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In this Post: We are living in a crazy time right now! Because of COVID-19, we can’t see our massage clients. As much as we miss them, they too miss us. This Self-Care Series was designed to try to help our clients learn ways to keep their bodies feeling good while we are on lock-down. Here is the first in the series: Upper Body Self-Care with Foam Rollers, I hope this resource proves valuable to you and your clients!
Self-Care Series: Upper Body Self-Care with Foam Rollers
Self-care between massage sessions is always an important piece in the healing journey! Never do we want our clients to rely solely on massage for their self-care needs. Instead, we want to work in conjunction with other healing methods to help our clients create the most significant ease in their bodies.
However, during times of worldwide pandemics, self-care techniques take on more significant roles!
With that in mind, I have created a self-care series. This is the first in this series.
The idea is that you, the massage therapist, can share these techniques with your clients to help them stay healthy and happy while they are in quarantine. Continuing to show your clients that you care, even when you can’t see them will help ensure you have a practice to return to after this whole situation calms down a bit.
Today, we will focus on self-care for the upper half of the body using a foam roller.
Foam rollers are wonderful tools to help stretch and “massage” sore muscles in the body. By utilizing these techniques, your clients are sure to feel some relief in their bodies.
(For Massage Clients)
Check out my Foam Roller Buyers Guide, to find the best foam roller for your specific needs.
1) Roll Out Your Back –
A foam roller is an excellent tool from relieving some of the pain in your back. While it isn’t perfect at pinpointing specific trigger points, it can give relief more broadly. By moving slowly and with intention, you can begin to break up some of the stiffness you may be experiencing.
- Sit on the ground.
- Lay the foam roller perpendicular to your body, centered above your glutes.
- With your feet firmly planted on the ground, lay on the foam roller.
- Lift your hips off the ground and roll up from the sacrum to the base of your neck. Then roll back down towards your sacrum.
- Repeat this process until you feel the muscles in your back relax.
2) Neck –
Because our necks are pretty sensitive areas of our bodies, it is important that we proceed with care as we perform this stretch. This activity may seem simple, but trust that with use, it will provide relief.
- Laying on the ground on your back, place the foam roller perpendicular to your body under your neck.
- Slowly and gently turn your head left to right and back again.
3) Pec Opener –
Our pec muscles are huge contributors to the pain, so many of us feel on the backside of our shoulders. The typical knot between our shoulder blades is often caused not from the rhomboid muscles, where we feel the pain, but instead from tight pectoral muscles on the front of our bodies.
To alleviate some of this pain, we can practice methods to open up or stretch the pecs. The foam roller can be an extremely effective method for opening these muscles.
- Still sitting on the ground, turn the foam roller parallel to your body.
- Place the foam roller under your spine.
- Rotate your arms up so that they look like a goal post.
- Now, hang out in this position for a while, breathing nice deep breathes.
- Practice bringing your arms down as far as they will comfortably lay. Over time, you will see your arms open with more ease.
4) Lat and Rotator Cuff –
You may be surprised to learn you can roll out the latissimus dorsi, teres minor, and supraspinatus using a foam roller. But it’s true. It’s a little awkward to get into position, but with some practice, you will be feeling much relief in these hard to reach areas.
- Lay in a side-lying position on the ground.
- Place the foam roller under the base of your armpit, perpendicular to your body.
- Rotate your arm towards the ceiling.
- Focus on leaning your body back as opposed to forward.
- Start rolling out the area from your armpits down.
- Again move slowly and with intention.
While foam rollers may not address all the issues that plague you physically, they can certainly add in the healing journey. Stay tuned for more tips and tools in the self-care series!
Therapists, feel free to share these tools freely with your massage clients during this hiatus, or to use these as jumping-off points to create your own information to distribute to clients during this worldwide “break.”
Stay tuned for more tips and tools in the self-care series and stay healthy out there!
To get a copy of the instructions to distribute directly to your massage clients, make sure to sign up in the above link. The PDF has no branding, and was designed for you to share freely with your massage clients. So, get busy today sharing these tips with your clients. Scroll up to sign up!
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- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
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- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008
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