Pain-free Piriformis

The piriformis muscle is important for leg and hip movement, and our overall balance while standing. An impinged piriformis will cause lower back pain and can also affect the sciatic nerve.

Piriformis.jpg

Here are some piriformis stretches you can perform at home to keep this muscle healthy.

  1.     Lying on your back, place your hand on the same side of one knee, with the other hand on the raised heel.
  2.     Gently raise the knee toward your shoulder and cross the calf across your body toward the opposite shoulder.
  3.     Hold for 5 seconds, then release.
  4.     Repeat with the other leg. As you get used to this piriformis stretch, extend the holding time of the stretch up to 60 seconds.
Piriformis Stretches.jpg

 

 

Stretch slowly and if it hurts, modify your extension or don’t do it. You should feel muscle tension but not pain when exercising. “No pain, no gain” doesn’t apply here. You can end up sending a muscle into spasm or pulling it, resulting in more pain and a longer recovery period.

Posted on August 29, 2017 .

Mango Smoothie...Mmmm!

Nutritious and creamy mango, avocado & papaya smoothie.
This smoothie is not only delicious, but nutritious and great for your skin too.


Ingredients:
1 large ripe, fresh avocado, cut lengthwise, pitted, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup coconut milk
½ cup ripe mango, roughly chopped
½ cup ripe papaya, roughly chopped
½ cup organic, low fat yogurt, vanilla-flavored or plain
1 cup ice
Pinch of salt
 
Instructions:
Place avocado, coconut milk, mango, papaya, yogurt, ice and salt in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Pour shake into chilled glasses and serve immediately.
 

Mango Smoothie.jpg
Posted on August 29, 2017 .

A Pain in the Neck!

What to do When You Have a Pinched Nerve.

A pinched nerve occurs when there's compression (pressure) on a nerve which can cause a lot of pain and hinder movement. It is important that if you have a pinched nerve you take care of it ASAP as it may become a real "pain in the neck."

pain in Neck.jpg


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, correct posture, and regular exercise can help prevent compression on nerves. Avoid repetitive movements and keeping any part of your body in the same position for prolonged periods of time, if you must then make sure to take regular breaks and do some stretching exercises.

You will find more information and various ways to treat a pinched nerve in the neck in the article 7 Insane (But Effective) Ways to Treat a Pinched Nerve in Your Neck

Here's the link:
http://www.fulkchiropractic.com/treat-pinched-nerve-in-your-neck/

Posted on August 29, 2017 .

Golden Milk Recipe

Turmeric (curcuma in Spanish), is a plant of the ginger family. It's the main spice in curry, but it's also known for its powerful health benefits, such as building immunity, being an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, relieving coughs and colds, digestive problems, to name a few. This colorful spice has many other healing properties that most of the Western world is unaware of.
I found this recipe for Golden Milk, or Turmeric Milk, a traditional drink in India used to treat many kinds of ailments, and also as a general health tonic.

Here are two ways on how to prepare this most healthy drink.

Turmeric Milk using turmeric powder

  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2-3 black peppercorns

Warm milk and water over low heat and stir in the turmeric powder. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. This will reduce the milk to one cup. Turn off the heat and add crushed black pepper. Drink the milk hot or warm.
 

Golden Milk.jpg

With fresh turmeric root (rhizome)

  • 1” piece of fresh turmeric
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2-3 black peppercorns

Grate or crush the turmeric and add to milk and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add crushed pepper and keep aside for 5 minutes. Strain turmeric milk into a cup and drink it warm.

Posted on August 29, 2017 .

Nasal Allergies

Nasal Allergies.png

Allergies have become very common nowadays affecting almost everyone. A nasal allergy is an inflammatory reaction to mold, dust mites, animal hair and pollen. Some of the most common sinus problems are sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and allergic asthma.


How to deal with nasal allergies - The Yogic Way gives practical advice on how to deal with nasal allergies, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, constant sneezing, etc.
Some of the tips presented in the article include the use of neem leaves, pepper, honey and turmeric; Most of these foods are easily found in most kitchens.

Here is the link to the article: http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/lifestyle/health-fitness/coping-with-nasal-allergies-the-yoga-way/

Posted on August 29, 2017 .

Slow the Mind

Many times during sessions, my clients often comment that they find it challenging to slow their minds.  They say that they are aware of almost constant mind chatter that impedes them from experiencing inner peace and quiet.

