Bounce Your Way to Healthy Aging

When I think about how children play, the word bounce comes to mind – skipping and jumping or even sitting supposedly still – they are bouncing.   In contrast, as we get older, we have poverty of motion and struggle to move with ease and grace.

The good news is that we can train the bounce – it’s called fascial fitness. That three-dimensional web of sensing, tensing connective tissue, fascia has springy elastic recoil that puts the pep in your step.

Both movement and manual therapies can be used to keep fascia healthy and a combination of the two is ideal. Pilates, along with most mindful movement modalities, is ideally suited to fascial training.

The repertoire is designed to accomplish four goals: 1.Tissue Hydration 2.Restore Glide 3.Develop “crimp” and 4. Train Elastic Recoil.

Tissue Hydration. No – drinking lots of water won’t help. Water in fascia is referred to as “bound” water not free to flow. The tissue has to be stretched or compressed to push the fluids (containing waste) out of stressed fascia allowing healthy fluid (from plasma) to flow in.

Restore Glide. The fascial web provides a sliding gliding surface for tissues to move one over the other. But things can get gummed up. Inflammation causes the accumulation of waste products that makes fascia sticky limiting range of motion and causing pain and stiffness. Generally due to overuse from poor posture or repetitive activities, Pilates restores posture and balance helping to heal inflammation.

Develop Crimp. Fascia that primarily serves a “tensing” function (force transmission) is structured in undulating waves called crimp. Aging, inflammation and immobilization cause the crimp to flatten and loose elastic recoil. Fascial training can develop crimp making the body more resilient to injury.

Train Elastic Recoil. All of the goals listed above are designed to increase elastic recoil through improving the health of the fascia. Once fascia is healthy, the elastic recoil can be trained but caution should be used in areas of stress. Pilates jump board is an ideal way to train elastic recoil.

Keep your fascia healthy and bounce your way to graceful aging.

 

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