Saturday, January 4, 2014

Foam Rolling, Body Aches and Overall Wellness

Are you an athlete who pushes yourself just a little too far? Or maybe you're a stay at home mom that stands on the hardwood floors all day, going up and down the steps.  Are you simply so stressed out that every muscle or joint in your body aches?  Are you like many sufferers who are unsure what is causing your discomfort?  I bet those of you whom have consulted your doctors all went home with the same fibromyalgia diagnosis. It's the new diagnosis for everything these days.  It's the diagnosis that is replacing depression and coincidentally they treat it with the same drugs.  It's likely that the food you are eating, such as public enemy #1, gluten, is playing a role and you don't know it. It's a story I've told many times.  Nonetheless, I can share with you the greatest relief that I have found, a foam roller.

A foam roller is an absolute blessing.  I use it three times a day; before and after my workout or sport as part of my stretching routine and in the evening after my hot bath.  Not everyone has the time or the money for a massage and there is nothing more natural than the resistance of your own body weight. 

Targeting and rolling out every muscle and tendon in your body is essential if you are hurting.  Using a foam roller works like a deep tissue massage, depending on the firmness of the roller that you use.  I don't have a lot of meat on my bones so I prefer the softer and more forgiving white one.  Anything firmer will only leave me bruised like a peach. Most men prefer the firm black roller, and women, the white (although the colors may vary).  

It's not rocket science to figure out how to use one, but for your first try, be careful situating yourself on one.  As a newbie, you may slip off if you don't take your time or are not coordinated. In my opinion, it's the best tool out there for your body.  Drop the drugs, the pain pills, and the complaints.  You have just met your new best friend!
Rolling out the calf muscles
Foam rollers are sold in sporting goods stores, online, and I have even seen them in the exercise section at Marshall's.
Rolling out the quadriceps
Rolling out the IT band (hip and knee pain relief)
Rolling out the calf muscles from the base of the back of the knee to just above the ankle area

Rolling out the inner thighs. Very important for a tennis player. 
Important for flexibility, and lateral movement on the court.

Below I am rolling out the piriformis muscle gluteal region. 
This is good for sciatica relief.

Brand names on the rollers: Axis OPTP & Perform Better

Foam rolling is THE best way to smooth, loosen and massage the muscles and tendons all in one.  Remember to do this before and after a workout routine. Great at home before bed, after a hot bath, when experiencing neck and back pain or leg and arm pain, or generally to stay fit and flexible for everyday wellness.  When used regularly, the results are life changing.

In Good Health,


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