This is something that the majority of people experience do varying degrees I believe.  There are, however, ways that you can take initiative and calm your inner space so that you can experience more intensely and joyfully the present moment.  Here is a short list of practical ways you can sharpen your awareness, be centered and clear your mind of chatter.

Spend 5 minutes doing any activity with intense presence.  ie; walking up the stairs, washing the dishes, pruning flowers or cleaning.  Make the activity into a "being."  Feel, listen, move, taste, etc with absolute awareness.  Any mental commentary that comes up, just let it go.  Observe, witness, be in this moment.

Sit in a comfortable position without distractions.  Ask yourself the question: "I wonder what my next thought will be?'  And then, like a cat waiting for a mouse to come out of it's hole, be there waiting and watching but in a relaxed, playfull state.  You may find that your mind quiets right down!

When you receive your next massage or Watsu, be like a witness.  Follow the points of contact of the therapist's hands.  See where it goes next.  If you are trully connected to your awareness, your mind will be quiet (or at least quieter!).  If your mind tries to pull you out of this pure awareness, just notice it and go back to the sensations of the session.  The body is a gateway to a deeper inner state, so walk through it and experience a natural state of peace!

 

Stretching and Self-massage Using a Roller

In this edition, we’ll look at the importance of stretching and self-massage for your health and well-being.  Plain and simple, a good daily practice of stretching (yoga) is so important for keeping your muscles and joints in a limber and flexible state.  Your state of mind and spirit will also be “stretched” and more relaxed through this practice and thus you will expend less effort during your day.

Personally, I like to use a yoga roller as part of my stretching routine.  This especially aids in stretching your vertebrae and other joints safely and comfortably in a horizontal position.  Also, it allows you to massage most areas of your body with minimal effort.  If you do not have a roller, you can make one by following the easy instructions on the left sidebar. 
 
See the pictures and explanations below for an easy-to-follow routine.  By no means are you limited to these stretches –your creativity can take you to interesting places.  So play around and experiment with your roller and remember, always go slowly, hold stretches for at least 5 seconds and stay within your physical limits.


1- Spine stretch/massage:  Start with the roller at your sacrum/buttocks.  Relax your body giving a nice arch backwards.  Hold then move up 1 inch or so and repeat.  Go all the way up to the neck.

2- Thoracic and abdominal massage:  Similar to #1.  Try a rolling action for a more massage effect

3- Hamstrings and calves massage:  Similar to #2.  Put yourself into a semi-prone position with the roller underneath your legs and get a rocking (or rolling) action going for a good massage.

4- Glutes, hips and psoas stretch/massage:  Start with the roller at your sacrum/buttocks.  Rotate from your hips down to the right and rocking back and forth along the way to give a good massage in all areas.  Finally, hold to your furthest limit for a stretch.  Repeat on the left.

5- Forearm stretch:  Have underside of arms up to the sky and palms extended toward the ground. Place fingers onto the roller and roll your body forward for a wrist extension stretch. You can also just contact your fingers to the ground for more stability instead of using the roller.

Happy Stretching and Self-Care!

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been used in tropical cultures for several thousand years. Coconut oils fats and nutrients make it one of the best health changes that can be easily and inexpensively made in modern times.

       Coconut oil fats differ greatly from unhealthy fats and unsaturated fats. This is because it has a different fat molecule structure than unhealthy fats. Most consumable fats are long-chain fatty acids, but coconut oil actually has medium-chain fatty acids. The human body breaks down fats based on the size of the fatty acid chain. The healthy benefits of coconut oil are derived from the medium-chain fatty acids, which does not negatively impact cholesterol levels and thus lowers the risks associated with heart disease.

        Here are some benefits of using pure and natural coconut oil (for more details, see: 10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil )

1. Coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties

2. Populations that eat a lot of coconut are among the healthiest people on the planet

3. Coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure, helping you burn more fat

4. The Lauric Acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, helping to stave off infections

5. Coconut oil can kill your hunger, making you eat less without even trying

6. The fatty acids in coconut oil are turned into ketones, which can reduce seizures

7. Coconut oil can improve blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease

8. Coconut oil can protect hair against damage, moisturize skin and function as sunscreen

9. The fatty acids in coconut oil can boost brain function in alzheimer’s patients

10. Coconut oil can help you lose fat, especially the dangerous fat in your abdominal cavity

Cancer Prevention through Diet and Massage

The American Institute for Cancer states on their website, “Research has shown that most cancers can be prevented. Scientists now estimate that 60 percent to 70 percent of cancers are all preventable through currently available information and simple changes in diet and lifestyle.” With that encouraging statement in mind, this article addresses changes you can make in your day to day dietary lifestyle that will not only improve your health, but help you to avoid toxins that can increase your chance of cancer.  Here is the list of the 14 food items one should avoid (go to this link for more detail):

