Improving Health with Self-Massage and Stretching
How Self-Massage and Stretching Can Improve Overall Health
Muscular health injuries are becoming more and more common as the general population’s lifestyle becomes increasingly sedentary. This makes stretching and self-massage gain importance as it’s possible to maintain muscular health while fighting the battle of sedentary living.
Understanding the Tissue in Your Body
Before getting into what self-massage is, let’s go over some of the basics of how the muscles and connective tissue work together.
Fascia is connective tissue under the skin that attaches to muscles to stabilize and separate them from other internal organs. Fascia can become stressed over time from repetitive movements, inflammation, or acute injuries. This damaged condition of the fascia can lead to “knots” or trigger points which are those nodes you feel around your muscles that can sometimes cause a dull ache or tightness when pressed on.
Self-Myofascial Release (Self-Massage)
The goal of self-myofascial release or self-massage is to relieve the tension caused by these trigger points. Self-myofascial release benefits include:
- Improved Range of Motion
- Improved Oxygenation of Surrounding Muscles and Tissues
- Reduced Pain and Tightness
How to Perform Self Myofascial Release
To relieve the tension caused by these trigger points or knots, various devices such as foam rollers and different sized massage devices including lacrosse balls are used to put pressure on the sensitive areas. This video below by Ashley borden goes over commonly performed foam roller exercises in one take!
Essentially you are using these different shaped devices to put pressure on and stimulate the knots causing tension in your body. The fascia adhesions can be diminished, giving you your mobility back and reducing pain and tightness.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle maybe working at a desk for extended periods of time, then you should definitely work in a stretching routine throughout your day. It can be a simple static stretching routine to loosen up your hips and back, or you can use resistance bands to provide some resistance to your stretches. Here’s a great video by Fitness Blender to give you some simple stretches to perform at work every hour or so.
Hopefully the integration of self-massage and stretching into your daily routine can assist you in improving your mobility, and maintaining overall muscular health.