As promised there is a follow up post to the previous one I recently did on what myofascia release technique is. I mentioned that you can implement many different tools to facilitate fascial release and healing. Soft to medium foam rollers and a variety of balls of different sizes and viscosities to mimic the techniques and result of hand on manual therapies are often great ways to maintain between treatments.
The benefits of self massage, or self myofasical release, include some of the same benefits of your massage professional, and can be a great recommended maintenance for in between visits.
Benefits can include
Reducing Muscle Fatigue & Tightness
Removing Lactic Acid from Your Muscles
Helps injury prevention by maintaining muscle length
Increases blood flow and elasticity of the tissues
Helps with mobility, overall wellbeing and the appearance of smoother skin
Foam rolling and self massage can really be done anytime, but most often people choose to do it before and/or after a workout.
I suggest a medium firmness for your foam, and a long piece to have more accessability to areas of attention in a comfortable way.
Something I always remind clients of, is you’ll want to stop wherever it feels tight or tender. Inhale and then as you exhale, slowly roll your way down. Treat your body in sections rather than continuously rolling back and forth. I've often found the most productive healing occurs with patience, and kindness, to yourself and others. So foam roll with an intention of melting, and surrendering to the breath, let the breath guide your pressure and move progressively onward from there.
When you experience pain during a foam rolling or self massage assisted practice, it usually means the muscle and fascia of the area is tight and holding onto alot of build up, which means it needs some focused care. Breath, and rest. Ease into the point or area and allow the sensation to fade as you work in coherence with your body's desire to release.
The act itself is as fulfilling as pushing out the last bit of toothpaste from the tube. It’s the pimple-popping of muscle tension, an oddly satisfying mix of pain and pleasure — and after an hour of being my own healer, I leave the gym walking a little lighter. healthline.com
Rolling can be effective for many muscles, including calves, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, hip flexors, latissimus dorsi, and the thoracic spine. There’s no specific order in which you need to foam roll; you can do what works best for you.
1.Place the foam roller under each muscle group and roll, slowly using long strokes, for 60 seconds until a tender area is found.
2. Once a knot is found, maintain pressure on the knot or trigger point for 90 seconds.
For example, start by rolling your leg muscles, and once you find a point of tension, for example in your calves, patiently breath into this trigger point, or adhesion and wait for it to give way, or melt or subside. If you notice you are holding your breath, this is a sure sign of an area to focus your healing intention on, this can be an exciting moment that can lead to great healing. Go with it calmly and relax, allow your body to do what it is capable of doing, in the words of the great Wim Hoff. When facing a challenge, or something that seems painful or impossible to work through, trust in the process , the body is strong and naturally intelligent, it can regenerate and repair, if you give it the space and time to.
Videos/ Pictures of some great Foam Rolling to get started!
Okay so onto some practical stuff, some of my favorite foam rolling instructional videos and some pictures of foam rolling examples for different areas of the body.
These guys are THE BEST , it's Bob and Brad, and they are so funny and absolutely amazing learning guides for body inquires.
This video goes over some safety issues with foam rolling on the Back and the reasons why you should know these tips. In my opinion this video is a must watch before attempting foam rolling, it's educational and easy to watch if you are interested in exploring the fantastic world of self myofascial release.
This is a great foam rolling for legs video that is great for muscle recovery after a run or walk,
or if you are struggling with muscle cramping and need a good overall leg massage.
Moving into hips, there is a simple little video for hip tightness and pain.
The third video covers the hip flexors and also begins to target the knees and the TFL, and inner thigh.
One of the greatest mood boosters is to relieve tightness, and tension in the Iliopsoas, there is a video here that is a great way to take the initiative and start rolling that deep seated core muscle out!