One of the lesser talked about benefits of self-myofascial release (self-massage) is stress reduction.
Our nervous system is always in a constant flux of moving between two basic states, and myofascial release helps push the body towards the rest and repair state. It can help with Relaxation, reconnecting, and bringing awareness to areas that might have been holding tension.
Take headaches for example... Most headaches are simply tension related.
Flexion in the upper spine (like bending forward) pulls the head forward and down, forcing the muscles in the back of the neck to do double the work just to keep the head up. We don’t really feel the weight in our conscious mind, but our heads weigh about as much as a bowling ball. Imagine holding that up all day. If that bowling ball isn’t perfectly centered, some of the muscles of the neck are going to get strained under the load. Your spine is a perfect column for holding that weight, but it needs to be balanced!
We always talk about starting from the spine and this is no different. By working up and down the thoracic spine, you’re going to provide a stable and balanced foundation for the head and neck.
Use Your RAD Tools for a Balanced and Stable Foundation
Start with your back: Grab a Roller, Helix, or Axle, lay on the floor, and perform 1-2 minutes of slow rolling movements along your spine.
After your back, if you have a Centre, working through the abdominal wall can help open up the upper back as well, from the opposite side.
Then you can start working up towards the head, taking some strain off those hard workers in the back of your neck. Try the usage pictured below! We recommend closing your eyes, relaxing, and sinking into the tool. Hold this position for about 60 seconds, and breathe deeply while you do so.
Suggested Tools and Usages:
Abdominal wall: Centre