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!

Liked this article? Read Holy Erector Spinae! – Support Your Noggin (and Spine) with a Strong Back

 

Lauren Cap

After years of being told to stand up straight and relax, Lauren decided to take her first yoga class. She fell in love with the practice and knew it would always be a part of her life. She received her Vinyasa Yoga Certification from Prana Power Yoga NYC and found teaching others to be just as rewarding as her own personal practice. She gravitated towards Yoga Tune Up® as a way to expand her anatomy knowledge and learn personal techniques to live a longer, healthier life. She is thankful to Jill Miller's Yoga Tune Up® teachings for showing her that the truly advanced always know when to modify.

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Amanda Kreuzer

This is also a great sequence I just used to clear up my headache!!

VDistin

Thank you for your concise instructions on rolling the upper traps and levator scap. Rolling could put my husband (Physical Therapist) out of business!

Edwina Ferro

This is great, thank you! This is an area of tension in my body and I appreciate your pin and stretch technique with arms over head turning an imaginary drivers wheel right to left. It is simple, specific and profound.

Jamie Saltmarsh

I often have dizziness due to labyrinthitis, which makes me feel lightheaded. I’m going to try the technique you demonstrated, along with additional neck rolling as you suggested in the blog to help relax and provide a sense of grounding.

Katrina Sukola

I love using the Tune Up balls in the neck and shoulders to release tension in those areas, but have never used them during a dizzy spell. Will definitely try this the next time the room is spinning. Thanks!

Katherine

I love this sequence. I use it daily (if not several times a day). The video is an excellent addition to the article as it provides a great visual as to where to place the Roll Model® Therapy Balls. Just a couple minutes of rolling can make a huge difference!

Izzy Leahy

These are excellent rolling exercises! I learned a few of these during my YTU Integrated Embodied Anatomy course, but it’s great to see them put to practical use, especially for something that many of us suffer from. Thanks for sharing!

Elaine Jackson

Thank you for the rolling ideas. I also have problems with mild dizziness and have been diagnosed with a form of Meniere’s disease. It has impacted my hearing as well. I’m really curious to do some work with the balls in the neck and jaw as my chiropractor believes these areas may have some involvement. Would love to hear if others have heard about or worked with this.

Tammy abresch

Thank you I am teaching upper back release with the yoga tune up balls today. I feel more confident.

Tracy Wagner

Great demonstration with the video, good refresher of day one YTU.

Tracy Wagner

Great demonstration with the video, good refresher of day one in YTU.

Tracy Wagner

Great demonstration in your video, it helps me to remember what we did in class on day one, thank you.

Cordelia Orbach

I loved this video because this part of the upper back/neck is an area of tension for me and I find it is hard to target. One of the reasons I find it so difficult to stretch or ease is because of the location, I feel I want more pressure near the muscles along my neck, but that the balls fall away before being able to get deeper. While this gives me an awesome release (and feels amazing) I am wondering what else I can do to relieve neck tension? Thank you!

Cordelia Orbach

I loved this video because this part of the upper back/neck is an area of tension for me and I find it is hard to target. One of the reasons I find it so difficult to stretch or ease is because of the location, I feel I want more pressure near the muscles along my neck, but that the balls fall away before being able to get deeper. While this gives me an awesome release (and feels amazing) I am wondering what else I can do to relieve neck tension?

Catherine RL

Interesting read. Some new tips I can use in my own practice. Thank you

Cristy Jane Coates

Dear Lauren, I’ve had dizziness (vertigo) for over 4 years. After seeing doctors, ENT specialist and neurophysiotherapist- all of whom assumed it was inner ear crystals- I have finally found a physiotherapist who did her doctorate research on the psoas and its far reaching effects. Your situation sounds particularly similar to my own so I wondered if this might help. The predominant cause of the dizzy, foggy feeling are sternocliedomastoid trigger points, which for me is pulled by traps trigger points, originating in psoas trigger points. Holding my head overly stable has led to pain in all the areas you… Read more »

Jeremy Podgursky

I would love to know more about this, Cristy. This rings a lot of bells for me.

Louise Johnson

Wonderful – thank you – a great release cor my upper back and a great tension release.

Michelle Jordahl

I will definitely try that for headaches it sounds like it really works. The nodding of the head is a great way to work the balls to get into the area. Thanks for the great information. Love it!!

Nadia

My husband is struggling with this issue right now. Thank you for writing about this issue and sharing techniques for self care. Much appreciation!

Andrea

I really like the addition of the steering wheel to the Trap pin. It also continues to amaze me how bad posture is so detrimental to our well being.

Andrea

I really like the addition of the steering wheel motion to the upper Trap pin. It continues to amaze me how bad posture can have so many detrimental effects on the body.

Isabelle Côté

I will try these exercises, Lauren, to help release tension and increase breathing capacity. Thank to you !!

Sierra

Thank you! I like the image of a towel wrapped around your head – I know the feeling! Also great that you linked the breath to your attitude/outlook – this is so true.

Kelly

The yes/no movement (with the balls placed at the base of the skull) is so yummy! It’s the first thing I learned to do with my Yoga Tune Up balls, before I ever went to a class. It’s a good first step for addressing a headache (and a just all-round bad day). It’s also a crowd pleaser in a class because the positive effects are so immediate.

Lucie

Personally, I would put a block under my sacrum for this kind of rolling. The link with the release of dizziness is not clear to me but it is obvious with stress release.

Stephanie

Thank you Lauren! Will try these rolling techniques tonight. I also carry a lot of tension in the same areas as you:)

Jess

I love rolling the occipital group and the levator scap. It relieves so much tension in my lower skull and neck and cures any headaches I have. I was surprised to find so much relief after rolling the jaw as well!

Isabelle Deschenes

Great explanation, i will try this!