Fascia is a fine layer of connective tissue that forms a web-like sheet between and around the structures of the body.
There are four main types of fascia:
1. Superficial Fascia: Superficial fascia supports and encases your horse. It lies just beneath the skin, stores water and fats, allows blood vessels and nerves to pass through, provides cushion insulation, and protection.
2. Deep Fascia: This layer of dense, fibrous connective tissue surrounds individual muscles and ligaments, allows them to slide over surrounding structures without damage, and groups them together for functional movement in muscle connections known as myofascial chains. Every muscle fiber has a fascial binding making muscle and fascia functionally linked.
3. Visceral Fascia: Found within your abdomen, visceral fascia surrounds the internal organs and suspends the organs within their cavities.
4. Spinal cord dura mater sleeve. These three layers of fascia surround the spinal column and attach to all the other types of fascia to provide nourishment to the spinal discs of the spine. The bands and ligaments that help anchor the spinal sleeve in place also play an important role in maintaining posture and balance. This type of fascia is also responsible for shortening the distance between vertebrae.
Myofascial Release is a whole body, hands-on approach to balancing tensions in the musculoskeletal system and is an important part of keeping your horse fit, healthy, happy and performing at its best.
Benefits of myofascial release include improved muscle function, improved joint alignment, improved self-awareness, mobilized fascia, an increase in stride length and range of motion, enhanced relaxation and improved overall performance and recovery.