In my latest scoliosis education video, Untwisting Scoli: Maya (available in DVD and streaming formats), I explain what tight fascia in the body looks like and reference it quite often in the video. I’ve gotten several questions about this topic, so I wanted to provide some more information. Here’s the deal:
Fascia is connective tissue and behaves like a spider’s web connecting the entire body. When part of that web becomes tight, it can restrict movement and contort the body (hello scoliosis!). Now, I’m not saying that tight fascia causes scoliosis, but I can confidently say that tight fascia can make scoliosis worse (and no one wants that).
As a practitioner who looks at bodies all day long, I’ve learned to look at the surface of someone’s skin for clues as to what the fascia lying underneath is up to.
As I mention in Maya’s video, I could see the tight fascia in her armpit area and on the side of her waist as she was stretching to the side. I note that her tight fascia “looks” like stretch marks, and this is where people get confused.
Here’s an example:
Look closely at this photo, and you’ll notice that the fascia pulling on the skin causes what looks like stretch marks, but they’re not. These marks are not permanent, and can be stretched out.
The next image depicts that same skin when the fascia isn’t being stretched tight, meaning it’s relaxed.
See, no “stretch marks.”
If you notice an area of the body that has what looks to be fascia stretch marks, simply stretch that area out. In Maya’s video, I lead her through a series of fascial stretches, so take a look to learn more about those types of stretches.
Finally, here is a picture of the same area after stretching has been completed:
No more tight fascia!
Just in case you were wondering, stretching won’t cause stretch marks either. Stretching is essential to a healthy, mobile body, so be sure to incorporate proper stretching into your daily routine.
I am in constant awe of the human body. It’s amazing that it visually tells us what areas need to be loved on and stretched, so look, listen, and respond. Tune into your body and give it what it’s asking for and it will reward you.
Now start stretching!