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Occasionally I come across an article that helps the massage therapist in me learn new, effective technique, new ways of looking at anatomy and/or physiology or new ideas to consider when treating my clients.  Sometimes, like today, the article is SO good that I want to (need to) share it with SOMEBODY.  I have gone back and forth about putting it on this blog because I’m not sure our clients would find it quite as fascinating as I do.  I do, however, know that our bodyworkers (and those that follow us) will totally devour this information.

I decided to create a “Bodyworker’s Corner” where I plan to share wonderful, relevant and exciting articles that I feel are helping me grow professionally and hopefully will help other bodyworkers learn and grow as well.

If you aren’t a bodyworker but are someone who shares a fascination for the human body, you will totally love these articles as well so by all means…enjoy!

The first article I want to (need to) share is:  Thoracolumbar Fascia — An Area Rich With Activity written by Patrick Ward, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and licensed massage therapist.  He owns Optimum Sports Performance (www.optimumsportsperformance.com), a sports conditioning and soft tissue therapy company which provides training, treatment, and consulting to professional, amateur, and high school athletes.

In this article, Ward illustrates how the autonomic nervous system may potentially regulate fascial pre-tension independent of muscular tone.  He explains that myofibroblasts (see the beautiful picture of them above) have smooth muscle properties and can contract on their own. Ummm…wow.

He then goes on to suggest that since these myofibroblasts are under the control of the autonomic nervous system, that we can perhaps affect fascial hypertonicity through breathing.  He says:

“Respiratory function is on aspect of the autonomic nervous system that we actually have direct control over.  We can change our breathing and help to elicit a parasympathetic response to allow for greater relaxation and potentially less overall tissue tone/tension, ”

As bodyworkers we know that educating clients about the importance of quality breathing, not just in massage sessions but in all of life, can have significant positive physiological effects…but did you know you were helping clients change fascial tone…on the CELLULAR LEVEL?

This article rocks right?

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