Fascia: work local - think global
Fascia is the organ of posture
Dr. I. P. Rolf
Fascia is a ubiquitous substance that permeates all levels of the body. It en sheathes all muscles, and it tapers at the end of each muscle to become tendon; the structure that connects muscle to bone. It is via this network of interconnections that the fascial system draws its importance. Fascia which links all the segments of the muscular system when the body is healthy, may also reshape the body when it is pulled out of alignment.
As a non arbitrary way of explaining the relevant fascial network, lets use the Pectoral fascia as a starting point. Within the context of the upper extremity and shoulder girdle, we will be staying local, however remaining mindful of the implications local changes can have globally.
The Pectoral fascia enwraps the Pectoralis (Pec) Major muscle, which then attaches inferiorly to the anterior abdominal fascial sheath. Lateral to Pec Major it becomes the axillary fascia, which forms the ‘floor’ of the axilla – the arm pit.
A layer of fascia runs beneath the Pec Major enwrapping the arm pit and Pec Minor muscle – a muscle that sits beneath the Pec Major and can have direct impact on our overall upper body posture. The Pec Major and Pec Minor, while anatomical close have distinctly different roles; consider the implications if these muscles (via the myofascial network) were to ‘adhere’ to each other.
The brachial fascia extends from the pectoral and axillary fascia, to enwrap the upper extremity. In the upper arm it is divided into anterior and posterior compartments by a medial and lateral intermuscular septum (partition). Its continuous layer, forms the Antebrachial fascia within the forearm, with the interosseous membrane offering a structural and functional division between the flexors and extensors of the forearm. The hand is also enwrapped by the antebrachial fascia of the forearm, flexor retinaculum, and extensor retinaculum.