Fascia Therapy and Gut Health
Sep 30, 2019 11:33AM
● By Janet Lindsay
by Eric Winder, DC
The world has become more familiar with fascia therapies, but most of what people hear about is related to muscle and joint pain. However, for some of my patients, the main relief they experience is with gut symptoms. Fascia (fibrous connective tissue) restrictions in the trunk and pelvic areas of the body can lead to tension and discomfort of the digestive organs. Treating these restrictions can help digestion and organ function and relieve the associated pain.
A few months ago, a patient, whom I will refer to as Edith, was showing improvements in the treatment of her hip and lower back injuries from a previous fall. With this successful pain reduction from her injuries, she wondered if I could help with a chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that caused her nearly constant abdominal pain. I was able to answer, “Yes.”
I explained to Edith that sometimes gut symptoms can either be caused or worsened by fascia restrictions in the trunk and pelvic area. In her case, a careful examination revealed tender, restricted fascia in the upper abdominal muscles and along her left lower rib cage. My staff and I released the restrictions with fascia therapies which used gentle stretching pressure to free this normally pliable and flexible connective tissue. One week later, Edith reported that both the abdominal pain and her frequent trips to the bathroom were gone. At her one-month follow-up, her IBS symptoms had still not returned.
Fascia therapy is able to help with gut symptoms in much the same way that it helps joint and muscle pain. Fascia is the fibrous connective tissue that covers all other tissues, from muscles and bones to blood vessels and all internal organs. It is l everywhere in the body and makes up 20% of all tissue. It is also interconnected as a complex structural web. Fascia can become abnormally restricted due to “wear and tear” in the form of injuries, chronic tension, inflammation or repetitive stress. Because fascia interconnects throughout the body, a restriction at one point can affect other areas too.
There are millions of nerve endings in the fascia that can become irritated when fascia is restricted or distorted. This can cause referred pain and tension to nearby muscles and joints. It can also refer tension and irritation into the abdominal organs, especially when the restrictions are in the abdominal muscles, the muscles of the rib cage, or in the fascia of the hips and pelvis. Relieving these restrictions can stop the referred pain and tension which then reduces or relieves symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, bloating and pain.
I have seen many patients get significant relief through fascia therapy for digestive problems that range from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gastric reflux, and chronic nausea to constipation, ulcerative colitis and Chron’s Disease. While there are multiple different causes for those conditions, and some more complex than others, fascia therapy should be considered when conventional therapies are unable to provide relief.
Fascia restrictions might play no role at all in digestive problems, or they can be the primary cause, or one of several contributing factors. The only way to know is with careful examination of the fascia in the related areas of the trunk and pelvis. For those who not receive adequate relief for chronic gut issues, fascia therapy is an important option to consider.
You are invited to attend an evening program on October 30, where you can learn in-depth about fascia, why it is important, and how to solve fascia problems when they create gut symptoms. Dr. Eric Winder will discuss case examples, provide a treatment demonstration and hold a Q&A session following the presentation. Attendees are invited to arrive at 6:50 p.m. for refreshments, and the program itself will take place from 7–8 p.m. This free event is located at 3131 S Tamiami Trail, #102, Sarasota. To RSVP, call 941-957-8390. Dr. Eric Winder has 22 years in practice, and focuses on relieving pain and restoring alignment and motion through fascia release therapies without forceful manipulation. For more information, visit GentleBay.com.