People often forget that exercise doesn’t only revolve around the actual workout that they do. What matters just as much, is how you treat your body pre and post workout, and what you do to further enhance your performance during a workout. I had never heard about trigger point release or foam rolling until I came to Australia. Probably spent my first 6 months in a gym here just rolling around and pretending I knew what I was doing, then I saw an exercise physiologist, and whoa my mind was blown.
The body is connected by various lines, so let’s say someone has poor stability in their ankles, but also suffers from headaches. Could that be connected? Hell yes. Let’s consider me, myself and I in this case. I have the worst ankles (aka torn ligaments in both), one knee with 2x surgery that still isn’t fine and one knee that acts up all the time, one hip flexor is incredibly tight, I’ve got a winged scapula, and I’ve had weekly non-migraine headaches since I was about 12. I did my knee for the first time when I was 12, but no one has managed to tell me that it could be related to the headaches until about a few months ago. In other words, my spiral line is affected, and my body is compensating for the pain in the lower parts by giving me pain in other places.
And this is where foam rolling and trigger point release comes in. The general rule is that you start at the bottom of your body and work your way closer to the heart and head. Find a point where it hurts at about 7/10, breathe into the pain, hold until the pain releases at about 4/10 and work your way up the body. Tip; inner thighs and front of thighs hurt like hell. Don’t resist the pain by tensing your muscles, as that will work against the purpose and make it worse. Also, when foam rolling or releasing trigger points, your body will be releasing and flushing out toxins that has been stored in your body for a long period of time. The first time I did it, I actually felt really sick, and my face kind of turned green and I felt like I was about to throw up… My point is, that it works. I feel better, I move better, and I don’t have to force anyone else to give me a massage when I can just release the pain on my own.
I can’t believe I’ve worked as a PT for over a month already, time goes by so fast, and I swear I’ll probably be 25 (that’s when life ends) before I even notice. Anyway, what I’ve realized is that people tend to trick themselves. The amount of people who claim they eat healthy….. When they tell me what they’ve eaten that day, it’s typically sugar with sugar on top, with a little bit of sugar next to the sugar. Most people are generally good with their dinners, but let me just tell you – it doesn’t matter how many veggies you put on your dinner plate, if you eat crap for the other 3 meals of the day.
Be good with your food, do some foam rolling – and take care of your bodies!