (calves) then moves up to the Hamstrings, crosses the lower back by the way of the Sacrotuberous Ligament, up the back along the Erector Spinae group (spine) and ends at our brow at the occipital ridge (our forehead). This fascial line is responsible for upright posture and extending the torso upward and backward.So as we can see by this continues line, if there is irritation or disruption at the foot it can affect the back right up to the neck.
Try a small test to see how your back line is connected.
- First roll down into a forward fold position (try touching hands to feet) and measure how far your hands are off the floor.
- Now roll under your foot for 1 min each side with a firm ball and repeat the fold, you should be able to reach closer to the floor.
- So as you can see releasing the start of the superficial back line under the foot has allowed the same back line around your lower back to gain length.
Superficial Front Line – This line runs from the top of our foot up the Tibialis Anterior (front of your lower leg) over the Patella Tendon (knee cap), up along the Quadriceps and then follows the Rectus Abdominals (tummy muscles) to the chest in the sternal area (breast plate) and then finds the Sternocleidomastoid (front of your neck) and finishes at the front of your head.
Its function is to stabilize the upper body posture; it also allows movements of bending, as well as lifting and lowering of the upper body.
Deep Front Line – This line begins deep in the sole of the foot, up the deep calves (tibialis posterior) then up the inside of the thigh though the adductors, then makes it way to the sacrum, then up to Illiacus, Psoas Major (front of hips and spine) and Quadratus Lumborum. It then divides into 3 portions, the Hyoid muscles, the Longus Colli and Longus Capitus and also the Scalene muscles (deep neck).
It’s main function is core alignment and core stability. This is the line often affected in people who have jobs that require hours of sitting.
Lateral Lines – This line starts on the lateral side of the foot then moves up the Peroneus (side of calves) to find the Anterior Ligament of the Fibular Head. It then moves up the IT Band (side of thigh), to the TFL (side of hip) and Glute Max (butt muscle). It then proceeds to the Oblique’s, the External and Internal Intercostal (side of abdominals) around the ribs and finishes at the Splenius Capitis and SCM (front of neck).
This line ensures balance between the front and back lines and connects our torso and legs, so they do not give way suddenly. This line is also involved in side bending and stop excessive torso bending and rotation.
Spiral Line – This line as its name describes is a line that spirals up and around the body from the very back of the heel up to the back of the neck. This line allows for movement in rotation and opposite directions. It has an impact on our posture, maintains balance at all levels and ensures a forward action on walking. It is also generates rotations and stability for our bodies.
Deep and Superficial Arm Lines – These lines run from our hands (deep line – thumb), (superficial line – Inside hands) up to our Pectorials (chest), Lat’s, Rhomboids, Trapezius (back muscles), Deltoids (shoulders), Rotator Cuff muscles, Biceps and Triceps. These lines are responsible for pulling things towards us and pushing things away, they can help stabilize the body by holding onto structures, they perform tasks in close connection with our eyes in daily life.