Cancer-causing Foods:
1- BPA lined cans
2- Cured and smoked foods
3- Farmed Fish
4- GMOs
5- Grilled Meat
6- Hydrogenated Oils
7- Microwave Popcorn
8- Non-organic fruits and vegetables
9- Processed foods
10- Refined sugars
11- Soda/sports drinks
12- Soy Protein Isolate
13- Sugar
14- White Flour

Uses and Benefits of Massage
1. Relieves Headaches
2. Relieves Anxiety
3. Reduces Fatigue
4. Improves Mental Health
5. Reduces Joint and Nerve Pain
6. Helpful with Sports Injuries
7. Normalize Digestive Disorders 

Benefits of Massage and Watsu

There are many reasons why massage and Watsu are beneficial. Let's look at just a few.

Yoga at Rosewood

       A few weeks back upon realizing how sedentary I have become during the last few months after the arrival of our new son, Sebastian,  I decided it was time to get back into exercise.  So, from a suggestion from a friend, I joined the Ashtanga yoga class at the Rosewood Hotel. 

       If you're looking to increase your strength and flexibility, clear your mind and sweat like a pig, this could be the class for you!  It happens monday/wednesday/friday at 8:30am and is taught by Daniela, a very straightforward and precise yoga teacher.  The cost is 120 pesos per class and you can buy a punch card of 10 and receive 1 class free.

How to Stay Healthy This Winter

  The winter season and an increase of cold and flu illnesses have long been associated.  The answer as to why not fully known.  Despite this mystery, there are many methods to increase your immunity and avoid these nasty maladies of the season.  Here are few good ones to keep in mind: 

  • Boost your immune system: Make sure your grocery bag is full of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A, C and E (think carrots, oranges, grapefruits and dark leafy vegetables) to ensure your body has a steady flow of ammunition to fight infection.

 

  • Get some sleep: Haven’t you wondered why your eyes refuse to open during winters? Due to longer nights, you tend to sleep more. Don’t fret about it and enjoy the extra napping time that you get, guilt free!

 

  • Get outdoors: Even though it may be tempting to sit inside the warmth of your house, it’s important that you get some sunshine whenever possible. It’s possible to get depressed if you don’t get enough sunshine. So step out and soak up the rays when you can.

 

  • Stay active: Lethargy affects everyone during the winters. Getting out into the cold weather for your jog or cycling may seem impossible but try and squeeze in a little bit of activity into your winter schedule. Remember to warm up as your muscles are tighter during winters making them more prone to injury.

 

  • Keep infections from spreading: Wash your hands regularly to keep infections from spreading. Even though this is health tip for all seasons, it’s doubly true during winters when infections and viruses seem to be at their worst.

 

  • Stay warm: Cover up if you are feeling cold. Wear socks, gloves, scarves, anything to make sure your body is comfortable.

 

  • Hydrate yourself: It’s normal not to feel thirsty during winters, but keep yourself hydrated. If you don’t feel like drinking water, give your body lots of warm fluids in the form of clear soups and herbal teas.

 

  • Treat yourself to massage: Your body will love your for it!  Massage is known to increase circulation (for a warmer body), rid of toxins (boost immunity), and lower stress.  In addition, your skin will be thoroughly moisturized which is important during this drier time of the year.
Posted on November 10, 2016 .

Ways to Calm the Mind

      Many times during sessions, my clients often comment that they find it challenging to slow their minds.  They say that they are aware of almost constant mind chatter that impedes them from experiencing inner peace and quiet.

      This is something that the majority of people experience do varying degrees I believe.  There are, however, ways that you can take initiative and calm your inner space so that you can experience more intensely and joyfully the present moment.  Here is a short list of practical ways you can sharpen your awareness, be centered and clear your mind of chatter:

  • spend 5 minutes doing any activity with intense presence.  ie; walking up the stairs, washing the dishes, pruning flowers or cleaning.  Make the activity into a "being."  Feel, listen, move, taste, etc with absolute awareness.  Any mental commentary that comes up, just let it go.  Observe, witness, be in this moment.

