Ultimate Chest and Deltoid Release for Maximum Upper Body Freedom – Get Your Shoulders Back & Down!

I can hardly contain my excitement about this one!!!

Some of the techniques I’ve come up with here at Mobility Mastery can mimic what I do with my private clients to very satisfying degrees, but I’ve spent years wondering how on earth I can give you all out there the chance to experience the kind of lasting upper body relief that a proper chest release can bring – like the kind I’m able to offer my in-person clients. I finally cracked the code on this a few weeks ago!

That’s the good news.

The “bad” news is you’re going to need a very specific medicine ball to get the most out of this one. Something like this 4lb no-bounce ball would work: click here for a link to Amazon (I have no affiliation with this or the following company). For another option – click here.

PLEASE NOTE: a baseball, lacrosse ball, softball, larger medicine ball or just about anything NOT what I demo in the video or link to above will NOT give you the best result, may cause bruising and soreness and I do not really recommend using any of these other balls for these reasons.

Why release your chest?

I would argue that everyone (at least in the western world) needs this one! We’re all slumped over desks and phones these days, and if you’re in another category of work like a farmer or factory worker then you’re definitely going to have tight fascia here too.

As you can see from the photo there are a lot of converging muscles, nerves and fascia here. The fascia of pec major can get stuck to the fascia of pec minor along with the front deltoid, leading to a “clogged” or stuck intersection, which can definitely lead to pain, less range of motion and shoulder joint issues.

The goal with this technique is to release that front fascia enough that the shoulders are freed to drop back and down where they’re supposed to be, which will relieve the neck and head as well as the arms and even your hips!

Use this technique to relieve or eliminate:

  • Shoulder pain – front, back or rotator cuff issues
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Forward head posture
  • Pelvic tilts due to shoulder imbalances
  • Pec minor adhesions or restriction
  • Shallow breathing due to chest tightness
  • Jaw and TMJ pain

In combination with other Mobility Mastery techniques can relieve or eliminate:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Elbow pain
  • Grip issues
  • Mid back pain
  • and more

How to perform this technique:

  • For the BEST results, please use a Mobility Mastery approved ball and a foam roller (preferably a soft foam roller, but if you want to simultaneously release your quad fascia then by all means go with a hard one 😛 )
  • Your thighs will be resting on the foam roller, and you can use your hip angle to put more or less weight into the ball to compress your chest fascia in whatever way works best for you. Keep in mind that the more weight/compression you can use the better your result will be, however – it will be more intense during the technique!
  • MOVE S L O W L Y !!! I cannot emphasize this enough. Slow movement helps you target the right spots, release fascia effectively and rushing through anything has a tendency to let your brain bypass the experience and not even register that something happened! In other words – if you move fast, you won’t get much benefit.
  • Go ahead and experiment with ball placement, arm movement, rotation, bending and reaching – there’s not “wrong” way to do this if it works for you! And every one of us has different anatomy, so what works for me might not work for you.
  • That said, most of you will get a good result with the bending reaching, especially arm moving “above” your head (on the ground), and if you have restriction in the front deltoid, definitely try the rotations!
  • Spend at least 3-4 minutes per side when you first learn this technique. After you master it you can spend less time. This one can often feel kind of good – and I’m not sure we can do “too much,” because it would simply feel like nothing if the fascia were healthy. So as long as it feels beneficial and you’re keen to get after it – go for it!
  • Remember to BREATHE!
  • Get up when you’re done with one side and move around – you’ll likely notice a significant difference left to right!

 

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Have Traditional Treatment Methods for Plantar Fascitiis Failed You? Here’s Why (opinion)

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If you’ve had plantar fasciitis (or any pain) for a while, chances are you’ve tried one or more of the traditional treatment methods. Have you wondered why they’re not ‘working’? While this post is plantar fasciitis specific, the opinions expressed here would be the same for just about any pain in the body.

Don’t address symptoms, address the ROOT CAUSE!

