"If you wish to change the relationships among the bones, change the tensional balance through the soft tissue and the bones will rearrange themselves."
-Tom Myers, Anatomy Trains
I'd like to share a fascinating video by Tom Myers that discusses the Benefits of Hydration. Not just hydration in the traditional sense of consuming water, but how important tissue hydration, and the hydration of your fascial matrix is to your overall health, wellness and performance.
Myers is a bodyworker, educator and author of one of my all time favorite educational text books, Anatomy Trains®.
The importance of proper hydration is a topic we've discussed here on the Achieving a Pain Free Life and Living Blog. See:
Benefits of Tissue Hydration
The importance of keeping your connective tissue hydrated cannot be underestimated. Some of the contributing factors that lead to a dehydrated connective tissue structures include: Prolonged periods of sitting/static postures, incorrect motor patterns, joint misalignments, malnutrition, trauma, injury, fatigue, repetitive stress, and the aging process. If left unattended to can lead to some of the following:
- decreased fluid volume by build up of toxins and other metabolites
- a continuous gel state of ground substance
- decreased flexibility and rigidity of tissues which has a greater risk for micro tears, scar tissue and broadening and thickening of tissue
- decreased ROM
- tissues become colder and less energized
- If fascia is restricted at time of trauma, the forces cannot be dispersed properly and areas of the body are subject to an intolerable impact (source): Connective Tissue for Massage Therapists/Massage Students | Massage Shcool Notes
In the video Are You Aging, or Just Drying Out, Myers discusses hydration beyond feeling thirsty, and how the process of aging, hydration and fascia (connective tissue) of your body are all intimately connected and affect one another. I couldn't agree more!
Professionally, I've been studying the fascial system and importance of the connective tissue structures for many years. The list of benefits to the body are so numerous, that I had to find a way to teach and share it with my own clients.
This is the primary reason why I took my Certification with The BioMechanics Method. I wanted the ability to add SMR (self-myofascial release) in conjunction with corrective exercise.
The results are impressive. Overall, in my experience, client are able to achieve much faster and long lasting pain-resolution results with the addition of this modality in conjunction with a corrective exercise programming sequence.
It is important to note, that in the education process, my clients and students are taught and understand that all three of these elements must be actively put into place. Ultimately, the client has to take responsibility to put them into practice on a regular basis, and this is what empowers them to achieve and maintain a pain-free life and increase their overall level of health and wellness.
Here's a recent testimonial I received from a client who I introduced self myofascial release to:
OHHH MYYY GOSHHHHHH!!! I just did the hip mobility videos and I am so amazed at the immediate changes!!! Where do I begin???? :)...Ok...so I feel amazing! My hips/legs feel relaxed and loose, can't remember when I last felt that! I noticed that weight distribution f/b in feet was more even,( I have a forward lean) and that was such a cool feeling as I was just standing in the kitchen:)!!! My foot strike is different, felt more straight forward and can tell that it took some pressure off of the bunion area. When I squatted down to pick something up I noticed my knees stayed straight ahead instead of rot ext on the L. AND for the first time EVER I was able to do static wall with my butt up against the wall!!!! AMAZING!!! I can't Thank you enough for showing me all of this, it is so much fun doing the videos with you too:) Thank you for all of your knowledge and for helping and sharing with all of us!!!!
You are the Best!!! " - Deb W.
Hopefully that list will motivate you to consider adding in a regular practice of SMR into your posture correction practice. With that, I hope you enjoy Are You Aging, or Just Drying Out?
Self-myofascial release is easy to learn, and works magnificently in conjunction with a corrective exercise programming sequence. It is in my opinion a missing piece of the pain-relief puzzle.
Remember, that as you learned in Myer's video, connective tissue is flexible and easily softened. To improve your connective tissue flexibility it requires, proper nutrition, hydration, rest, mind-body exercises (like self myofascial release, Pilates, yoga, stretching), then doing the functional physical corrective exercise work.
You can join me each Saturday morning for Mobility and Corrective Exercise at CrossFit 5885 (Apple Valley, MN). We meet from 10:00 - 11:00 am. This class is open to members and the general public. Drop in for $20, or purchase a punch pass. Ten classes for $180.
If you have questions, please reach out. I'd love to hear from you! Remember, we're in this together, and I am here to help!
Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Head Photo Credit: Melissa Thome Photography
Author: Deb Preachuk is the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN. A CF-L1 Trainer, Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, Deb has over 25 years experience in the health and wellness field. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram pages.