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One of the first things I learned about (and can still remember) from the first teaching block on my Level 5 remedial and sports massage course is ‘Fuzz’.

So what is ‘fuzz’? Is it the stuff that 14 year old boys grow on their upper lip, is it the stuff that develops on your brand new jumper after one wash, is it another name for the Police?
‘Fuzz’ isn’t really called fuzz, but I don’t know it’s proper name. Gil Headly coined the term ‘fuzz’ and I rather like it. To explain what ‘fuzz’ is I’m going to have to give you a quick Anatomy lesson.
Each muscle is covered in a layer of connective tissue called fascia. This tissue allows the muscles to slide over each other and work together. Fascia is a thin sheet of tissue that is now known to have a huge impact of pain, muscle movement, repair etc. When you don’t move for a period of time the fascia sends out bonds (fuzz). When you wake up in the morning and you stretch you are breaking those bonds, every cat in the world has a good stretch when they get up and we should be doing the same. The bonds (fuzz) is not strong, it’s easily dissolved with movement, however, if we don’t move the fuzz gets stronger, it’s then harder to break, it can get to the point where it can’t be broken with just moving normally, you will either need specific exercises or massage (or both) to break the bonds.
Massage breaks these bonds by manually moving muscles, it’s effective because it can work muscles in ways that aren’t easy to work just by moving normally.
When I massage people they often have lots of little knots, particularly in the upper back. These little knots could be old ‘fuzz’ that hasn’t been broken, massage helps to move the muscles, it can target areas that you may not realise have old fuzz, meaning it doesn’t get to the point where the muscles are not moving freely at all and you are in pain.
This is why having regular massage is a good idea, it’s a maintenance issue. It prevents you getting to the point where it hurts and the pain reduces your quality of life.
Below is a link to a video that explains ‘fuzz’ much better than me. It’s Gil Headly and just to warn you there is video of actual human muscles during dissection, so if you don’t like seeing that sort of thing then don’t click the link.

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