Massage has evolved into a philosophy with an intricate network of subtleties. Ever since the beginning of its millennial history, new discoveries have not stopped for a moment. Self-myofascial release is one such thing. It implies use of a variety of tools, such as, to name a few, foam rollers, Theracane, lacrosse balls, rods, etc.
What is massage?
Massage is a combination of manipulations aimed at putting pressure on muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues. There are tons of techniques that are applied individually depending on a client’s condition and general state. Massage therapy is flourishing in the civilized world, and some research data suggest that it may be on the way toward integrating into conventional medicine. Although it is increasingly advisable that massage procedures be carried out by professional therapists, there are techniques, which can be safely used at home by patients themselves.
Foam roller massage
Tools like foam rollers can be very helpful in bringing back elasticity to tissues and, consequently, regaining their proper functioning. Self-myofascial massage is very effective in treatment of so called “trigger points” – knots that form in muscles and can be quite sensitive. Any pressure applied to a knot causes pain, which may irradiate to other areas. Using a foam roller on your own will be less painful, because in this case it is you who controls the effort and back off immediately when pain gets too severe. With a foam roller at hand you can do various types of deep-tissue massage and put your IT bands, quads, hip flexors, etc. If used properly, a foam roller proves to be an extremely versatile tool, which will help you keep your body in shape well into age. Foam rollers come in a variety of shapes and sizes: you can pick up a smooth or grooved one to your liking.
Thera Cane massage
A Thera Cane is a hook-shaped tool with handles, which is used to massage areas, which you cannot normally reach with your hands. Also, a Thera Cane can provide effective leverage when addressing affected areas. All six ends of a Thera Cane are tipped with balls. The tool’s patented design allows you to put therapeutic pressure to any muscle group and work out “trigger points” wherever one occurs.
Lacrosse ball massage
Another great alternative to hiring a personal massage therapist to target strained, knotted, etc. areas, is a lacrosse ball. There are areas, such as heels and feet, which you cannot address with a roller or Thera Cane. Apart from therapeutic effects, Lacrosse balls have another advantage: they are compact in size, so you can store one conveniently in your desk drawer or put in your little bag and take along wherever you go.
How effective is self-myofascial massage?
A foam roller is the first patented self-massage tool (1920). Although there is nothing to guarantee that self-myofascial massage works equally well for everyone, the tools described above, if used properly, do relieve muscles and get your limbs and muscles to move better. In any event, it is imperative that you consult a professional therapist prior to actually applying any action to an affected region!