Last week, I discussed my struggle with undiagnosed daily dizziness and related symptoms. As mentioned, I have used therapy ball rolling is a way for me to connect to areas of tension, maintain/improve mobility, and de-stress from constantly feeling unwell. I roll, rejuvenate, and hydrate my tissues with sequences for the jaw, neck, shoulders, and back. I have found comfort in using the Roll Model® Therapy Balls, as I have often felt unable to accept support or help from other people.
To release strain in my shoulders, neck, and jaw, I place the therapy balls deep into my levator scapula and upper trapezius at the top portion of the medial border of the scapula. I use pin and stretch techniques to target the connection between the two muscles. With knees bent, feet flat on the floor, I lift my arms up and hold onto an imaginary steering wheel. The movement of my arms as I turn the wheel, digs deep into these muscle fibers. This action helps me release some of the stress I’ve experience over the past year.
Sometimes I feel as if there is a towel wrapped tightly around my head. When I place the therapy balls at the base of my skull and nod “yes”/”no,” I massage the suboccipital group. These four muscles (rectus capitis posterior minor, rectus capitis posterior major, obliquus capitis superior, and obliquus capitis inferior) play a key role in keeping the head stable. Because these muscles control part of the cervical spine and head, they take on a lot of stress from poor posture. When I turn my head “no” so the ball rolls over the mastoid process (right behind the ear), I nod “yes” at the same time. This technique massages deep into built up tension that creates jaw and neck discomfort.
Stripping along the grain of the erector spinae group brings life back to my posture and breathing capacity. I start just below C7 of the cervical spine at the top of the rhomboids. I begin to cross fiber my rhomboids and strip the erectors as I roll the balls up and down my back. I am able to awaken my ribcage by hydrating the intercostal muscles that work with the ribs to expand and contract on each inhale and exhale.
The best pit stop is at the mid thoracic to open my front body. If you think of the spot where the “bra”/”bro” strap would be, that’s where I stop in order for my ribcage and abdominal wall to expand. Consistent hunched over posture shortens the muscles in this area, compresses the diaphragm, and effects overall health. Allowing a moment to open up my front body gives me a chance to breathe deeply, which is so important in keeping a positive attitude.
Some things are out of our hands. But what we do have control over is self-care. Here is a video to ease and de-stress the body!