On February 2022 Lunch and Learn Event Children and the Elderly, Relax Teams member Rachele DeCrescenzo shared her knowledge and expertise on the benefits of having a good fascial system.
Keep yourself healthy and your fascial system well
In 2019, there were 3 million ER visits in adults that were 65 and older for falls. And of those 3 million ER visits, there are 34,000 deaths. Falls are the number one cause of injury deaths for adults 65 years and above. This is why keeping yourself healthy and your fascial system moving well is really important. Knowing these facts is important to prevent injury.
Rachele DeCrescenzo is a physical therapist specializing in John Barnes Myofascial Release. She’s been a PT for almost 18 years now, and in the last four to five years, she focused on studying and practicing Myofascial Release.
Rachele has worked with adolescents through much older adults. Earlier in her career, she started out working with outpatient orthopedics and working with kids and adults and older adults in the full spectrum of different injuries. Then she went on to work specifically with strictly older adults in their homes. They are the older adults with an average age of 75 years old. The goal for them is to keep them functional and moving in their home and safe.
John Barnes Myofascial Release
In 2019, she opened her own practice, and at present, she specializes in a type of treatment called John Barnes Myofascial Release. It's a holistic, hands-on type of treatment that looks and works with the fascial system of our body. Working and engaging with the fascial system can prevent injuries in both children and older adults.
For both children and adults, engaging in the fascial system can help to prevent injury.
In the US there are 30 million children and teens that participate in organized sports. Three and a half million of those children have injuries every year and most of those injuries are sprains and strains which can really be prevented a lot of times.
What is Fascial System?
In our bodies we have a system called the fascial system. It's a three-dimensional connective tissue web that runs continuously from head to toe, front to back, side to side and it's a system that basically holds all of our other systems together. Our muscular system, nervous system, and circulatory system are like the architecture of our body.
The fascial system is like this ball in the image above. It should glide and move freely and smoothly as we move.
See also: What is Myofascial Release? Does it work?
Oftentimes we get restrictions on that web in this structure. If we get a restriction, then that web doesn't quite move the way it needs to and it restricts the things around it that need to do what they do. The fascial system should move freely and allow our muscles to be able to perform certain activities when we're in good shape. The problem arises when we get restrictions from different things like falls, injuries, and from different physical and emotional traumas. Undue stress is just one example of an actual big life event, the trauma of a divorce or a loss of a loved one can also affect the fascial system.
Those traumas get stuck in our bodies and cause tightness and restrictions in our fascia. Those restrictions can and often wind up, becoming physical symptoms and physical limitations.
Factors that can contribute to falls in older adults:
The older adult falls are multifactorial. Vision, polypharmacy, low light in their home, safety issues are things that can contribute to falls in older adults. If they don't have good vision, their balance is poor, their home is not as safe as they need to be and now on top of it, their bodies are tight and non-pliable. If they trip or stumble on something, they have no recourse to catch themselves so the fall actually happens instead of being able to catch themselves.
Being able to have that fascial system that's open and free and lets your body move is really important. It’s the same thing with kids doing sports year-round. This can cause the same body part to overuse injuries. Keeping them mobile and balanced is super important.
When Rachele works with her clients, whether they're children, adolescents, or older adults, she looks at the whole system and the whole body. Things like, how is it moving? How is it functioning? She makes sure that their body can move and do things that it needs to do to prevent injury through working with a hands-on approach. She creates a very specific, individualized home program where they work on these same types of things at home to open up their fascial system and keep them as movable, pliable and flexible as possible.
Learn More Here: Fascial Stretch Therapy To Start Your Authentic Healing
A lot of times, Rachele works with clients and patients that have a lot of trauma in their lives, and that trauma has caused physical symptoms. You can't always get the traumas out verbally but what myofascial release does is it gets people to tune into their bodies. When a person experiences trauma, they basically dissociate from the body because they need to survive the situation.
When they dissociate from their body, they don't even know how to feel into their own body. When dealing with her patients who experience this, she gets them to start to feel their bodies and know what it is to be “in their bodies”. They should feel safe again in their own body. There's so much more to myofascial release than just the injury.
She also mentioned that in order for the food and the nutrients to get where they need to go in the body, the fascial system also needs to be open. The body needs to be open to release that trauma from those restrictions in your body so it does all work together.
Rachele mentioned a wonderful book called ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ and it's written by a psychologist that speaks about how the body remembers everything. We have to find ways to release it whether it is through myofascial release work, through horticultural work, art, music, or through therapy. It goes way beyond just the injury piece.
There's this thing in our body called the fascial system. It affects every other system and it can really have an effect on the overall condition of the body. It's not something that's studied very often or it's been studied a lot more over the last 10 years. In general, there are not a lot of studies on the fascial system and it doesn't show up on X-rays or MRIs or CAT scans either that's why sometimes it's ignored by western medicine.
This fascial system in our body can potentially have a key to what's going on that might be missed in other western medicines because it really allows for holistic healing that also includes the mind, body, and spirit. The symptom that you're feeling, it's never just a symptom alone, that symptom is just the tip of the iceberg so just consider that there might be some other solutions out there.
February 2022 Lunch and Learn Event : Children and the Elderly
- Holistic Health and Wellness through Functional Nutrition Coaching
- Helping Seniors to Downsize and Relocate
- Mothers Achieving Stable Recovery with CGE