 

  • Sit in a comfortable position without distractions.  Ask yourself the question: "I wonder what my next thought will be?'  And then, like a cat waiting for a mouse to come out of it's hole, be there waiting and watching but in a relaxed, playfull state.  You may find that your mind quiets right down!
  •  
  • When you receive your next massage or Watsu, be like a witness.  Follow the points of contact of the therapist's hands.  See where it goes next.  If you are trully connected to your awareness, your mind will be quiet (or at least quieter!).  If your mind tries to pull you out of this pure awareness, just notice it and go back to the sensations of the session.  The body is a gateway to a deeper inner state, so walk through it and experience a natural state of peace!
Posted on November 10, 2016 .

THE FOLLOWING IS A BLOG ENTRY (August 14, 2014, http://www.mittieroger.com/girl-wander-blog) RE-PUBLISHED HERE WITH PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR

 

Watsu: An Essential Therapy

By Mittie Roger.

 

          Everyone loves a good massage.  Whether long hours traveling, exciting days jam-packed with activities, or just the daily grind, massage is an amazing way to let go of physical and emotional stress, leaving you rejuvenated for what’s ahead.  I’ve been curious about Watsu, a type of massage done in warm water. I’ve heard it’s particularly relaxing, putting you in an almost trance-like state as your tension melts away.

          Watsu (Water Shiatsu) got its start in Harbin Hotsprings, California in 1980 when Harold Dull floated people in a warm pool while stretching and applying principles of Zen Shiatsu, which he studied in Japan.  Watsu is a gentle form of physical therapy, performed in warm water (about 37° C / 98°F). The receiver is continuously supported by a practitioner or therapist while being back-floated, rhythmically cradled, moved, stretched, and massaged, combining elements of massage, joint mobilization, shiatsu, muscle stretching and dance art.

          Weightless in the water, joints, muscles and soft tissues can stretch effortlessly, energetic blockages dissipate and the body experiences a true freedom of movement.  I could imagine it perfectly – the slow fluid motion of Tai Chi with the elegance and grace of water ballet. I was fascinated and decided to find it here in San Miguel de Allende.

          My first experience with Watsu was with David Galitzky of Essential Massage and Watsu.  I arrived at the private pool and was escorted to a private bathroom with shower before the appointment.  The water itself was the perfect temperature, just warm enough to soothe my tired body, and I immersed myself in it.  He started by checking how comfortable I was floating in the water and how much natural buoyancy I had.

          Since I sunk like a stone, he added flotation devices to my calves giving me a weightless sensation in the water.  Then he cradled me in his arms, gently pushing and pulling me through the water, allowing my body to continue the impulse he’d started.  His transitions were so smooth I couldn’t tell where one movement ended and another began. 

          Gliding through the water, stretching, allowing the density of the water to support my body in conjunction with muscular massage– it was downright magical.  I had the sense of losing myself in the warm water, forgetting where my limbs end and the water begins.  To close the session, he supported me upright against the wall of the pool, performed some gentle neck massage and then released contact.  It took some moments before I felt ready to open my eyes and come back to earthly reality.  It was truly an incredible experience.

          For me, massage is quintessential to my health and well-being, and maintaining my travel momentum.  I love being active and keeping my body free of knots and pain makes all the difference.  If massage isn’t regular part of your life, I suggest you try it out.  For me, it’s a must. So, whether traveling to or through San Miguel, check out this deeply relaxing and mindful type of massage

Posted on January 25, 2015 .

Almost in Our New House (Seriously this time)!

      We're counting down the days (not months) until we move into our new house in Colonia El Paraiso!  The dust is settling, the paint is drying and the grass is growing.  Although we haven't officially moved in, I have opened up my new massage studio and many of you have already helped christen the new space.  Some of the many benefits of the new studio include easy parking, comfortable temperature all year round, tranquility (no crazy barking dogs), adjoining bathroom with shower and beautiful aesthetics.  I hope to see you soon in Paradise!

Posted on April 24, 2014 .

First Watsu Sessions a Success!

       After 2 weeks of giving Watsu sessions in the warm and inviting waters of Escondido Place, survey says... that Watsu is going to take off here in Mexico! 

       The initial response from clients has been very positive.  Although, some clients had trouble even putting their experience into words --yes, it's that powerful!  Many recipients who were experiencing pain in a variety of areas reported that the gentle rhythmic movements and stretches and the warm thermal waters gently coaxed their bodies into relaxation. Some said the heat and minerals of the water aided in releasing toxins from their bodies.  Other clients said that the therapy worked very deeply on an emotional and spiritual level.

