Every single one of us experiences muscular pain and tension at some point - yet, most people don’t know how they can really treat it on their own other than taking a painkiller. We are in the midst of a major shift in perspective where people are becoming increasingly interested in getting to the root of our health concerns with holistic, non-invasive methods. We are no longer looking at pain as an injury that needs fixing or something we have to live with. We are looking at the gray area of muscular pain and tension in the context of the whole body — in particular, in the context of the whole nervous system — to answer the question of how can we truly resolve the pain at the source.
Much of our everyday tension and aches stem from myofascial trigger points, which are tiny “knots” within taut muscle fibers that radiate pain out to the rest of the body other than just where the trigger point is located. Trigger points are masters of deception. They trick our brains into believing that there is something wrong, our nervous system then goes into protection mode by creating the sensation of pain, which we often react to by tensing up even more. This can become a vicious cycle, but in many cases it’s also something we can relieve on our own at home with the use of a simple tool like the massage ball.
When using the massage balls, gently roll around the entire area (not just where you are feeling the pain - remember trigger points are deceptive!). Gently move the muscle group that you are working on through its range of motion while you maintain pressure from the ball. The key is to move slowly and mindfully. Pay attention to the signs that your body is giving you, and breathe deep, imagining yourself melting over the ball with every exhale.
Rolling out muscle tissue with a soft ball can increase circulation to the area and soften taut muscle fibers caused by trigger points. And when used gently and mindfully with deep breathing, the use of massage balls can teach your nervous system that there is nothing to worry about. This sets the stage for your nervous system to let go and deeply release, helping the body let go of tension all on its own. Using self-massage tools empowers us to take our well being into our own hands, holistically treating our health concerns at the source.