Long and round, the Foam Roller is basically a powerful self-massage tool. By using it’s round shape you can roll and kneed the musculature in your body and make it more subtle. Through structural limitations, injury and repetitive movements we develop tight lines of stress through the body. As you go through a Rolfing 10-Series these lines of stress will shift and change. Using a Foam Roller you can address these restriction lines at home between sessions. The long muscles of the legs and hips are strong and powerful. It is often necessary so spend additional time lengthening these tissues so the integrative process in your 10-Series can come alive. You’ll want to come back to the foam roller over and over again throughout your 10-Series.
Some hints to using a roller:
1.The name ‘roller’ is a little confusing. Instead of ‘rolling’ over the tissues of the body, you should try to sink into the tissue and ‘kneed’ it like dough.
2. Rolling faster is not better – Rolling can be painful at first. Often clients try to get away from the pain by speeding up the passes on their roller. This is not as effective as stopping and allowing gravity to ‘sink’ the roller into the musculature.
3. As you begin to roll you may find yourself drifting toward the easier parts of the body. It is more effective to stay with the hard/restricted bits. This is where change needs to happen in the body.
4. As with any exercise it is important to constantly check-in with how your body is responding. The ‘pain’ one feels when rolling should me within the musculature. The ‘pain’ should ease as the body responds to the mobilization.
5. If you feel pain that is not changing, or creates twisting and discomfort in any joint, stop and consult a trained exercise therapist for correct body alignment.