Welcome to I AM MFR Self Care Tips
September represents the end of summer, back to school, shorter days and thankfully cooler temps. For many of us this also means faster paced days, hectic schedules and, undeniably, more stress! What usually takes a back seat to all the “stuff” going on in lives is our own self care. So I offer this bit of hope – we can take care of ourselves without adding too much more to our plate. Maybe start with 5 or 10 minutes a day for self. That might be in the morning before it all starts, a break sometime throughout the day, or maybe at the end of the day when we need to wind down before a, hopefully, restful night’s sleep.
So what are we doing and where are we going? One thing is for sure, many, if not most of us are sitting at a computer, in a car, in school, at the library–wherever there is a place to sit, for at least 2-3 hours a day, which can aggravate the entire area of the gluteal region (buttox). Any number of activities, postural imbalances, or injury can cause inflammation in this area which often irritates the sciatic nerve that threads through or around the muscles creating pain or burning sensations in the buttock, hip, low back, sacroiliac joint and/or down the back and sides of the leg.
If this sounds familiar, whether you are currently plagued by this, have been in the past, it is always important to give a little love to our back seat, and some of the largest muscles in the body.
For those of you that have an MFR ball, dig it out of your kids closet, the dogs bed, or out from under the deep recesses of the couch. We are going to be using this wonderfully simple tool. For those of you that don’t have one – it’s time to make an appointment for the Myofascial Release Therapy Initial Treatment, and get your complimentary MFR ball, (or just use a tennis ball for now- nothing harder!).
Lets get started. Make sure your ball has enough air in it that it will provide adequate compression, this will be different for everyone, but it should be ball shaped as opposed to pancake shaped. Once you have your ball sit on the floor or hard surfaced chair. If you already know this is going to be painful, find a surface that has some give like the couch, a chair with a cushion or the bed. You may even need to use pillows to prop yourself up so as not to apply too much pressure.
Begin by placing the ball under the buttocks and shifting your weight around the ball, moving it from the sacrum to the hip joint and down to the sit bones. Pay attention to areas that are tight, tender, hot or hard. Don’t worry what muscle you are on, connective tissue is is one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption, by affecting the part you are affecting the whole.
You may need to adjust the air in the ball, either inflating or deflating to find your comfort zone. Once you find a tender point stop rolling the ball and allow the body to slowly to sink into it. Begin to slow the breath and pay attention to other parts of the body. Notice any place you are holding tension, take a breath and soften. Work through the entire body like this breathing and softening. Now bring your attention back to the ball, allowing gravity to release the fascial restriction. Let your body get heavier, without creating tension. By allowing this to happen gradually, instead of forcing the body, physiological changes occur within the collagen, allowing the fascia to move to a more hydrated, supple state. Opting for 5-10 minutes, but meeting your body where ever it is, which might be 10 minutes or one minute. If you find it is just too tender, work on points around the really tender spot. Many times when releasing one area, another lets go too. Once you have finished with one side, don’t forget you have another one, and if you just don’t have time, there is always tomorrow.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line or you can check out my Myofascial Release page, FAQ page and of course John F Barnes Myofascial Release Therapy website. See you next month to learn about our breath and letting go with MFR Self Care Tips.
Peace, Love & Healing