While this isn’t a complete list, I wanted to address some of the most commonly used traditional methods for relieving plantar fasciitis and why they typically don’t work long term. Please keep in mind this is my opinion, and I am in no way suggesting you disregard the advice of a medical professional.

Rest:

While rest can be helpful, I do not believe it solves the problem at its root. Movement reveals and heals! So while I will always condone appropriate rest, I remain a fan of movement and staying mobile. Movement allows your body to tell you something is wrong (or not), and movement can often help heal.

Ice:

Using cold, either icing your foot or rolling it on a frozen water bottle, will provide temporary reprieve from the pain because ice dulls our pain receptors. The pain is still there, we just can’t feel it as strongly. As soon as the effects of the ice wear off the pain will likely come back. It’s also not addressing the root cause.

Brace or compression sleeve:

Wearing a brace or compression sleeve is a tempting plan for many looking for an ‘alternative’ approach. Most of the time we’ll wear a brace while working out, but some people like how it feels so much they wear it all day AND while sleeping. (Or, have you been told to wear the kind that places your foot in dorsiflexion all night?! I am very much against that…more on that in a minute).

Wearing a brace or compression sleeve may feel good temporarily, but the reasons it feels good are the same reasons this can kick the pain can down the road and/or make things worse (when you take it off). A brace, especially a tight one, partially immobilizes whatever joint you’re wearing it around; so you can’t move like you normally would. It may also cut off blood flow and block some nerve communication. It’s also forcing your fascia into a tight mold, and if you wear it long enough – that mold will become your new normal, the fascia stops being elastic and flexible, it loses its spring due to lack of proper blood flow and generally puts you into a scenario that will make eliminating your pain at the source even more difficult.

A night brace or sleeve that attempts to force you into dorsiflexion all night is a personally horrifying choice to me, because it’s like trying to hold a static stretch for 7-8 hours! I’m against static stretching to begin with, and trying to force your tissue (while cold and immobilized) to hold a stretch that long is just asking for something worse to happen. Muscle tissue has a tendency to resist static stretching, and more than likely it’s not your muscle tissue that’s the problem anyway…so even if you accomplish the job of lengthening those muscle fibers, chances are slim it will relieve or eliminate your pain; and it just might make things a lot worse, since the chances of irritating your attachments are now very high.

Pain pills:

I won’t be going into detail on the various kinds of painkillers. Bottom line is: pain pills work by blocking pain receptors in your brain. The pain is still there, we just don’t feel it anymore. So it may give us temporary relief, but pills will never address the root issue.

Cushiony shoes:

This option may sound like a good choice at first. Maybe you buy new shoes and suddenly your pain seems better! Until you take the shoes off.

If you baby your pain and try to silence it during the day while wearing specific shoes, while NOT addressing the root cause – then you’ve set yourself up to rely on soft shoes in order to feel less or no pain, but again, this isn’t addressing the root cause and the more you baby the pain the more likely it is to get worse in the long run.

Besides: don’t you want the option to go barefoot or wear flip flops or whatever shoes you want to wear?

Orthotics (shoe inserts):

Similar to the cushiony shoes, orthotics are not addressing the root cause and it’s another bandaid solution that makes you reliant on wearing it to feel less or no pain.

If your plantar fascia is really tight, or you have “flat feet” – those things are symptoms of mobility issues or a result of how you move through life or sports. They’re reversible too!

Not only will orthotics create another scenario of babying the pain (and when you take them out or try to go barefoot the pain usually comes raging back), but – it’s entirely possible you’ll experience new pain you never had before. Orthotics change your gait pattern, and any time you change your gait pattern you monkey with your joint and alignment. I’ve had lots of clients get orthotics for a foot issue, only to end up with knee or hip pain, or their spine going out of alignment.

Again – it’s not addressing the root cause of plantar fasciitis (or any pain).

Cortisone shots:

This is possibly a controversial stance to take, but it’s been my position for years: these shots are meant to be “merely” anti-inflammatory in nature, but there are a whole bunch of possible side effects that simply aren’t worth it (in my opinion). I am not telling you not to go for it if you want to, though I would hope you’d do so after investigating for yourself and knowing the risks (especially for shots in the feet!)

