Although it has been some time since my last Show Me Strength post, I am excited to be back writing again after making the transition over the last 4 months from the “minor leagues of baseball” to the “minor leagues of medicine” a.k.a. Med School. I have traded my uniform for scrubs and stethoscope, and hours in the gym, on the field and in the cages, for time in the lecture hall, anatomy lab and library. As you can imagine, a completely different world, and one that brings along a new set challenges and experiences I am looking forward to sharing and relating to our purpose here at Show Me Strength, along with Chad and Andrew.
The first semester of med school just wrapped up and although I am officially only 1/8th a doctor, it has been incredible to witness and learn the tremendous complexity of the human body. For so many years I toiled to push and train my body to perform at the highest level of my sport, and to finally get a glimpse of the inner mechanisms that allow it to function (or injure) has provided great insight I hope to apply to the sports performance world, and share with you!
Nowhere have I been more mesmerized so far in as in the anatomy lab. In this first semester we spent countless hours dissecting and studying human bodies so graciously donated. It is an honor to have this uniquely exciting, surreal experience of learning from a human body. Before we began our dissections this fall, our entire class took a moment of silence out of respect for the opportunity presented to us by these individuals.
As we dissected through the skin and into the muscle layers, it became immediately evident that this mysterious “soft tissue” I had been diligently working to maintain throughout my playing career, was literally EVERYWHERE. I can tell you for certain- FASCIA is no joke! FASCIA IS EVERYWHERE!
While many of my classmates cut through the white, spider web like, sinewy stranded layers with little regard, I could not help but think back to all the various warm up, self-myofascial release, foam rolling, graston, active release, tiger stick using or standard massage techniques I have used in an effort to help maintain proper fascial and muscle function. Whether or not these specific treatments are effective or not in doing what they claim is another story, but the main point here is that fascia is everywhere, attached to muscle, between muscle and interspersed throughout muscle.
Seeing fascia everywhere confirmed what I had read and seen in resources such as Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers and Self-Myofascial Release by Mike Robertson. The interconnectedness is astounding and it makes much more sense now as to how dysfunction in the soft tissue or muscle in one area of the body can transfer to other areas of the body so readily. So the next time you go to foam roll or use another form of myofascial release, know that although you can’t see it, it is most definitely there in massive amounts. Take care of and mind your fascia- and if you so desire, you can show it off to a mesmerized medical student one day too!