Updated: Dec 21, 2020
I'm sure we've all felt it before. Tight muscles that feel as though they're about to go ping. Perhaps you've felt it in your neck or shoulders from being hunched over your desk all day, or in your calf from walking around in high heels. At some stage we all wish we had a massage therapist on hand to work their magic on our tired, aching muscles.
While nothing will replace the skill of a trained massage therapist you can give yourself a helping hand to release the tension through myofascial release, a fancy term for soft-tissue therapy that focuses on nerves and connective tissue. Myofascial release involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the fascia (connective tissue that surrounds our muscles) to reduce pain and tension and restore motion in the body.
While traditionally a recovery tool for athletes, now everyone is getting in on it thanks to the wide range of benefits.
The benefits of myofascial release include:
correcting muscle imbalances
improving joint range of motion
reduce muscle soreness and joint stress
improve neuromuscular efficiency, the nervous systems ability to recruit the correct muscles needed for movement and stabilisation.
Studies have even found that myofascial release can improve the quality of life and pain for patients with fibromyalgia.
The best bit is you don't need to spend a fortune to get the benefits. All you need is a firm ball like our bright Spring Coaching ball to roll away your pain.
Some of our favourite ways to use our massage ball are:
Hips and glutes: Place the ball on the ground and lower one hip on to the ball. Supporting yourself with your arms. Gently rock forwards and back, or side to side until you find a tender soft. Relax your weight onto the ball for about 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Ankles and calves: Sitting comfortably hold the ball in your hand. Lean forwards to reach your ankle and calf. Roll the ball gentle around your ankle until you find a tender spot. Apply a little pressure for 30 seconds. Repeat by rolling the ball up and down your calf. Applying pressure once you find a tender spot. To apply more pressure place the ball on the ground with you leg on top. Apply your weight onto the ball. Repeat on the other side.
Feet: Sitting comfortably place ball onto the ground. Lower one foot on to the ball so it rests in the arch of the foot. Lean forward applying weight to the side that has the ball. Gentle roll the ball up and down under the foot for about 30 seconds. To increase the pressure stand up while holding onto something stable for support. Repeat on the other side.
Upper back and shoulder: Stand with your back to wall. Place the ball between your back and the wall, positioned on one side. Gently rock forwards and back, or side to side until you find a tender soft. Relax your weight onto the ball for about 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Tips for myofascial release:
Apply light pressure at the start and build from there
Avoid bone and swollen, bruised or burnt skin
Stay away from nerves or any sensations that feel sharp
Start general then hone in on a specific area
Try different strokes
Use your body to apply more pressure if needed
Less is more, too much pressure can cause the muscles to tense up.
We’re always here if you want more support and advice, or to simply say hi. Send me an email, like us on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn or book in a time for a complimentary initial coaching consultation. Either way, we'd love to hear from you.
Have a happy and healthy day.