Let's face it, most of us do not have the money or time to get massages a few times per week.
Or even a few times per month or per year.
I wouldn't even be able to find the time each week to go even if I had the money.
Even for those that do have the extra money…
I think it's a huge waste of money when you can do a great job yourself for free.
Massage is an amazing way to improve recovery between workouts and vastly improve your results.
Some of us need massage very much and don't even realize the benefits we would get from massage.
I can almost guarantee you'll feel much better after using the techniques discussed in this section.
If you have the correct equipment (which will cost you less than $50), you can give yourself massages that break up scar tissue, prevent injury, soothe aches and pains, and promote faster recovery between workouts.
Let's learn more…
My Story About Self Massage… Using the Foam Roller
I'm a little stubborn at times. I never wanted to try massage because it always seemed a little girlish to me.
I never took the time to actually think about the benefits it provides until I started lifting weights and working out regularly.
I definitely learned an important lesson — I should have tried massage techniques much earlier in life.
You see… I've had some knee problems in my life. Nothing big, but any high impact activities give me trouble. Running is almost impossible for me because my knees start to ache the next day.
I've had trouble walking due to my knees aching. I let the problems go too long. It took me years to learn the reason behind my knee troubles. Bad knee genetics.
Too many doctors seem to ignore the facts I'm about to reveal.
Many doctors would have started looking to my knees for the problem. He/she would have blamed my knee pain on the actual knee.
The doctor may have wanted to perform surgery to fix a problem. So many people go through this over and over. People have surgery performed for no reason at all. The doctor never fixes the source of the problem. The doctor simply puts a ‘band-aid' over the problem and never fixes the source of the problem.
Do You Have Scar Tissue Causing You Aches and Pains?
What is the source of the problem for many joint pains and aches?
Don't get me wrong, some people will have actual joint problems, but many do not. Many problems are due to…
Scar tissue that builds up in the surrounding muscles of a joint. Many times, this is the underlying source of many joint problems. If you have scar tissue or tight muscles that are pulling on a joint in a certain direction, the joint is not going to work properly.
That's about the same as you trying to drive a car in a straight line while I'm pulling on the steering wheel. Or, have you ever had alignment issues with your vehicle?
You always have to pull the steering wheel to one side just to stay on the road.
Your tires get damaged because your vehicle isn't aligned properly. Well, the same thing can happen to your joints. If you don't fix the tightness or scar tissue in the surrounding muscles, your joints are getting pulled in one direction and being damaged in the process.
The doctor blames it on the joint and never addresses the underlying problem. You will continue to have joint problems unless you fix the source of the problem.
And that's exactly what I did. I found the source of the problem in my knees, and I fixed it.
I'm about to tell you how I fixed the problem. Since this page is about foam roller self massage, you can make a good guess as to how I fixed my knee problems.
But, you can use massage for more than fixing joint problems and aches and pains. You can use it to increase recovery between workouts. Let's find out how…
The Foam Roller — An Amazing Tool
Have you ever heard of the foam roller? Maybe you've seen one in a sporting goods store or the sporting section of a department store. You may have written this off as just another piece of garbage.
It only costs $10 to $20 so how can it be of any use, you thought?
You can even make one yourself out of some plastic pipe. How can that be of any use, you might be thinking?
The foam roller is one of the greatest investments I've ever made. That's the honest truth.
A simple piece of hard foam can make your life so much better. It can take your aches and pains away. It can help you be pain free while doing squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press, or any other weight lifting exercise! You can once again start feeling great each and every day. It can improve your posture too.
The foam roller can be used in a variety of different ways to massage different muscles throughout the body. Most foam rollers come with an instructional DVD and guide.
You must use the foam roller regularly to break up scar tissue and receive the benefits. You will most likely feel a huge difference after one use, but you need to continue to use it to reap all the benefits.
I personally use mine during a workout. Use yours before, during, or after a workout. Or you can use it at any other time.
Why Do I Find the Foam Roller So Amazing?
Sometimes I have some knee pain when doing squats.
If so, I go straight to the foam roller and roll my legs on all sides. I come back and do squats and there's absolutely no pain at all. It feels as if I had brand new knees.
That is why I find the foam roller to be so amazing. And my results tell me that the problem is tight muscles and scar tissue.
It's Going to Hurt — That's the Truth
Before you purchase a foam roller, I want you to know that it's going to hurt when you run into some scar tissue. I've had tears come to my eyes while using the foam roller on my legs.
If you have a lot of pain, you've got a lot of work to do. You've got to break up the scar tissue by consistently using the roller.
But, this is something that needs to be done or you will certainly run into more problems down the road. Aches and pains will soon start unless you break up the scar tissue. You'll have to deal with the pain.
What Exactly Are You Doing When You Use This Foam Roller Thing?
You're actually performing deep muscle massage. When you roll the foam roller over your muscles, you are releasing tension and realigning the body.
This is called ‘Self Myofascia Release.' Have you heard of fascia before?
Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds the muscles throughout your body. Main functions of the fascia are to maintain structural integrity, absorb shock, and provide support and protection for the muscle mass throughout the body. Fascia is normally relaxed and doesn't cause any restriction in movement.
But, fascia will lose its flexibility when it experiences trauma.
It can become a source of tension throughout the body. The muscles build up scar tissue and become tight. You will have aches and pains. When you let it go too far as I did, you can cause trauma to the joints too.
The foam roller will break up scar tissue, release tension throughout the body, realign the fascia, soften the fascia, and lengthen the fascia so you aren't restricted in any way. Doing so will alleviate pain, align your body, improve blood circulation, and simply get your body working the way it was intended to work.
So, I highly recommend that you start using a foam roller today. Everyone develops scar tissue. You need to break it up before it causes any problems. You will build more muscle and recover faster from workouts with the foam roller.
I really can't tell you how happy I am with the foam roller. I love it.
Some Other Options to Help
If you want to give self massage a try and you don't have a foam roller at this time, you can experiment with a tennis ball. A tennis ball can even be a useful addition to your massage tools.
A tennis ball allows you to reach much smaller areas that need special attention. For example, you might only want to massage the left side of your upper back.
Try a tennis ball and see how it feels. You can wrap it on a sock or a pair of panty hose to give you more control over the ball.
Trigger point therapy is also another form of massage that can help you alleviate pain from scar tissue. I use trigger point therapy for my knee pain, and it has helped tremendously along with the foam roller. Trigger points allow you to find the exact source of pain.
If you have a good reference book on trigger points and the correct tool, you can go straight to any source of pain in your body and usually solve it by massaging that trigger point. You will save lots of time, money, and pain with trigger point therapy.
Wouldn't it be great to cure your pain and help others cure their pain? Help your family, friends, and co-workers find their source of pain.
You can use your hands and fingers for some trigger point massage, but it's best to use a ‘Thera Cane' for hard to reach places. You'll save your hands and fingers by using a Thera Cane.