How to locate your “bad” fascia if you have hypothyroidism
Each and every one of us is covered in a thick, complex, tangled web of fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that sits under your skin and on top of your muscles. On anatomy diagrams, fascia looks like the off-white strings and planes that sit on top of or in lines up and down the muscles. It provides structure and support, helps transport nutrients, helps regulate nervous system as well as hormone and immune function, helps keep you hydrated, helps you maintain a healthy youthful appearance to the skin, and much much more. “Bad” forms of fascia, called fascial adhesions (which most people are covered in) are also known as “scar tissue” because it is considered fibrotic tissue.
If your fascia is “bad”, you will see it or feel it. You’ll feel achy, sore, tight, tired, overweight or unshapely, with limited range of motion. Not only can you feel it under your skin with your fingers, you can also see it with the naked eye — constriction or restriction, bulges, tightness, lumps and bumps, thick skin/”big boned”, cellulite, crepey skin, and asymmetry are all possible fascial distortions. You see, fascia is like a mesh web that gets too thick or tight in certain areas, which affects how the fat cells settle and how the skin appears.
In addition to the physiological roles fascia plays, fascia also keeps your secrets. It collects your memories. It remembers your joys, but largely it stores your traumas. It forces you to live in the pain of the past instead of being able to be present in the moment. Your fascia has kept a record of every time you misused your body, forcing it into bras and cinchers, too-tight jeans, or awkward shoes — and why you did so. It also remembers how often — and to which degree — you’ve smiled, laughed or cried, winced, squinted, questioned, tensed, quieted, forced, sat or walked. It’s the literal, tangible mind-body connection and it is the record keeper of you.
In Body Readings, I highlight the areas you have “bad” fascia and interpret the meaning so you can understand the core wounds and life lessons you have been given. It’s extremely helpful because it decodes who you are, what you have been through, and why you feel or act the way you do now. And it also provides you with solutions so you can actually fix your fascia once and for all.
But did you know there is a connection between your fascia and your seven energy centers, called chakras?
Your fascia tells us which chakras are blocked and which need to be opened or activated.
It’s pretty simple, actually — fascial adhesions create a density that does not allow for proper blood flow, nutrient transport, hydration, movement of muscles and joints, and more. It also stores bad energy and blocks good energy from entering the chakras. The chakras are nothing more than centers on the body where intense physiological activity occurs 24/7: the sex organs, the intestines and stomach, the heart, the thyroid, the brain. Imagine if over those centers of activity there was a thick mesh choking out nutrients, blood flow, oxygen, hormone fluids, and more to the areas. Would you be healthy or would you gradually become symptomatic?
Remember, fascia responds to emotional and lifestyle cues so the fascial adhesions you have built up are no mistake. They are the record keeper of what has happened to you or how you have felt about it.
But fascia is tricky. It doesn’t stay put in one area. It sprouts tentacles and “grows”. The original area that was affected (your throat, thyroid, or voice box area in the case of fifth chakra problems/thyroid disease) soon spreads it’s adhesions to nearby areas affecting them as well. It’s no mistake, for example, that myxedema (thickening of the face, limbs, or other areas of the body) is a known hypo/hyperthyroidism symptom.
It goes like this:
Throat / voice box -> neck -> head -> shoulders -> upper back -> chest -> stomach
The picture above outlines the areas I have seen the most fascia for those with forms of hypothyroidism (including Hashimoto’s Disease). This is most usually caused by holding back your true voice (whether literally — altering your voice to sound more likable or “soft”, or choking back words and tears because you don’t think they will be accepted). Again, you may think one would only have fascial adhesions directly over the thyroid gland but as you can see, it spreads.
This is just a general guideline, though, because everyone’s fascial adhesions will vary according to what they have experienced in life. You can easily “test” yourself at home to see if the problematic areas above are affecting you. First, try this in front of a full-length mirror completely naked. Where do you see a thickening of skin? Where do you see bulging? Which areas are asymmetrical? Then tune into how you feel — where do you feel tightness or pain?
Next, you can try the pinch test. Can you “pinch an inch” as they say? Meaning, can you grab a tiny amount of skin at any one area on your body or is there a large mass of tissue that cannot be easily separated from the skin? That’s not just fat — that is dysfunctional fascia. You can do this all over but especially on the front and back areas where the chakras are located (ex: front and back of the neck).
Like the picture above illustrates, you are likely to have thickening of fascia on the throat and neck, face, shoulders, arms, forehead, and then over your heart and stomach organ. They are all connected because they originate at the throat or voice box. It’s no accident that many with hypothyroidism have vocal chord or swallowing disorders — you are feeling pain from your throat down into your shoulders, chest, and stomach — but because it is layered under other pain, you may not be consciously aware of it. It requires a process of identification and then a lengthy foray into myofascial release (where you get rid of bad fascia and restore the healthy fascia) to improve your thyroid health but also eliminate pain and dysfunction in other areas of the body.
Everything is connected.