One of the main purposes of massage is to break up stagnant fascia and allow the muscles to move more freely. But what the heck is fascia anyway?
Well, if you want a really boring explanation, there's this. But I have a better one!
See, fascia is a connective tissue. It surrounds everything in your body including muscles, nerves, tendons, organs, etc. I like to think of it as being sort of like Elmer's Glue. When it's in its healthiest state, it's like Elmer's Glue straight out of the bottle. It moves around freely and allows your muscles to do the same.
However, due to various stresses, the fascia can often become stagnant. This is when I think of it as Elmer's Glue that has been left to dry. It hardens and makes it more difficult for you to move your muscles freely.
But just as you're able to rub dried glue from your hand, massage therapists are able to use a technique called "Myofascial Release" to work the fascia into a softer state where it's able to move more freely and allow greater muscle movement!