What is fascia? Everything you need to know about the buzzy “secret” organ
Hi guys! Mercey here (guest contributor for SATC!).
If you haven’t heard about all about fascia yet, well just wait, because this buzzword is being talked about all over the wellness industry.
So, what is fascia?
Fascia is basically a connective layer of tissue that lies under the skin and wraps around all of the muscles and organs, kind of like a layer of saran wrap. This layer is responsible for so many important things like the shape of our bodies, how we feel pain, and it even holds the lymph nodes, which are basically the MVPs for detoxing your body. Because more and more research is being done on fascia and the role it plays in so many processes, it’s even being called the “secret” organ.
Meet LoRox, aka the “body whisperer”
I first learned about fascia from Lauren Roxburgh, aka “the body whisperer.” Lauren is a celeb trainer, and fascia and body alignment specialist. She knows all about how to help people get their bodies back into alignment, heal, and reduce injury and stress all through supporting the fascia. I started doing Lauren’s signature foam rolling workouts and they have been such a game changer. I’ve always had some issues with knee pain after running or doing any high impact workouts, and now (as long as I foam roll every day) I’m noticing way less pain, overall feeling better during my workouts, and I’m recovering much faster. Lauren designed her own line of custom foam rollers that are the perfect density for helping heal the fascia and support lymphatic drainage.
I’ll be honest–I’ve never been into foam rolling before now. I was always confused about what to do with it or felt like I was using it wrong–but Lo’s method is unlike anything else I’ve tried and now I can’t go a day without rolling. I won’t travel anywhere without my travel-sized roller either (so great for rolling out the kinks post-flight!).
Benefits of foam rolling + healing the fascia
Because of modern life, stress, work, past injuries, etc. most of us have tightness and density that builds up in the fascia and can cause all sorts of issues. Besides stiffness and tightness, fascia that is congested can also contribute to visible cellulite. This is why many of Lo’s clients are able to reduce cellulite through foam rolling and her other methods since it helps rehydrate the muscle tissue and helps flush toxins. When you use a foam roller (especially one like Lo’s that has a special textured design) you’re essentially rolling out the lactic acid build up in your muscles, increasing flexibility, getting rid of stiffness and density, and activating the lymph system. All of this can also help with lowering inflammation, which is a huge benefit too.
How to incorporate foam rolling into your daily routine
I know that adding another thing to your routine can feel overwhelming, but if you’re interested in trying out foam rolling, don’t think that you have to commit to doing it for an hour or even 30 minutes a day. My go-to daily routine now is to roll out my neck, upper back, quads/hamstrings, and hips each morning (it takes 5 minutes). I also lay on the roller each morning to help align my spine and massage my shoulder blades (like a mini massage every day!).
If I’m going to a workout class that day, I always try to spend about 5-10 minutes rolling before class (especially my legs, calves, and shins if it’s high-impact cardio like running or dance). It always makes such a huge difference in how I feel during my workout, and Lo says this is because foam rolling before your workouts is a great way to prep your muscles for movement.
I usually add in at least one of Lo’s longer 20-30 min. restorative foam rolling routines at the end of the week as an active recovery/rest day routine. Chances are, if I’ve had a stressful day, or even just spent a lot of time hunched over on my computer working, you can find me rolling out the stress at the end of the day–it’s super relaxing and is almost like a moving meditation for me.
If you’re interested in learning more about Lo’s method, I highly recommend her 10 week program (you do 20 min videos each week and focus on a different part of the body) it’s super easy to add into your routine without changing what you’re already doing.
Also, Lo just launched a streaming platform called the Aligned Life Studio which gives you access to tons of content, plus new videos every month, and exclusive live stream workouts.
I’m a wellness writer, content consultant, and a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I’ve always been wellness obsessed (and I’m a longtime reader of SATC, of course!) but started my career in the wellness industry when I moved to NYC and landed my dream job at Well+Good where I got a crash course in all things wellness, fitness, holistic health, functional medicine, and clean beauty. Now, I write and report on the latest trends in wellness for sites like Well+Good and Sporteluxe.com, and I also work with brands in the wellness industry on content strategy and marketing. You can follow me on Insta @merceylivingston, and read more of my wellness content over at merceylivingstonwellness.com.