Please meet Amanda Roemer, an expert in myofascial release with foam roller and balls. She is also wonderful yoga teacher, hockey player, specialized kinesiologist and recent 500 hour graduate of my yoga teacher training. Amanda gave a workshop on myofascial and trigger point releasing at Loft108, my studio in Old Montreal, Sunday May 1, 2016.
Here is here’s her article on the subject:
Self myofascial release with foam roller
In 2008 after several hockey and sports related injuries, I began to search for something to compliment my yoga practice and release the restricted areas of my body. I started experimenting with self-massage and release techniques using a foam roller. The results were immediate. I could get rid of headaches, body pain, joint pain, sleep better and had more energy! It was amazing. I started to teach this technique to my post-rehabilitation clients, my athletes, and blended it with Yoga years ago. It was very well received! It became a part of my own practice, my life, and a way to help people. I have now been teaching this technique ever since. Below is a brief description of what Myofascial and Trigger Point Releasing is and some of my favorite releases!
What is facia?
The main tissues in our body that are affected when doing these release techniques are fascia and muscles. Fascia is a dynamic and interactive tissue because it will change depending on what you do…or don’t do. One function of muscle fascia is to reduce friction of muscular force. Fascia is compromised when circulation to an area is reduced. Adhesions or ‘ knots’ can form as the ‘fibres’ of the tissues stick or clot together. Trigger points are portions of muscle where there is a small involuntary contraction that will feel like a ‘knot’ and is painful when pressure is applied. Trigger points weaken muscles because they can no longer relax and will stress the points where they attach to bone causing joint pain.
Self myofascial release and trigger point releasing is a simple way to restore normal function back into tissues. By applying slow moderate pressure you force-feed blood/oxygen to the muscles creating heat and separation of muscle fibers, which increases elasticity and relieves pain significantly! Here are some of favorite release exercises.
Target the area just above the boney part of your butt. Begin sitting on the roller with foot crossed over opposite knee. Pull the knee toward the opposite shoulder so you can target the belly of the muscle. You can also use a ball in the hip area and move the leg by bending the knee and moving the leg outwards and then inwards repeatedly.
Benefits: Sciatica relief, reduce pain in the lower back and buttocks, improved range of motion and rotation of the leg and hip.
Lateral thigh and hip
this can be painful for some people and can take a few months get on top of the tension in this area. Use a softer rolling tool to start. Roll back and forth slowly with deep breaths. Do smaller movements over any area that feels tight. Roll the area just in front and just behind the IT band. This would be equivalent to rolling just in front and just behind the side-seam of your pants.
This can be more effective because you are now addressing the quadriceps tissue that is also tight and binds to the IT band. Use your top leg and supporting arm to adjust the amount of pressure on your thigh.
Spine Middle and upper back
Roll along the spine from your kidneys (no lower than your belly button), to your upper back. Roll back and forth slowly with deep breaths. Do smaller movements over any area that feels tight. It’s normal to feel pops and cracks! Complimentary Posture – back bends will feel better after this release due to opening of the middle and upper back where back bending is often restricted.
- Amanda Roemer’s website
- Yoga for Immunity
- The Yoga CD that started it all – Sore Back Relief practice included!