It’s 2023, and we couldn’t be more excited. Now is the perfect time to give our systems a reset, and to reconnect with the practices of self-care that help keep us feeling our best. Fascia Flossing is a technique we learned through dancer, Sky Ting Yoga instructor, and The Floss founder Bonnie Crotzer that addresses a wide range of concerns—everything from gut and immune health to chronic stiffness and pain can be improved through a regularly integrated practice. We caught up for a second time to learn more from Bonnie about the importance of fascial health, and why we should all be flossing regularly. Be sure to stick around for a video at the end where she gives us an in-depth breakdown of her favorite hip opener. And if you haven’t yet already, be sure to check out PART ONE of our interview with Bonnie.
EDITOR Sofia Florimbi
As someone who teaches yoga and dances professionally, how would you say Fascia Flossing is different from other stretching/strength-building modalities?
Fascia Flossing describes the simultaneous elongation and contraction of major muscle groups and fascial chains. When you engage + elongate your tissue (fascia + muscle), you are doing what is called PANDICULATING. You have seen animals do this, they are contracting their tissues as they move their bodies. Imagine a dog with his paws out in front, legs extended, pressing into the floor, as she stretches before springing into action. You do this when you yawn in the morning. It is an instinctual and beneficial way to move the body. So when we do fascia flossing, we add a gentle amount of resistance and then move into a range of motion that might look like a traditional stretch or shape; except! that we have added two special elements that create the floss: 1. Engagement (contracting your myofascia) and 2. Movement - we move through ranges of motions in repetition instead of holding a stagnant shape. The resistance + movement together create an internal exfoliation that breaks up old connective tissue that’s been hardened, re-sculpting the fascial fibers and scar tissue, and releasing any stored toxins within the fascia.
Fascia flossing is not strength training, unless you are purposefully adding a strength application to your Fascia Flossing practice. In in other words, we do not use resistance bands - that would be strength training. If you are strength training, I suggest taking some time to Floss your fascia, then go back to strength training after some density in the fascia has been alleviated. You may find you are stronger now when you resume strength training, because your tissues can actually contract more - so, that's a result: your strength training practice can be more efficient and foundationally sound after changing your fascial foundation.
"This also isn’t passive stretching. We aren’t trying to achieve a shape or deep range. We are after functionality, super healthy tissue, and more inner awareness of our bodies."
Can you floss if you suffer from an injury/chronic pain?
Flossing has helped me heal from chronic injury, I mean I am still amazed that I feel more comfortable and functional in my body in my thirties than I did in my twenties. Many of my students are working with pains and chronic illness, they have told me that Fascia Flossing has significantly helped them on their healing journey. There is never a secret key, but many openings on the path to becoming well.
How often should you floss to experience benefits/results?
I floss a bit almost everyday, but that could be for 5 minutes! And that counts! 5 minutes is better than none and this is an efficient practice. I think a 15 - 60 minute practice every other day is a great place to start and go from there!
What is your favorite floss?
Oh, that’s a tough one. The pulsing pyramid floss is probably the most effective for our population as a whole, it also makes me feel better every time I do it. This one goes after the hamstrings, and almost everyone has dense fascia in their hammies, and pyramid relieves the legs but can also impact the low back, ankle and even the neck as well. I also love upper-back flossing, because that is where I tend to carry my stress.
Do you have any secrets for supercharging your fascia floss?
I love a little cardio pre-floss, but flossing could also warm you up for a safe and effective workout as well. A bath or lymph massage post flossing would be smart. Fascia can be a storehouse for toxins, so when you floss, it is possible to go into detox mode, a lymph massage or a bath would support a faster recovery.