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Fascial / Cranial Release

Release of the fascia or cranial bones is another specialized and delicate maneuver in bodywork.  Fascia is the tough whitish tissue you see when you cut up meat — it is the capsule surrounding various muscle and other tissue.  It is perhaps the most predominant tissue in the human body, and yet little recognized for its importance.  It winds its way everywhere through the body and surrounds and protects all the different parts, large and small, organs, muscles, bones, etc.

Fascia is very different from muscle.  Muscle stretches — fascia does not.  So no matter how much you rehabilitate a muscle, unless you make certain the surrounding fascia does not restrict it, you cannot return the area to full function.  And fascia can restrict areas that tend to swell, causing additional discomfort.

Fascia is also “idiosyncratic” — i.e., it is different in every single person, just like snowflakes.  As it winds through the body, it can sometimes “snag” or catch in a way that is especially restrictive.   This can eventually cause pain that can be severe and cryptic.  Of course it doesn’t show up in most diagnostic tests.

It is necessary to have special training to learn to release fascia.   As with lymphatic drainage, one has to be able to sense fascial movement.  It is too strong to force, and must be “coaxed” into releasing, which requires some delicate maneuvering.

Cranial bones (of the head) are also delicate.  It was formerly believed that cranial bones in the adult were frozen — that they no longer moved around.   More recently, cranial bone movement in the adult has been discovered and identified, and a system of releasing those areas has been developed.  Cranial release is very similar to fascial release, with the additional requirement of learning the cranial anatomy and specific techniques for that area.

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