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  • Alicia Schoolman

Relief From Tight Muscles & Stiff Joints

Updated: May 3, 2020

Whether you're neck, hip, feet, hand and back muscles are tight and sore from your daily duties at work, in the garden, lifting children, or the myriad of activities you do daily; self-myofascial release followed by stretching can drastically improve how your body feels, improve your flexibility, posture, movement efficiency, and speed, as well as prevent overuse injuries and ease chronic pain. Self-myofascial techniques also improves circulation of your blood and the nutrients it carries as well as lymphatic function which optimizes your immune function. Breathing properly with these techniques is crucial to reap the most benefits. I healed my trigger finger and prevented surgery using these techniques on a regular basis, first daily, then weekly, and eventually only a couple of times a month. Self-myofascial release is a must for everyone from athletes to senior citizens. Self-myofascial release has been nicknamed "The Poor Man's Massage."

Self-myofascial release can be done with foam rolls, lacrosse/tennis balls, small bouncy balls, Miracle Balls, any many other products sold for this purpose. It can be done in the morning, during breaks throughout the day, and/or in the evening. If you are unable to do it daily, try for 1-2 times a week. You'll be amazed at how much better your body feels.

The technique for using harder balls, Tiger Stick, or foam rolls involves rolling the ball or foam roll in the area of muscle tightness (upper back, glutes, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps) focusing on finding the most tender spots, then using tension on the most tender spots that you are comfortable with pressing into the ball/foam roll for 30-90 seconds making sure to use diaphragmatic (belly) breathing during the process. Sometimes you may feel the whole muscle actually release with what feels like a swoosh. If not, no worries; it still improves your flexibility, posture, and movement quality and efficiency. Follow with stretching for optimal benefits. The more often you do it, the better your results.

The Miracle Balls are softer, so you will need to lay on them for 3-5 minutes in each position to release knots and scar tissue in muscles and fascia. Favorite positions for most clients are 1 ball under your head, 1 ball under each shoulder blade, 1 ball under each elbow, and 1 ball on you sacrum with legs bent in the air with knees above hips or belly. I sell Miracle Balls or you can find them at Costco sometimes, and online. The official name of the product is "The Mira