“Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body. It forms a whole-body continuous three- dimensional matrix of structural support. Fascia interpenetrates and surrounds all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, creating a unique environment for body systems functioning. The scope of our definition of an interest in fascia extends to all fibrous connective tissues, including aponeuroses, ligaments, tendons, retinaculae, joint capsules, organ and vessel tunics, the epineurium, the meninges, the periostea, and all the endomysial and intermuscular fibers of the myofascia”
First International Fascia Research Congress 2007
“Fascia provides structural and functional continuity between the body’s hard and soft tissues, as an ubiquitous elastic–plastic, component that invests, supports and separates, connects and divides, wraps and gives cohesion, to the rest of the body – playing an important role in transmitting mechanical forces between muscles.”
Peter Huijing 2009
Self Osteo Myofascial Applications™ – or SOMA – is a suite of effective, practical applications used to engage and manipulate the tissues of the body including the integumentary (skin), adipose (superficial fascia), deep fascia, muscle and its investing fascia, and periosteum (fascia around the bone) tissues of the body.
SOMA integrates the disciplines of Osteofascial Relase™ (OFR), Myofascial Release (MFR), Fascial Mobilizers™ (FM), and Functional Reconnecting™ (FR) to form a fresh, holistic approach to enhancing body-brain communication and better movement. While each address and affect the neuro-osteo-myofascial continuum, FR plays a slightly different role than the other 3 and will be discussed in a separate article.
The collective outcome of these SOMA applications is the improved performance of nerve, muscle, bone, and fascial tissues through hydration, mobilization, and activation.
OFR focuses on manipulating the tissues around the more ‘boney’ (‘osteo’) regions of the body similar to the muscular (‘myo’) regions seen in myofascial release applications. Each of these applications – OFR & MFR – is typically performed with the use of some implement or tool such as a foam roller.
Fascial Mobilizers address the fascial aspects of tissue through subtle and rhythmical movement patterns. As each of the names suggest, the link between the three applications lies in the ‘fascia’.
The opening quotes distinguish some of the importance of addressing the fascial aspects of tissue as it pertains to the SOMA methodology:
- The First International Fascia Research Congress’ definition of fascia notes that fascia “permeates the human body”, “forms a whole-body continuous three-dimensional matrix of structural support”, and includes the tissue of “aponeuroses, ligaments, tendons, retinaculae, joint capsules, organ and vessel tunics, the epineurium, the meninges, the periostea, and all the endomysial and intermuscular fibers of the myofascia.”
- Peter Huijing further notes the continuity of fascia “between the body’s hard and soft tissues… playing an important role in transmitting mechanical forces between muscles.”
Thus fascia is a whole-body matrix of support connecting the hard and soft tissues of the body that are instrumental in transmitting and attenuating forces. With this insight, we are made aware of the ability and intimacy of the tissues in the body to manage forces imposed upon and within it.
This managerial role is both in the soft, neuro-myofascial, as well as the hard, neuro-osteofascial, tissue. Both are necessary for proper force transmission throughout the body, and therefore, both need to be engaged and addressed for optimal functioning of the system as a whole. This supports the utilization of all applications within SOMA.
SOMA provides a comprehensive system for the management of tissue health by addressing the myofascial and osteofascial regions of the body. In doing so, the system is enhanced to absorb and attenuate forces more effectively and efficiently providing the ability for better movement.
By improving someone’s movement you can improve their quality of life!
Texts from actual SOMA clients
In our SOMA Immersion 1 workshop we will guide you into an enhanced understanding of human movement – how it works and how to observe it, and the specific details, application, and techniques of OFR and Fascial Mobilizers™ as they relate to the Osteo-Myofascial Rings of the body. You will walk away with the added business value of being able to immediately make people MOVE better, FEEL better, LIVE better.
We’ll see you soon!
In Part 2 of What’s Behind Self Osteo-Myofascial Applications, we’ll discuss the fascial mechanoreceptors and their relevance in practical application.