Click here to read the full list of potential side effects on the Mayo Clinic website.

Even IF these shots came with zero risk and simply took the inflammation down, it would still be my position that this isn’t addressing the root cause and by decreasing inflammation without addressing the root cause, we could make things worse in the long run.

Consider these possible side effects:

  • Joint infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Thinning of skin
  • Necrosis of nearby tissue
  • Necrosis of nearby bone
  • Tendon and ligament rupture
  • Inflammation
  • AND – the risk of experiencing any of these side effects goes up with every injection

The reason I am horrified by the thought of cortisone injections in the feet specifically is because we have so many small bones, tendons, ligaments, TONS of nerves, lots of fascia, many small joints etc. The chances of damaging any or all of these areas is significantly higher than say, getting a shot in your knee or shoulder – IN MY OPINION.

And remember – a shot does nothing to address the root cause, and may simply kick the pain can down the road, OR make things worse if you experience any of the potential side effects.

Surgery:

I won’t go into detail on this since I’m not a surgeon, but as I understand it – surgery for plantar fasciitis is a plantar fascia separation. I take this to mean they are attempting to create space through surgical separation of the plantar fascia – and you can absolutely do this naturally, on your own, with a lacrosse ball (click here for the how to). However – tight plantar fascia is typically a symptom of the underlying issue and NOT the root cause. So even doing this naturally will likely need to be accompanied by other techniques as well.

In conclusion:

What all of the above have in common are NOT addressing the root cause of pain and merely treating symptoms.

Have you been “stretching” as a way to relieve your plantar fasciitis? Here’s why it might be making things worse:

As most of you know by now, I’m not a fan of static stretching for most people (for any reason, but especially not if you’re in pain).

I see a lot of blogs and videos out there recommending you stretch your calves and feet to relieve plantar fasciitis. I NEVER recommend doing this.

Here’s why:

The plantar fascia or heel is already irritated from tight tissue upstream pulling on it. So yes, the tissue upstream does need to be released. It’s the fascia however that needs to be ‘stretched’ and/or released, NOT your muscle fibers. Not only will stretching your calves not address the actual problem, it might make things worse.

Static stretching tends to pull on muscle fibers forcing them to lengthen in a linear manner. Much of the time your muscle fibers will resist being stretched like this, and in the case of plantar fasciitis it can often make your pain worse because you’re now pulling on the tissue that’s already irritated from being pulled on!

Plantar fasciitis is a fascial issue, and to get lasting relief it needs to be addressed by looking at and releasing key areas of fascia. So, looking at the calves is very much going in the right direction. But go after the fascia, not muscle fiber if you want lasting relief.

 

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Mobility Work and Foam Rolling for Fascial Release FAQ – How Long, How Often, Should it Hurt or Bruise?

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So you bought yourself a shiny new foam roller or lacrosse ball (or other mobility tools), or maybe you’ve had these for a while…but you’re not sure you’re doing things correctly, or enough, or maybe you’re wondering if you’re OVER doing it?

Today’s episode of Mobility Mastery Monday should answer your questions!

The video has it all, but here’s a recap of my 5 tips for the best self fascial release sessions:

1. How OFTEN should you be foam rolling?

This is fairly personal, or individual – meaning some people will need more while other people need less. I’m about to give you some guidelines, but no matter what I tell you I encourage you to LISTEN to your body, because it will tell you how much is enough (and the other 4 tips today will help you know what it’s telling you).

Generally speaking, for fascia health maintenance (meaning, there’s nothing ‘wrong,’ you’re not working on an injury or pain pattern) I suggest 2-3 times per week. If you just loooove your foam roller and want to do more, by all means do more.

If you ARE working on recovering from an injury or using fascial release to get yourself out of pain, then you could go after your target areas ONCE PER DAY for a week or two. Max. You do NOT need to do twice a day – if you do, chances are you’ll get pretty sore.

You certainly do not need to do your entire body every day.

