One of the things I start to notice on clients during the summer months especially, is the effect dehydration has on the fascia of the body. A lot of the time during a treatment with a client the work is focused more on myofascial work than traditional “muscle” work.
With the warmer weather, we need to increase the amount of water and fluids we drink to prevent dehydration. Without water the body cannot function optimally and it can have a big effect not just making us thirsty or giving us a headache; but on the muscles and the connective tissues of the body.
As the body becomes dehydrated the water within the body goes to those areas that need it most, so the muscles and the fascia, (the connective tissue that covers the body from head to toe) becomes dehydrated. Fascia holds water like a sponge, and without enough, it turns into a gel like glue, which stops the fibres gliding as smoothly. The result is that this can decrease movement, and lead to pain in the muscles and joints.
To ensure the body is able to keep moving freely we need to not only keep the body moving, (getting up from our sun loungers on a regular basis, and going for a dip in the water! ) , but also to keep the body sufficiently hydrated so the moving parts of the body can continue to move as they should do. If the body starts to stiffen then it is necessary to work on rehydrating the fascia both by increasing water intake, but also stimulating the fascia with myofascial massage or by using tools such as a foam roller to allow the fascia to be rearranged and reorganized back into shape.