Read below for understanding. Scroll to the bottom of the page for doing.
Foam Rolling is a practice. It is an art. It is a labor of love and physical health. It addresses inflammation, increases circulation of oxygenated blood and improves flexibility. Inflammation comes from the congestion of white blood cells in a localized area in the body. This can come from heavy lifting, a moderate work out like running, everyday movement, as well as your diet.
In fact, there is micro-inflammation in several parts of our body at any given time, and this micro-inflammation can go undetected until it grows into more severe inflammation, irregular joint movements, and potential injury.
When someone’s joint is displaced, dislocated, or grinding due to a lack of cartilage, popped, torn, or as people often say ‘broken’ and in need of replacement, and they did not have some strange accident that caused this problem, it is because of repetitive and, or prolonged dysfunctional patterns of movement under the stresses of sustained inflammation.
This cylinder is just foam, a non-recycleable waste, sometimes offered in different density levels. The higher the density translates into a higher the level of firmness. It is never too firm so do not be alarmed and get a soft one due to an un-informed fear. The foam roller is not going to bruise you. It can certainly come close if you have been inactive for a very long time, or are on both ends of the spectrum: very overweight or very thin. But this is not a form of self-torture, so please don’t regard it as that. We do not foam roll bones, so as long as you are staying on the tissues of the muscles you are doing good work. Please know that myofascial release (what you are doing) has been used for years across the globe.
The foam roller is most effective when you have liberally applied weight onto it. Like love, if you only give a little, it only gives back a little. When you begin, it is not required that you put all of your weight on it. We can all start with a supportive leg or arm extended, or both arms on the ground so weight can be transferred somewhere other than the roller. Some of the most fascinating ways the foam roller has changed people’s lives:
- Completely eradicating their sciatica issues or lower back pain.
- There are many people who have reported better posture
- People have found they are able to breath easier and sleep without interruption.
- Better and more pleasurable sex
- Regular Bowel Movements
- Others that have a bit more serious conditions like lymphedema scoliosis, or leg discrepancies find that using this has brought them to a place of healing that involved them more than any experience they have had with traditional medicine.
Using the Foam Roller:
1. The first thing everyone should understand is that, like love, foam rolling hurts. And the more it hurts, the more indicative it is of how much you need to use the foam roller on that particular painful space. There are varying degrees of pain and then there are varying degrees of pain that people will let themselves bear. You know where you are on the scale, but this is not something you can just give up on. This is your body. You only have two legs, shouldn’t you do what you need to in order to keep them working the entire time you need them?
2. Breathe and take breaks. This is a great way to begin this practice. There will be minor discomfort, but holding your breath during these sensations is exhausting and will make the pain seem much worse than it actually is. You have to try and focus on the good that you are doing, rather than letting yourself become overwhelmed with how it feels. It is a new activity and there is always a learning process with something new. Don’t be pathetic, you wouldn’t let your son give up on trying to write his name despite how difficult b’s and d’s were.
There will always be muscle imbalances, genetically speaking, or from sustained activity but it is your duty to take notice and work with a professional to ask questions, understand what therapy is necessary and how often, and then execute it. Our bodies, like anything else, are far from structurally perfect. Even as babies we are already in the making of misaligned postures, but the beauty of being human is that all of your healing begins with you.
We change. We adapt. We overcome.
Foam Roller Moves:
Upper Trap and Mid Trap roll leaning to one side
Teres Roll leaning into one side
Lower ribs tailbone extension
Foam roll at lumbar sacrum connection with knees bent feet on the ground
Foam roll at lumbar sacral connection with feet raised above hips.