Tips for Using a Foam Roller

To be frankly honest, I don’t really like foam rollers. Too often, I find that clients or friends will injure themselves by either too aggressively using this tool or simply using it incorrectly. (I mean, honestly, who thought it would be a great idea to put foam spikes on a roller?) I would much prefer that they go see a trained massage therapist or bodyworker who can work with their body to gently encourage it to let go of its adhesions rather than forcing it to do something it may not be ready to do. However, some people have to use their foam roller, whether because they cannot go see a massage therapist regularly or because they consider it a necessary part of their self-care routine, and I respect that. With that in mind, then, here are my tips for using a foam roller effectively and safely.

Read More

Muscle Spotlight: Erector Spinae

In a previous blog post, I highlighted the quadratus lumborum, its function in the body, and why it is a frequent culprit for low back pain. In this post, I’ll be discussing its cousins, the erector spinae. The erectors are actually a group of three muscles which extend from several attachment points along the pelvic girdle to the cervical vertebrae, and even to the occipital bone at the base of the skull.

Read More

No Pain, No Gain?

On occasion in my practice, I run into a client who thinks that the more pain they experience during a massage, especially during a deep tissue session, the better it is for them.  In their minds, it's "no pain, no gain" when it comes to getting all their knots and muscle soreness worked out, and I'll even have clients tell me, "Go as deep as you can.  I know it's going to be really painful, but I know that it's a good pain, so just get those knots out!"  But does a massage – even a deep tissue session – have to be extremely painful to be beneficial?  Let's examine the issue further.

Read More