Self-Care: foam rollers and massage balls

In a situation where you can’t have your own private massage therapist follow you around and give you a treatment after every workout — Wait a sec, let me imagine how awesome that would be….

bliss

I’m back.

When visiting a massage therapist isn’t an option, you can do a lot to release muscle knots and such on your own.

Just about any actor has had a dreaded “ball class” where you lie on some manner of hard rubber ball and pulverize muscle knots. I recently came across Yoga Tune-Up which is a version of this, but with slightly more forgiving equipment. I highly recommend it!  In the absence of a brand name ball you can use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball. Really anything that’ll give you a bit of resistance, without just causing ridiculous amounts of pain.

Google myofascial release or trigger point therapy for more info. Here’s a lengthy post on it (it’s mostly an ad for his book, but there’s some good info there, too).

Another common tool is a foam roller. Great for various muscle groups, and lovely to just lie on to open up your chest. The Melt Method is specific style and brand that uses a foam roller. I like that this method specifically includes mindfulness, and listening to the body. There’s also a focus on different techniques to soften the muscles, not just single pressure points.

Above all, listen to your body, and keep listening throughout the workshop. Your body is like a Indy driver’s car: it lasts longer when you give it the proper maintenance, especially after it works so hard! There’s so much going on at the workshop that it can become easy to stop listening to yourself in favour of pushing to get through. Take the time to recouperate. This is important. Under this kind of strain, your body needs the attention and care.

P.S. None of these people are paying me to advocate their brands. I just like what they do.

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