Sunday, January 23, 2011

Self Massage Muscle Aches and Trigger Points

I wanted to tell you today about the Acuball, which is now have available in the office.  The Acuball is a fantastic tool to have in your home care kit to self massage muscle aches and trigger points, and they can be heated!

The large ball can be heated either in the microwave, or in a pot of boiling water.  The heat provided is not super hot, but a very comforting warmth that slowly penetrates into your muscles, soothing and relaxing the outer layers of musculature, while the knobby curves of the ball stretch and release trigger points and tight tissues.

The large ball has a small groove in the middle of it, allowing you can lie down on it, placing the groove along your spine, so that you can work the muscles on either side of the spine without putting pressure on your spinous processes.  This is a great way to release the tissues in your low back.  Simply lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor.  I recommend starting on a soft surface such as a bed or sofa, or you can try a carpeted floor or yoga mat if you want a more intense release. 

Get the ball into position by lifting your hips off the floor, and place the ball in the small of your back, making sure that the groove is running parallel along your spine, and slowly relax down onto it.  Take a few deep breaths as you relax onto the ball, and stay there for a few minutes.  This is intense, so relax and give it a few minutes to let the muscles loosen.  If you have instability issues with your lower spine, please check with a health care professional before trying this.

This technique works well between the shoulders and neck level also.  My favorite thing to do is start with the ball at the base of the skull, take a few deep breaths, feel the release, and then move your body up just slightly, so that you creep up on the ball and it thereby moves slightly further down your spine.  Relax again, and continue moving up, and inch or two at a time, as the ball slowly moves down your spine, releasing segment by segment.  In ten minutes it will feel like you have had an hour massage!

The large ball is also great for releasing tight hamstrings.  Simply place it under your leg while sitting on a firm chair, and feel those trigger points melt away!

The Acuball Mini is wonderful for more specific work between shoulders, feet, temples, forearms, hips, pectorals, or practically anywhere!  You can put it into a long sock and lean against a wall onto it, lie on it, or simply press it into areas such as quads or forearms.  Use is just like you would a tennis ball.

The Mini is heated in boiling water for 10 minutes, but cannot be used in the microwave.

They both also work great without being heated, so you can take them with you anywhere!

These ingenious little trigger point terminators are fantastic, and I highly recommend picking yourself up a pair soon.  I will be re-ordering soon, but do still have a few left in stock if you don’t want to wait!

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