Scar Tissue vs Adhesions

Fascia is the tissue that connects every cell in the body. Whether muscle, skin, organ, tendon, ligament, bone … if it is in the body, fascia is part of the equation. Like skin to the body, fascia is the skin to the cell. The main components of fascia are proteins called collagen and elastin. When balanced, cells are supported in their correct alignment and have optimal space. Space within and around the cells allows for ease of absorption of nutrients into the cell, as well as ease of removal of toxins and waste away from the cell.

This balance of proteins in the fascia allows the body to have ease of movement, along with stability. Without the elastin, the body would be a frozen mass, without the collagen, the body would be a puddle. It is the combination of the 2 which gives us the ability to live a life full of mobility and freedom.

Balance of these proteins can be seen in healthy babies. Their joints move in full ranges of motion, their skin is soft and supple and there are no signs of aging. It is simple to move a baby’s leg up and over their head with ease, there is nothing blocking the flow. However, as you begin to age, changes take place.  Range of motion eventually becomes limited, skin starts to sag and wrinkle and other signs of aging begin to surface. So, what is it that changes with time? It is the compression that results from gravity and unconscious posture and breath.

As you become mobile and start using your body, you favor a side -- you are either right or left-handed. This asymmetrical patterning, along with the downward pull from gravity, starts a winding down of your body over time. As you unconsciously keep the dominant side free for action, the body shifts its center of gravity to the opposite side to accommodate this imbalance. What is shifting is the collagen. So that we don’t tip over, there is a migration of this protein -- the building blocks -- to create false walls and false floors. They move to places of weakness so that you stay upright.

This migration happens unconsciously. Because the forces acting on the body are continual, we don’t typically recognize the migration until there is a physical limitation or pain that presents. It may be that suddenly you have back pain, or a movement that you used to do is no longer accessible. Energy also moves in waves and spirals, so the collagen doesn’t stack onto itself in a linear fashion, but does so in a spiral and chaotic pattern.

Think of your hip joints. They are a ball and socket joint and if correctly aligned, have extensive range of motion. You can see the potential in gymnasts where they can move into the splits with ease and can create amazing postures with their flexibility. Comparing that to someone who is extremely rigid with little range of motion shows the difference in your potential. What has happened to the person with limited range, is that the collagen migrated to the space within the joint, as well as the spaces around the cells, and accumulated mass in the area to build support – just like using concrete bricks. It is strong, however it lacks  mobility. It also isn’t only in any one specific area that this happens. As fascia connects every cell, the entire body shifts to accommodate this imbalance, causing collagen to migrate from head to toe. 

The accumulation of adhesions in an area is like water turning from being a liquid to that of ice. Just like a river freezing, it takes time to turn from one medium to another, but the transition can be seen in the change in flow. This too is what happens over time to the aging body – there is an overall cooling of tissue. Blood, lymph and energy flow slows, resulting in not only cells that are lacking nutrients, but also cells that become congested with toxins, waste, inflammation and even negative emotion. 

Scar tissue on the other hand, created from an injury in the moment where a force enters the body and something tears/breaks, or from a surgery where there is an intentional cut through the layer of fascia, is also an accumulation of collagen, but differs from adhesions in how it forms. The second law of thermodynamics states that Nature Abhors a Gradient, which means when there is a gap in the system, nature will fill it in. The collagen in the surrounding tissue will get dumped into the gap, like filling in a pothole. As much as this seals the deal, scar tissue acts like a beaver dam, altering the path of the flow of energy and fluids.

Both the formation of adhesions and scar tissue affect the health of the fascia and will direct the way the body ages. They create density to areas that gravity has its way with. Rather than having a body with balance that can move through time with minimal compression, those riddled with scar tissue and adhesions are strongly manipulated by gravity and will undergo aging and potential dis-ease at a faster pace. 

However, the great news is no matter your current condition, you can take your body in the opposite direction to what time has done through the process of Fascia Decompression. Moving backward through time in your tissue, you can melt the adhesions and scar tissue and bring balance and flow back into your body. The process is simple, yet profound, and accessible to most everyone who wants to take healing into their own hands.

Listen to this week's episode of The Fascia Masters below.

Breathe & Believe,


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