Wouldn’t it be great if we all had time for a full roll-out session each day – to completely undo all of the issues in our tissues? How great would it be for a full body roll-out that unties every knot and reverses our fascial adhesions accumulated from sleeping, sitting, working out, and other movements and postures of our lives that create musculoskeletal imbalances? As nice as that sounds, the harsh reality is that most of us don’t have time for this kind of extended self-care each day. On days we can’t make it to a Yoga Tune Up class or don’t have time after working out for a proper roll-out session, we’re often left with no soft-tissue care at all. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Even if we can’t spare a big chunk of time every day, we can still fit in soft-tissue self-care if we are strategic. ‘How?’ you may be wondering. Well, simply by integrating self-massage into our daily routines with a few self-care multi-tasking hacks.
Think about it – what are you doing with your feet while you’re brushing and flossing your teeth? Probably just standing on them – so how about giving them some love using a pair of YTU Therapy Balls while you’re cleaning your teeth, blow-drying your hair, or waiting for your water to boil in the kitchen? A few minutes may not sound like much, but if done consistently, it can add up to a lot of healing over time – and it’s definitely better than nothing, especially when considering how common foot problems like plantar fasciitis are. Below is a super easy foot sequence that will take you less than 5 minutes to complete:
How many hours a day do you spend sitting? Think about how much time you spend seated while driving, at work, and eating meals. Studies show that the average person sits over 7 hours a day – with some people upwards of 14! When we sit, certain muscles become shortened far beyond their natural length. In the typical seated position, the muscle fibers of our hamstrings become shortened and the tissues become congested, which can cause lower back pain and invite additional imbalances by effecting our daily movement patterns (running, walking, etc). To maximize your self-care time while sitting, put a YTU Plus or Alpha Ball under your legs to massage and repair your hamstrings. Or, as a bonus, work out some junk in the connective tissues of your hips or back muscles by putting some YTU Therapy Balls between the back of your seat and your bum (or your upper back). This is great to do while in transit, either in a car, train or plane!
What does the last hour of your day look like? Enjoying some quick R&R on the couch watching a TV show or movie, or in bed reading? Consider taking your activity to the floor or the wall to combine your leisurely wind-down with some pain-erasing and sleep-inducing mobility work. With just a small plot of floor or wall space, the amount of self-myofascial work you can do is nearly endless. Try putting a Coregeous Ball underneath your abdomen or chest to free up some slide-and glide in your front-body tissues while finishing that book you can’t put down. Jill demonstrates how to do this with Dr. Kelly Starret in the video below.
Or if it’s your neck and shoulders that could use some TLC, prop yourself against a wall with any of the YTU Therapy Balls to melt away your stiffness while still watching tonight’s show with your family. Here’s an excellent way to relax and unwind neck and shoulder tension with a YTU ball at the wall as YTU Teacher Trainer Lillee Chandra demonstrates in the video below:
Plus, here’s a freebie – by massaging yourself, you aren’t only making your tissues healthier, but you’re also downregulating your nervous system – turning off the ‘fight or flight’ sympathetic nerves that keep us energized, and turning on the ‘rest and digest’ parasympathetic nerves that help us relax and sleep. How’s that for a win-win!?