Here’s an important self-care note, with thanks to my deep-tissue massage therapist.
As we age (beyond 50 or so), some areas of our skin cling to the tissues underneath.
The fascia (connective tissue) gets rigid, which can impair the muscles.
Eventually, thickened layers of fascia may inhibit our circulation, sensation, and nerves.
We tend to develop adhesions, muscle spasms, numbness, knots and restrictions, areas of pain.
Exercise becomes a struggle.
Workouts can make you feel worse instead of better.
Musculoskeletal misalignments increase, and the body can’t move efficiently or comfortably.
The front of the thighs is a common area for this stiff fascia.
If nothing is done, the quadriceps muscles may fail to hold the kneecap in place – which causes big problems.
To rectify this we need to loosen it – by pinching up the skin, squeezing and rolling it.(See photo below – pinch and roll fascia.)
The pinched skin often has an orange-peel appearance.
It might feel crunchy between your fingers.
It may give you a burning sensation or pain when you pinch it.
Keep squeezing and rolling to knead it into smoothness.
This hurt a lot when I started doing it.
The flesh felt extra thick and stiff, even slightly numb.
(I’m an exerciser – how did this creep in? Ah, life.)
The fascia can be tight anywhere on the body, of course.
Check yourself out. If it hurts to pinch the skin, that’s a tight area.
You can do this pinch and roll method not only on superficial fascia but on the deeper muscle layers of fascia (as you grab deeper into the muscle).
The more you massage it, the looser the tissues become.
Take a look at her Fascia Chart – the signs of progressive tightness (including cellulite – and photos of restored healthy-again bodies).
Black says that when you pinch up the skin, a pinch thicker than ¼ inch (or 6 mm) is sticky fascia that needs to be worked out, for your comfort and health.
(BTW there’s talk that foam rollers don’t work very well for stiff fascia.)
My goal is to stay as loose and pain-free as possible in my golden years.
Loss of Balance is another issue of advanced age, causing falls, injuries, and broken hips.
Yoga teachers say we need to “use or lose” the balancing-muscles in our legs.
The suggestion is to do “tree pose” once or twice a day to keep your balance and strength.
- Spread your toes and grab the ground with your standing foot.
- Lift the other foot. (Put it anywhere but not against the standing knee.)
- Focus your attention on a stationary spot, to help keep you steady.
- Breathe and stay there for 10 breaths or so.
- Repeat on the other foot.
I think I’ll try tree pose while brushing my teeth (like the yoga teacher said, years ago).
Yoga stretches in general can help relax your fascia, too.
What do you think?
Let me know how it goes?
Diane Stallings RN does distance healing, EFT tapping, and/or Biofield Tuning on the phone, energy healing sessions, Chakra Balancing, and health coaching. She gives you practical ways to lift your wellbeing. Make an appointment in Phoenix or Fountain Hills.