Daily Myofascial Self Treatment MUST match activity! - Release Works Myofascial Therapy
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Daily Myofascial Self Treatment MUST match activity!

I’ve written a bit about this previously, that your myofascial self treatment and care must match your workout. That there are likely some go tos, some self treatment that you will do for life to help keep your body moving and feeling best.

I am familiar with those for myself. Generally that is some time resetting tension levels before bed, lying with a ball under my sacrum, or legs up a wall, or a foam roller vertically under the length of my spine. I do some unwinding on the weekends. Sometimes spend some additional time with wedges or a craniocradle.

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However, I have recently been reminded that the daily resetting I do on a regular basis will not be enough if my activity has changed.

Desk Jobs Require Different Myofascial Self Treatment Than Active, On Your Feet Jobs

In particular, I have started spending a fair amount of time sitting at this table, working at a computer.

Myofascial Treatment must match the activities of a day

It’s a soft cushy chair. The table height is not really designed to be a desk, my arms are frequently extended in front of me without good support, I slouch forward, and my feet don’t rest comfortably on the floor. And, yes, I did clear the table off a bit before taking the picture 🙂

I’m starting to hurt in my neck, shoulders, low back, and head.

The work I am currently doing is different from my regular work as a therapist, standing, shifting frequently during client sessions, practicing some self treatment while I demonstrate, and sometimes getting outside a bit during the day for a walk.

Working from home part time, I don’t do these things.

It is difficult to take a picture of myself that shows how I have been working. But this is a pretty accurate representation.

In truth, I probably slump a bit more and hunch my shoulders more into my neck. My table is a bit higher relative to my shoulders than the desk in this picture.

We All Need Reminders!

I created the handout we use in the office showing how to better care for the body if you have a desk job.

I don’t consider myself to have a desk job. Mostly because I work at the kitchen table. But I very much am doing the things I know to not do!

And my body is very much telling me I need different myofascial self treatment each day.

The way in which I am sitting has been jamming my spine into my head. I don’t like it. Lying with a ball under my sacrum isn’t going to help that as much as extending and lengthening my spine and thoracic area over a pillow.

The way in which I am working is leading to a slumping and collapsing in my ribs and diaphragm. I don’t like that either. I frequently lose my voice by the end of the day as things get tighter. It isn’t difficult to feel the tenderness and tightness in my solar plexus area.  A foam roller under my spine to help open through the chest is good. But what I really need is a ball in the solar plexus and some movement exploration for mobilizing the ribs.

Slumping and collapsing isn’t doing good things to my low back either. That requires something that opens the space between my ribs and hips and allows the lumbar spine to decompress.

I have spent 4 days at a kitchen table with a computer. There was a weekend in between. 4 days has been enough to remind me that my daily myofascial self treatment MUST adapt to match my activities of the day.

Side note: the thing that finally got my attention wasn’t a headache or shoulder tension, back aching, or neck that feels like it can’t quite pop but needs to. I could feel those things in varying degrees of intensity and discomfort. The thing that got my attention was my gums. My teeth aching. I know from experience that is directly linked to tension pulling me downward and inward in my body.

I am unwilling to allow my gums to recede. And as much as I dislike headaches, I really, really dislike tooth sensitivity and pain.

So I changed my myofascial self treatment last night.

Adapting Myofascial Self Treatment To My Current Activities

I started while I was making cookies.

It was really convenient to set the cookie timer to 10 minutes and then sit in a chair, directly sitting on a ball to help lock in my pelvis, and then explore twisting through my ribs. It was gentle twisting, with my spine tall, using the chair to help support and hold me into rotation. I couldn’t stay with it for the entire 10 minutes. But I did do a bit as cookies came in and out of the oven 4 times.

Then I went to the floor, and put a ball in my solar plexus area. I had to fold a blanket over it in order for my body to be able to soften. For a moment, I had a bit of trouble wanting to breathe. In short, it hurt.

I put 2 couch pillows on the floor and laid on my left side with them under my hip and lower ribs. Eventually I reached my right arm overhead and extended my right leg a bit behind me. I didn’t have trouble breathing and softening here, and I shouldn’t have been surprised at the initial limited range of motion or how tightly held together my body felt. But I was. I spent 10 minutes softening there. And could have spent longer. I will revisit it tonight.

It took a bit to move gently through the achiness in my ribs and spine to roll over onto my right side and repeat.

More achiness as I rolled face down and put those same two pillows under my hips. I do this work for a living, and I do my best to practice what I preach. But, again, it took my breath away for a moment as I settled over the pillows and felt the effect in my low back.

Myofascial Self Treatment extending spine over a pillow

I rolled one more time, and placed one couch pillow under my back. It is large enough to cover from shoulders to sacrum. I had to keep my knees bent for awhile as my low back settled in this new configuration, but eventually I started to feel my spine and neck lengthen. Which felt really good.

Video demonstration of how to do this yourself

I feel a bit like I have been hit by a truck this morning. But I am not starting the day with a headache and a sense of collapse. I do feel different tension in my neck and shoulders and an achiness in my ribs when I bend. Those don’t surprise me since I was asking my body to move differently last night than I have been for a few day. And, my teeth don’t ache.

I have a short stool under my feet at the table and a ball behind my sacrum as I write this.

And I will spend some time tonight, repeating the myofascial self treatment of last night.

Need Some Help Adapting Your Myofascial Self Treatment?

As I mentioned previously, we could all use reminders sometimes. This journey of taking the best care of my one body is a journey I am on for life. I am glad it only took 4 days for me to remember that I know differently than I was doing.

If you could use some help, let’s talk.

Vanetta Servoss

Vanetta Servoss

Specialist Myofascial Release Therapist Vanetta loves her work as a myofascial release therapist! She was introduced to myofascial release as a client struggling with debilitating headaches, dizziness, pain, and muscle tension. Traditional medicine did little to provide relief, and it wasn't until she began seeing a mfr therapist that she started seeing change. She knows first hand how it feels to be trapped in pain with little hope for recovery. Or to be given a diagnostic label like fibromyalgia with little recourse other than dependence on prescription medications. She no longer believes those are the only options available to those struggling with pain or loss of mobility, and credits mfr with helping her get her life back. She considers it a privilege to assist others in their journey. Vanetta's formal education includes an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a Master's degree in Health Promotion from Mississippi State University. She is also a licensed massage therapist and has trained extensively in the John Barnes' Myofascial Release approach. Vanetta loves to travel and explore other places. She now enjoys that active lifestyle she once thought was no longer possible, and can frequently be found outside enjoying the sunshine and hiking the trails of Utah, Idaho, and Arizona.
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