Facial Fascia Rejuvenation
Firstly what is Fascia.
Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, muscle, blood vessel , bone and nerve fibre in place. It is referred to as Dense Irregular Connective Tissue. It provides tensile (pulling) strength in multiple directions, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.
Although fascia looks like one sheet of tissue, it is actually made up of multiple layers. It is predominantly made up of collagen fibres, the cells that produce collagen; fibroblasts, layered with a gelatinous substance known as extracellular matrix, containing numerous molecules, including proteoglycans, polysaccharides (proteins and carbohydrates) and hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid) in between.
There are four main types of fascia
- Superficial Fascia which is mostly associated with the skin
- Deep axial Fascia, associated with the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels
- Meningeal Fascia which surrounds nervous system and brain
- Visceral or Subserous Fascia which surrounds and supports the internal organs
The face has two layers of fascia. The superficial layer is responsible for the minute facial contractions and movements. The deeper layer connects the skin to muscle and fat and forms the ‘girdle’ of facial muscles called the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) by surgeons.
When fascia is healthy it allows body structures to slide and glide over one another providing balance and ease of movement. Restrictions or adhesions in the fascia can impact the mobility of internal structures causing impaired movement and dysfunction. These restrictions will hold deeper facial wrinkles ‘in place’ until released.
Fascia constricts in many different directions and can be restricted by repetitive facial movements, tight tense muscles, poor posture, surgery, scars, inflammation, injections (Botox! m
ore on this later), implants, fillers and other facial procedures. These restrictions can block optimum lymph flow (waste removal / detoxification) and blood circulation to the face.
Fascia and the Ageing Process
The ageing process directly impacts the fascia:
- As we age there is a reduction in fibroblasts, the cells that secrete collagen fibres within the fascia.
- In the superficial fascia the collagen fibres become disorganised and tangled and this directly contributes to sagging and a ‘pulling downwards’ This tangled, confused and chaotic repositioning of the fibers results in decreased mobility and formation of lines.
- The restricted fascia has a negative impact on the blood and lymph vessels, slowing circulation of nutrient rich blood, reducing the detoxifying capabilities of the lymph system resulting in poorly nourished, stagnant skin and increasingly sluggish skin-cell turnover.
- There is a reduction in production of elastic fibres, which lessens the elasticity of the tissue.
- Fat cells in the superficial fascia atrophy (waste away).
- All of these are accelerated by a wide and varied range of factors including lifestyle, lack of movement in daily life, smoking and nutrient poor diet.
Supporting Healthy Functioning Facial Fascia For Lifted Glowing Skin
Releasing restrictions, gentle movement to encourage flow and restore proper function are essential for healthy fascia. I am committed to supportive skin-care practices with cumulative benefits rather than quick fixes with long term cumulative damage.
For instance Botox, when used for long periods of time decreases ‘flow’ (lymph and blood) in the face by immobilising the facial muscles, with long term use the muscles atrophy, the skin can take on a grey lifeless pallor and the opposite of what was originally intended can develop; a pulling downwards on the face as the muscles have no strength and the fascia has tightened and constricted at the trauma points of injection.
Regular Facial Treatments
My intention is to increase circulation bringing life and vitality to the skin. I want to release tension and blockages in the muscles, fascia and skin to ensure optimal ‘flow’ for nutrient delivery, waste removal and discouragement of stagnation. When tension is released and optimal circulation is restored, deep lines can soften, skin becomes rosy and plump, worry and strain can melt away from the face.
To achieve optimal ‘flow’ the lymph system and the superficial fascia both require attention. The lymph system is responsible for removing metabolic waste and toxins from the skin on a cellular level, when we are holding tension in the muscles and the fascia has become restricted, the lymph cannot move freely and do its job of clearing waste from the tissues. The result of poor lymph flow can present as dull skin, breakouts or accumulation of blackheads and milia or even stubborn hyperpigmentation
Regular lymphatic and fascia treatments will improve the texture and plumpness of the skin for a glowing vibrant complexion, but it will also impart a much deeper healing. The benefits of this type of treatment resonate with greater feelings of wellbeing throughout the nervous system for a whole mind body sense of wellness.
What Can You Do To Support Facial Fascia
Healthy functioning mobile fascia requires hydration, lack of hydration can cause the fascia to become too tight or stuck and this will impair movement. Ensuring you drink plenty of water to hydrate the fascia is the foundation for healthy skin.
Movement is key, regular exercise will support fascia within the whole body. Poor posture and restrictions in any area of the body but particularly chest, neck and shoulders will impact fascia on the face as it is all connected.
Practicing Gua Sha or facial rolling with a jade roller, a few times a week at home, will support the fascia between facial treatments. Making time for your own self care is not only beneficial for the face, but is deeply restorative to your whole wellbeing.