With two under three, finding moments of self-care can frankly sometimes feel like an elusive dream. But one thing that has given me great comfort, joy, and relief from achy muscles from long hours of baby-wearing is self-massage!
In this blog post, I dive into three of my favorite lenses for approaching self-massage in a way that feels nourishing and delicious: Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians, Jill Miller's Roll Model Method, and Ayurvedic Abhyanga. So, grab your coconut oil, and let's dive into the magic of self-massage!
Myofascial Meridians: Unlocking the Body's Potential
The first lens for approaching self-massage is the myofascial meridians, which was popularized by Tom Myers. Many of you may have heard of Tom Myers' paradigm-shifting work, Anatomy Trains. This was originally published as a book but became a bit of a movement in its own right by shifting our view of fascia from a disposable part of the body to a system of untapped potential.
The fascial network, a delicate interconnected web of connective tissue throughout our bodies, plays a vital role in our well-being. Tom Myers' work on myofascial meridians recognizes the significance of fascia beyond isolated muscles. These meridians are pathways that guide energy and movement, connecting distant regions from head to toe.
Incorporating myofascial release techniques into our self-massage routine allows us to target specific areas of tension while following the meridians to release and soften the entire connected area. For instance, massaging the sole of the foot can help alleviate tight hamstrings by addressing tension along the back of the leg. By focusing on these meridians, the goal is to release tension and restore balance throughout the body.
The Roll Model Method: Empowering Self-Care
The next lens for self-massage is one that many who practice healing touch are passionate about: the Roll Model Method. This approach, developed by Jill Miller, combines self-myofascial release, breathwork, and corrective exercises to create a powerful toolkit for nurturing the body on a daily basis.
Inspired by her own journey of healing, Jill's method empowers individuals to soften their unique holding patterns by using specialized massage therapy balls and targeted movement sequences. These small but mighty tools become our partners in unraveling knots of tension, rejuvenating tired muscles, and restoring suppleness to the fascia. As we roll and knead our bodies with the therapy balls, we uncover hidden pockets of tension and stagnation, paving the way for a renewed sense of well-being.
Ayurvedic Abhyanga: The Art of Nurturing Touch
Last but not least, Ayurvedic Abhyanga is my favorite system of self-massage that I learned during my 200-hour yoga teacher training. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, honors the intricate connection between body, mind, and spirit. Abhyanga, one of its cherished rituals, invites us to indulge in nourishing self-care. This technique involves using warm oil to lovingly nurture and soothe the body.
In addition to feeling luxurious, Abhyanga is thought to be a detoxifying practice that soothes muscles and joints. It is believed to balance the Ayurvedic doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and bring harmony to the body and mind. Best of all, Abhyanga is a daily practice that gives you an excuse to take a little time for self-love each time you shower or bathe.
Self-Massage is Self-Love
In a world that often pushes us to prioritize external demands over our well-being, self-massage offers a sanctuary of self-care. Whether you choose to explore the ancient art of Ayurvedic Abhyanga, delve into the intricate pathways of Tom Myers' Myofascial Meridians, or embrace Jill Miller's Roll Model Method, remember that self-massage is a deeply personal journey.
Self-massage is a pathway to self-discovery and self-love. It's a reminder that we are deserving of nurturing and that our bodies are vessels of resilience. So, carve out a little time each day to honor your body, mind, and spirit with the healing power of touch. Your body will thank you for the tender care amidst life's chaos.
P.S. If you're interested in more self-massage inspiration, I'll be leading a two-hour workshop this summer all about self-massage and mindful chocolate tasting!
In this unique workshop, I'll guide you through the art of myofascial release techniques through self-massage. You'll learn to unravel tension, release knots, and restore balance in your body.
And after the rejuvenating self-massage session, I'll be partnering with St. Louis chocolate company Honeymoon Chocolates to lead a mindful tasting of a few of their delicious, artisanal samples. By slowing down over chocolate, you will engage your senses and tantalize your taste buds. It really will be magical!
Spaces are limited, so sign up and reserve your spot today through Urban Breath!
Date: Friday, June 16th, 2023
Time: 7-9 pm
Location: Urban Breath Yoga in Maplewood, MO
To reserve your spot, visit https://urbanbreathyoga.com/ I can't wait to share this delicious experience with you!