      If you still haven't given Watsu a try, now is the perfect time!  Next week, I will be continuing the %45 discount (450p + 100p entrance fee) out at Escondido Place.  The days I will be giving sessions will depend on demand, but generally you can count on Wednesdays.

Hope to see you in the water soon!

Posted on April 24, 2014 .

Our New Pool is on its way!

       Good news:  We just met with our pool contractor and are finalizing the estimate to finish our pool in El Paraiso!  Our pool will be specially designed for Watsu with a saline purification system (way less clorine), 12 solar panels that will keep the temperature up to the Watsu industry standard of 34 degrees C (93 F), shade roof, and fountain!  It should be done some time in May. 

       Stay tuned!...

Posted on April 24, 2014 .

Tuxtla Bound!

The Watsu bug has bit again! 

       I'm excited to announce that on April 22nd I'll be heading south to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas for yet another Watsu course.  This time I'll be trained in the 2-day certification in what's known as Aquadinamic.

         Aquadinamic is a technique that enables the Watsu provider to take the client completely underwater. This is a quantum step in terms of experiencing a whole new level of sensation and healing. You could say it's like comparing snorkeling to scuba diving. 

        Similar to basic Watsu, the purpose of Aquadinamic is to restore equilibrium on mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels.  This is accomplished through a series of artistic and physically therapeutic moves performed in body temperature water designed to amplify the breath, augment the amplitude of articulations and stimulate sensations and emotions.  As a result, the body's self-healing mechanisms are activated and one can return to balance.

       The course is sure to be loaded with some powerful techniques.  Book your Watsu session now and experience the healing and restorative power of water!

Posted on April 24, 2014 .

Life Flows Differently in Water

Greetings from Cuautla, Morelos!

       Having just finished two-thirds of my Watsu training course, I thought it was a good time to send you all a little report of how everything´s going.

       After a sometime stressful first week due to technical difficulties (ie. Pool not heated to sufficient temperature, filter malfunction and a pump breaking), the Watsu gods finally granted us with the near perfect conditions to learn and experience this beautiful and unique aquatic therapy.

       In attendance are 18 students from all around Mexico, Columbia, Costa Rica and Spain and from diverse backgrounds such as Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Psychology and the Spa Industry. Our principal instructor is the Watsu creator himself, Harold Dull from Harbin Hotsprings, California and his assistant instructors are Natalia Chaverri from Costa Rica and Simon Bolivar from Spain.

       As Watsu is a very  intuitive discipline, we spent a lot of time on land doing various various exercises learning how to connect to ones own breath and that of the receiver, improvised contact movement, gentle Shiatsu-style stretching and acupressure points. Then it was into the inviting 34º celsius waters of the pool!

       Working in pairs, trios and even large cirlces, we learned not only the basic moves that comprise levels 1 and 2, but more importantly the spirit and philosphy of Watsu. It´s very much like a meditation in that you must empty your mind of thoughts, connect with your inner self through presence and thus connect with the client. 

       In effect, what this creates is a very safe and sacrad space whereby the client can completely let go, relax and often times acheive a trance-like state.  And in near body temperature water, Watsu can really work its magic on a very deep level.

       From the perspective of an on-looker, a Watsu session looks very nurturing and¨touchy feely.¨ No doubt there is a lot of contact, however, from the experiencing perpective, it is felt as deeply therapeautic, empathetic and professional. The practitioner and client move as one with sinuous or wavelike motion. At other times it is more smooth rising-and-falling or side-to-side alternations.  Then there are still moments where the practitioner performs point work, Shiatsu stretches, massage or simple holding.

       Even the names of some of the moves illustrates beautifully what Watsu looks like.  Names like:  Seaweed, Dolphin Wave, Chest Opening, Figure Eights, Swing, Sweep Around, Diagonal Stretch, Neck Traction, Free-explore Movement, Waterbreath Dance.

       One thing remains very true after experiencing 2-weeks of intense learning: Watsu Therapy can bring about profound effects on a physical, mental, emotional and spirtual levels.  The body becomes more flexible, the mind becomes quiet, emotions are felt more easily, and one is able to connect with Spirit.  (See YouTube link below for example of Watsu)

Posted on April 24, 2014 .

