A fascia (/ˈfæʃ(i)ə/; plural fasciae /ˈfæʃii/; adjective fascial; from Latin: “band”) is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.
Everything in our body has a layer of connective tissue, or fasciae, wrapped around it. Everything is connected, quite literally. Fascia wraps around every layer of muscle. For example, when a craniosacral therapist manipulates fascia in the dura mater surrounding the cervical spine, it connects to the tissue surrounding tendons, muscles, organs, and our brain. The meninges are the three layers of fasciae that encase the brain. The dura mater, the toughest outer layer, gets restrictions in the form of scar tissue that pull on nerve and muscular fasciae, creating tightness and pain. The arachnoid mater, the middle layer is spread like cobwebs throughout the cerebrospinal fluid. The pia mater, the innermost layer, is thin and lines every crevice of our brain.
When you are rear-ended in a car crash and get whiplash, your dura mater, fascia around your cervical spine and brain stem think, “Oh no, if we have to deal with this kind of force now, we’re going to need to become stronger.” The cells produce more elastin and less collagen, which makes them more rigid. That rigidity then strains the vertebrae and other structures in the body. This is what we mean by “tension.” Trauma, physical, psychological, or spiritual trauma, creates tension. Craniosacral therapy bodywork relieves tension.