Here’s a little write-up from Liz about her upcoming workshop on January 10th from 1-3pm! Pre-register HERE!
I first found myofascial release through a personal trainer I used to work with. Before and after every session, he made me get out my foam roller, and roll for a good 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes started out feeling painful for my muscles. Why would anyone want to put themselves through this? Because of the immense amount of relief you experience in the physical body after applying pressure to those tight spaces.
Session after session, I started to feel noticeable improvement in the way foam rolling felt on my musculature. It went from being painful to…actually enjoyable. Being naturally tight in my physical body, myofascial release offered me relief that I couldn’t even get from a deep tissue massage. I learned where I was holding tension in my body, and I was in charge of how long to apply pressure, and how much I much I needed.
What it is:
Myofascial release is a term that refers to working through layers of fascia and muscle, to provide relief from pain and restore motion. We have a dense network of fibers (connective tissue) that wrap around our musculature that helps to facilitate movement, called fascia. These fibers are like the hairs on our head – if we don’t maintain them, they become tight, restrictive and tangled. Under the fascia, muscles begin to develop imbalances through poor posture, past injuries, surgeries, and repetitive motions that are often one-sided in the physical body.
How it works:
It really becomes a practice of getting to know your body, finding tension, and learning how to ease into it. Treatment usually incorporates sustained pressure using your body weight, with or without movement. Foam rollers are great for a quick fix, but my favorite myofascial tool is a tennis ball. They are inexpensive, you can travel with them, and you may even have a couple hiding in your basement or garage. Tennis balls can more accurately target trigger points (those tense areas), creating a great sense of relief.
Why you should do it:
Myofascial release is notorious for increasing elasticity, improving circulation, and reducing inflammation. When done in conjunction with physical exercise, research has shown that myofascial treatment also reduces risk of injury, as well as muscle fatigue and soreness we tend to feel the day after. Better yet, when we regularly incorporate this into our lives, we can rebuild our range of motion and flexibility that is often lost with age.
When tension builds up in the physical body, it can also have an effect on our emotional state. Poor posture can take away our confidence, and tension can be a gateway for anxiety and stress.
So I invite you to incorporate this life changing practice into your life, if not just for a couple of minutes a day.