Whether you’re sitting at a desk all day, battling the rush-hour commute, your sleep patterns are all over the place, or you’re just stressed to the bone, there comes a time when something’s gotta give – and it’s usually your body!
While annoying, the kicker about body pain is that it’s not even about vanity or comfort: physical aches and pains are a very real sign that your internal machinery is out of whack. Fascia, aka your “connective tissue fibers,” are the tiny fibers that give your muscular system support – attaching, stabilizing, and protecting your muscles and organs from damage. Those aches and pains in your body are another way of saying: your fascial tissues (and sanity) are crying for help.
With more than 27 years of expertise in anatomy and movement, Jill Miller is a pioneer in linking our fitness practices to pain management. Her solution to our fascial frustration? Therapy balls – specifically, Yoga Tune Up Balls. These fit-cessorries are game changers and her book The Roll Model is a step-by-step guide to managing pain through a series of exercises that literally get your body rolling. Pain
Pain is an epidemic. It prevents you from performing at your best because it robs you of concentration, power and peace of mind. The Roll Model method gives you the tools to deliver a simple, self-treatment process to identify the body’s blind spots (areas that are catalysts for pain and injury) and incorporate pain-relief and performance-boosting exercises. In less than five minutes daily you can increase mobility and eradicate pain for good. These exercises target the fascia, which is the ubiquitous living seam system in your body that threads your tissues to one another. The fascia a very important connective tissue in your body; wherever the Therapy Balls roll, they impact your body’s fascia. Everyone’s tissues need comprehensive, integrated strategies to restore optimal performance so you can do what you want to do, better and pain-free. It’s time to take life by the balls and get rolling!
The 5 Best Moves to Roll Away Your Aches and Pains
Reset Your Breath
Stress begins with “bad breath.” Dysfunctional breathing patterns are both a result of stress and can create anxiety and unease. Remodeling the tensions in your abdominal tissues immediately improves your access to deeper breathing and will help your whole body to relax as a result.
- Place a Coregeous® Ball underneath your abdomen and rest face down on the floor.
- Inhale directly into the ball and hold your breath. While holding your breath, tighten your abdominals. Then exhale and let the ball sink in deeper. Repeat this breath 10 X.
- Then move your pelvis from side-to-side in order to roll the ball across your abdomen for 1-2 minutes.
- Then place the ball in the middle of your chest, and repeat the exact same steps as above for your ribcage/chest muscles.
Your feet take a beating due to footwear, walking on pavement, and wear and tear from workouts done haphazardly. Our feet have 33 joints, and yet most feet don’t have a movement diet that exercises all of the muscles helping the joints to function properly….What’s a lifeless foot to do? Some sole searching for sure….
- Stand near a wall or chair and place one Yoga TuneUp® Therapy Ball underneath the arch of your left foot. Allow your foot to mold its way around the ball for 1 minute while deeply breathing.
- Bend your ankle from side-to-side and move the ball across the mid-foot. 1 minute.
- Place the ball underneath your heel and swivel the heel into the ball while attempting to flatten the rubber. 1 minute.
- Roll the ball directly under the ball of your foot squeeze and release your toes into the ball. 10 X slowly.
- Switch sides.
Put Your Butt Back on Your Butt
Sitting is a killer for your bottom. It progressively weakens your glutes and causes the muscles and their connective tissues to have less “bounce.” Use this move to maneuver your bottom away from the side of your thigh, and re-sculpt your tush to fit more snugly on the back of your hip.
- Sit down or lie down and place one or two Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls on your outer left buttock.
- Using firm pressure, as if the ball were a plow, drive the balls toward your pelvis (rather than towards your thigh) then lighten your pressure and return to your starting position.
- Plow your bottom towards your sacrum for 2-3 minutes, then switch sides. TIP: Use firm pressure in one direction only, then reset the ball before your next stroke (like this).
Thumb and Done
Text much? Type much? Our hands grasp constantly in this day and age, so your fingers knead their own self-care beyond a manicure. Help your thumb be more human-like with this easy move.
- Place your right hand on top of a Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Ball and dock the ball at the base of your thumb. Rest your left palm on the back of your right hand to add a bit more pressure and to help “steer” your right hand.
- Smush the ball by spinning it right and left as if juicing an orange for 1-2 minutes.
- Find one place at the base of the thumb that feels hungry for more massage, and lean pressure into that spot while breathing deeply for 1 minute.
- Switch sides.
Your jaw muscles are some of the most overworked and under-pampered tissues on the body. If you get headaches, clicking or have TMJ, this will rub you the right way.
- Lie on your left side with a book, block or firm pillow under your head and a Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Ball under your left cheekbone. Take 5 deep breaths.
- Move your head from side-to side slowly as is saying “no.” Take 5 deep breaths.
- Nod your head slowly as if gesturing ”yes.” Take 5 deep breaths.
- Slowly open and close your jaw. Take 5 deep breaths.
- Switch sides.