Watsu

Can I get a “Viva Mexico!”? There’s a lot of excitement in the air and reason to celebrate!   In addition to the anticipated “El Grito” on the 15th, this massage therapist is celebrating the recent announcement of an amazing Watsu (Water Shiatsu) certification course coming to Mexico.  It may not seem like a big deal, but I assure you it is!

Watsu 4.jpg

Over a year and half ago when my wife and I were in the planning stages of our new home, my dream was to build a specialized pool to provide Watsu to my clients.  My first choice as far as where I would learn this new modality was the School of Shiatsu and Massage located at Harbin Hotsprings, California.  Watsu began here in 1980 when Harold Dull started floating people in the warm pool while applying the stretches and principles of the Zen Shiatsu he had studied in Japan. 

So, after researching the prices of the school and accommodation, I quickly learned that it was going to be well over what my already-strained budget could handle.  So, my search for a reputable certifying school narrowed down to this side of the border.  But alas, I had no such luck finding anything reputable. 

 A year or so passed and then, as if by magic, I found an email in my inbox announcing that for the first time ever, Harold Dull, the creator of Watsu, would be coming to Mexico to teach only 24 students this coming February.  Amazing!  It was as if the Gods heard my yearning desire and orchestrated the perfect option!

So, as we continue the construction of our house and pool (completion date before Christmas—fingers crossed!), I count the days until February when I will go to DF for the 3-week course in Watsu I and II.  I’m so excited it just makes me want to shout “Viva Mexico!”

Watsu 5.jpg

More on Watsu

 Watsu (Water Shiatsu) is a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water, (around 35°C / 90°F).  It combines elements of massage, joint mobilization, shiatsu, muscle stretching and dance. The receiver is continuously supported while being floated, cradled, rocked and stretched. The deeply relaxing effects of warm water and nurturing support combine with Watsu's movements, stretches, massage and point work, to create a bodywork with a range of therapeutic benefits and potential healing on many levels.  

Learn more by watching this video.

 

Posted on October 3, 2013 .

Stretching and Self-massage Using a Roller

In this entry, we’ll look at the importance of stretching and self-massage for your health and well-being.  Plain and simple, a good daily practice of stretching (yoga) is so important for keeping your muscles and joints in a limber and flexible state.  Your state of mind and spirit will also be “stretched” and more relaxed through this practice and thus you will expend less effort during your day.

YogaCHildsPose.jpg

Personally, I like to use a yoga roller as part of my stretching routine.  This especially aids in stretching your vertebrae and other joints safely and comfortably in a horizontal position.  Also, it allows you to massage most areas of your body with minimal effort.  If you do not have a roller, you can make one by following the easy instructions in the next article below. 

See the pictures and explanations below for an easy-to-follow routine.  By no means are you limited to these stretches –your creativity can take you to interesting places.  So play around and experiment with your roller and remember, always go slowly, hold stretches for at least 5 seconds and stay within your physical limits.

1- Spine stretch/massage:  Start with the roller at your sacrum/buttocks.  Relax your body giving a nice arch backwards.  Hold then move up 1inch or so and repeat.  Go all the way up to the neck.

2- Thoracic and abdominal massage:  Similar to #1.  Try a rolling action for a more massage effect

3- Hamstrings and calves massage:  Similar to #2.  Put yourself into a semi-prone position with the roller underneath your legs and get a rocking (or rolling) action going for a good massage.

4- Glutes, hips and psoas stretch/massage:  Start with the roller at your sacrum/buttocks.  Rotate from your hips down to the right and rocking back and forth along the way to give a good massage in all areas.  Finally, hold to your furthest limit for a stretch.  Repeat on the left.

5- Forearm stretch:  Have underside of arms up to the sky and palms extended toward the ground. Place fingers on to the roller and roll your body forward for a wrist extension stretch. You can also just contact your fingers to the ground for more stability instead of using the roller.

6- Soles of feet massage:  Sitting in a chair with feet on top of the roller, rock back and forth.  If you have good balance and you’d like a deeper massage, stand on the roller while holding on to something stable. 

Stretching with Roller.jpg

How to Make Your Own Roller:

At your local hardware store, buy a 2ft (60 cm) section of PVC pipe (sometimes they have free scraps of this size).

The diameter could be anywhere from 2-6 inches (5-15 cm).  If you are not that flexible, go with a smaller diameter.

Using an old yoga mat or a piece of foam insulation, wrap the PVC pipe for cushioning.  Use a strong glue and/or Duct tape to hold the cushioning in place.

 

Posted on October 3, 2013 .