You may well know that I’m a big fan of hands-on therapies such as massage, physiotherapy, osteopathy, self-myofascial release etc. I’m always nagging my clients to roll. Sometimes we can’t release and mobilise an area of our body with the use of movement alone. Trigger point and manipulation techniques are sometimes needed for release and lengthening of muscles, tendons and connective tissues within our body that are vital for allowing us to have freedom when we move. If we don’t have this freedom within a joint and we have tightness, weaknesses and restrictions then we may develop pain in other areas of our body.
So what is my point?
I want to follow up on a couple of posts I sent out on facebook and twitter recently. They were articles about self-myofascial release (rolling). They were great articles and showed the importance of this subject. You can see them here:
Is rolling the answer to my injuries?
Rolling is a great start but it’s important that you understand how and why movement plays a big role in assisting and complementing therapies and techniques such as rolling and massage.
I have been treating clients with sports massage and movement for many years and one thing I see quite often is the expectation to be free of pain and tightness after a massage or half an hour of rolling. It doesn’t work like that. You may feel a little lighter or more mobile for a day or so, but if you haven’t applied any movement or mobility drills then you will almost always tighten back up again. If you go for a massage or a physiotherapy treatment then you will probably have been asked by your therapist to do some mobility exercises to improve things a little. There is a reason for this.
Without me getting too in depth, when we apply these movement and mobility techniques then we are adding immense value to the work that you or the therapist put in.
By moving, we give that area the chance to wake up and think; we are extending mobility and increasing our range of motion and, more importantly, we are re-configuring the connection between our brain and muscles. In order to maintain all of this, we need to keep this connection stimulated – in other words… we need to keep moving.
The trigger point work is just the beginning. Look at it as being the release of memory before the movement that produces the practice to keep that memory alive. If you stay still for too long then your body will forget.
So… in conclusion. After you roll, or after you have a massage… you need to maintain some gentle movement of your limbs.
MOVE – that’s what our bodies were designed to do!
Just starting rolling? Here’s some exercises to start with:
If you need more assistance please get in touch. Happy moving.