Fascia is the the soft tissue that covers the muscular system of the human body, protecting the bones, muscles, organs, nerves, and other internal structures. Fascia is an uninterrupted, three-dimensional web of connective tissue (imagine Spiderman’s suit) that extends from head to toe, from front to back, from interior to exterior.
What does Fascia do and why is it important for skincare?
- Fascia supports the structure and integrity of the human body.
- Fascia is the body’s second line of defense from disease and infection (the skin is the body’s first).
- Fascia is the body’s built in shock system. You have one for your car, well, we are our own personal modes of transportation and we need them too.
- Fascia is the intracellular superhighway for the body’s communication system.
- Fascia provides space for the healing of tissues.
The skin on the face is closely connected to the underlying muscular structure via superficial fascia that provides elasticity to the skin. This intricate connection helps us to smile, frown, speak, or make even the tiniest of facial movements. This is also why injections like Juvederm, Restylane and Botox are so successful. When we make facial movements over an extended period of time (say thirty years or so), our skin tends to lose some of it’s elasticity and collagen starts to break down, leaving us with “expression lines.”
As we age, the elasticity in our facial fascia can decrease and hydration can be lost, leaving drooping and lined skin. Physical trauma (like acne, chicken pox, burns, etc), lack of movement and constant strained muscles can lead to areas of fascia getting “stuck.” Stuck fascia can block proper lymphatic drainage and nutrient flow, which can make cellular repair difficult. Unhealthy fascia can lead to scarring and wrinkling of the skin, so it is important to know how to keep it in good working condition.
Myofascial massage helps keep this connective tissue flexible and can release any “stuck” areas. Proper hydration and water intake is also very important for the facial fascia and collagen to be properly lubricated and flexible.
Here’s a terrific article written by two Bowen Myofascial practioners in Australia on all aspects of the body’s fascial system and suggestions for keeping it healthy.