Welcome, to part three of my series on the fascia. Today I wanted to discuss a simple yet effective practice that can be done at home to support our fabulous fascia. What is it? Foam rolling. But before we move into this topic I wanted to share one more explanation of what the fascia is, just in case you haven’t read Part One and Two, which I highly recommend you do.

If I was speaking to someone who had no clue about what the fascia is here is what I would say. Imagine cutting a grapefruit in half and peeling off the skin. As you pull off the rind, you might notice that it’s made up of thin, transparent layers that are attached to the fruit itself. These layers are somewhat flexible and can move independently of one another, but they are also connected and work together as a cohesive unit.

Now, let’s compare this to the fascia in your body. The fascia is a thin, transparent layer of connective tissue that wraps around and runs throughout your muscles, bones, and organs. It’s like the peel of a grapefruit, providing support and protection to the underlying structures.

Like the layers of a grapefruit peel, the fascia in your body is made up of thin sheets of tissue that are attached to one another. These sheets can slide and move independently, but they are also connected and work together to support and stabilize your body.

Just as the peel of a grapefruit can be damaged or scarred if it’s cut or bruised, the fascia in your body can also become damaged or scarred if it’s injured or overused. This can lead to stiffness, pain, migraines, and reduced mobility.

Now that we have that explanation behind us, let’s move on to foam rolling.

Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that involves using a cylindrical foam roller to apply pressure to specific areas of the body. It is often used to help improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and promote recovery after exercise. Way back when the car I was riding in was impacted by a drunk driver, almost killing my first child and me, I learned about foam rolling from my therapist. Although I couldn’t do it in the initial stages of my therapy, it was a helpful practice later done the line.

So how can foam rolling help the fascia? Here are several ways:

  1. Improves circulation: Foam rolling can help to improve circulation by increasing blood flow to the muscles and tissues. This can help to nourish the fascia and support its health and function.
  2. Reduces muscle tension: Foam rolling can help to reduce muscle tension by breaking up knots and trigger points in the muscles. This can help to improve mobility and reduce discomfort in the fascia and other tissues.
  3. Increases flexibility: Foam rolling can help to improve flexibility by stretching and lengthening the fascia and other tissues. This can help to reduce restrictions and improve mobility in the body.
  4. Promotes recovery: Foam rolling can help to promote recovery by reducing muscle fatigue and soreness after exercise. This can help to support the health and function of the fascia and other tissues in the body.

To use a foam roller, you can place the roller on the ground and roll back and forth over it, applying pressure to specific muscle groups or areas of the body. You can also use the foam roller to stretch specific muscles by holding the roller in place and stretching the muscle over it. It’s important to use a gentle, controlled motion when foam rolling and to avoid applying too much pressure, as this can cause discomfort or injury. It’s also a good idea to start with a softer foam roller and gradually work up to a denser one as you become more comfortable with the process. Here are a few more tips:

  1. Find a foam roller that is appropriate for your body size and comfort level. There are different densities and sizes of foam rollers available, and it’s important to choose one that is suitable for your needs.
  2. Position the foam roller on the ground and lie on top of it with the affected area of the fascia in contact with the roller.
  3. Support your body weight with your hands or forearms, and use your legs to gently roll back and forth over the foam roller, applying pressure to the affected area.
  4. If you find a particularly tender spot, hold the roller in place and take slow, deep breaths until the discomfort subsides. This is known as “rolling out” a trigger point.
  5. Continue rolling for about 1-2 minutes or until you feel a release in the fascia.
  6. Repeat the process on other areas of the fascia as needed.

If foam rolling is not a good fit for you at this time, check with your practitioner about using water therapy, as it can also help to stretch and relax the fascia, increasing range of motion and reducing pain and stiffness. The buoyancy of the water helps to support the body and reduce the impact on joints, which can make it easier to perform exercises and stretches that would be more challenging on land. The resistance of the water can also provide a good cardiovascular workout and help to build strength. Lastly, you can also look into using Therapeutic Self-Massage balls which can be helpful for the hands and feet.

Have you ever tried foam rolling as part of a physical therapy regimen or to support your fascia? Let me know below. 

Blessings,
Chemical Free Gal – If you enjoyed this post and would like to support me so that I can continue to provide valuable resources and help to people in our community, click here.

Disclaimer: The information provided on ChemicalFreeGal.com is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. The content on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any views or opinions written in this blog should not be taken as fact or professional advice. This post has affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I may earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

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