What does fascia have to do with emotions? Why that feeling of well-being at the end of therapy? And why do emotional reactions sometimes arise during or after treatment?

Recent advances in neurobiology begin to explain this relationship. To begin with, until recently it was not known that fascia was sensitive, and today we know that it houses the largest number of nerve endings in the entire body. The thing is that they are very small, and until now they had not been seen. They are called free nerve endings, and they collect information about the basal state of the body: temperature, acidity, amount of oxygen… and also about its mechanical state, its level of tension. This information is called interoception.

This information is directed to the brain, and is managed in the basal areas, without reaching the cerebral cortex. The brain responds to the stimulus, for example by adjusting our respiratory and heart rate, but we are not aware of all that information; is regulated autonomously. However, there is an area of ​​the cortex that receives direct information from these basal centers: it is the insula, precisely where emotions are organized and brought to consciousness.

This explains why during and after a treatment that relieves fascial tension we “feel” better. Our receptors report that tension has been reduced, blood flow is better, nutrients reach us better… and from all that information, what reaches our consciousness is relief. Welfare.

However, there are times when the mobilization of some tissue that has been rigid for a long time brings back an emotional memory, often traumatic. This also has an explanation. Our memory relates the information that reaches the brain (images, sounds, smells, and also postural and interoceptive information) and fixes it, especially in emotionally intense moments. This helps us not to fall into risky situations again. After a traumatic situation, the brain tends to avoid everything associated with it: images, sounds, smells… They make us afraid. Also the posture, and also the internal situation of the fascia at that moment.

That is why sometimes in the rehabilitation process we are not able to recover certain movements, or we do them in a subtly different way. They scare us. And that is why myofascial therapy is sometimes necessary. In the safety of a calm environment, under professional care, we can gain enough confidence to release the barriers created. And this sometimes reminds us of the emotion that the brain had associated with that injury. No problem. The brain learns quickly, realizes that it is not a big deal, and resumes natural movement. And the pain evaporates as if by magic.