2. Should you feel sore or get bruised doing this work?

The short answer is NO.

If you were in my office getting worked on by me I’d tell you that about 1 in 30 people get sore (even though what I do is FAR more intense than a foam roller or lacrosse ball). Given I’m not in your living room or gym with you and can’t control what you’re doing or HOW you’re doing it, chances are greater with self work that you might get a little sore from this.

If you’re doing things CORRECTLY, you should NEVER get sore OR bruised.

If you ARE getting sore, here are some things to check:

  1. Are you using a super hard or knobby roller? That can often cause soreness or bruising. I recommend starting with a SOFT foam roller, and maybe you’ll stick with that forever. You can work up to a harder roller but I never ever recommend the knobby ones for fascial release work.
  2. If you’re using a lacrosse ball, are you digging it into your tissue trying to give yourself a deep tissue massage? If so, you can definitely get sore or bruised. To do this correctly you want to PIN an area of your body TO the lacrosse ball (often needing to use your other hand to hold it steady) while another part of you moves. You’re trying to pin and stretch/release the fascia, NOT dig into it.
  3. Are you spending too much time on one spot? This can often make you sore – see tip #5 for more on this.

Regarding BRUISING:

I do not endorse or advocate that bruising is a good thing UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. It’s not the end of the world if it does happen, but in my private practice I avoid it at all costs (and only 4-5 people have ever bruised from my work since 2008 and it was only in small areas like the tops of the feet). I want you to avoid looking like you’ve been beaten up too! This is my personal and professional opinion and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who disagree with me, and that’s ok.

Here’s why I feel so strongly about this:

A BRUISE – meaning, a red, black and blue or yellow/green spot – is a soft tissue injury called a contusion. What causes the discoloration are small capillaries and blood vessels that have BURST and spilled their blood into the surrounding tissues. Those capillaries and blood vessels are DAMAGED. Thankfully, our body has a brilliant way of dealing with this by sending in hormones to contain the bleeding and heal the damaged tissue, so a bruise isn’t something to freak out about. However, the reason I want you to avoid bruises is because even IF you are creating some good through whatever method caused the bruising – you’ve also caused some (or a LOT) of damage. Inflammation is likely to occur, and if it’s a really bad bruise it might hurt so much you won’t want to be as active (which sucks), or it might take as much as a week or two to heal fully.

I’ve been using my body weight (sometimes all 145lbs of me) stepping on people since 2008, and soreness and bruising are NOT common. It is NOT a necessary part of healing fascia.

3. Should it hurt?

Yes. And no!

Read More

Relieve Heel Pain and Recover from Rolled Ankles – Inner Calf Release

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This area of the body warrants a close look at the anatomy, while the technique itself is very simple.

This one small area, when fascially restricted, can wreak havoc on the entire foot, ankle, heel, plantar fascia and quite possibly a lot of things upstream as well, such as knees, the groin, the SI area and possibly even your neck and head (headaches CAN sometimes be related to this line of fascia being too tight/restricted).

We’re not going to look at the entire body or ALL the ways this one area can impact the body.

Today I want to focus on 3 main things: plantar fasciitis and/or heel pain that is showing up directly in line with the flexor digitorum longus and tibialis posterior tendons, and how this area plays a part in rolling ankles.

You’ll need a lacrosse ball for this one. I do NOT recommend using any other ball, nor do I recommend a theracane (I’ve seen some people use this). The first is too big, and the second too pointed and you’ll likely bruise (something I’m always trying to avoid).

This one small area packs a punch, fascially speaking:

There’s a lot going on in this one small area: the medial head of the gastrocnemius along with the soleus (meidal) and their fascia can get stuck to each other and to the flexor digitorum longus fascia. The flexor digitorum longus, when over-tight (or stuck to other muscles via their connecting fascia), can over-invert the foot, making the ankle susceptible to being rolled.

Also potentially leading to over-inversion of the foot is tibialis posterior, and via its tendon can contribute to ankle pain or heel pain between the ankle and calcaneus.

While we won’t necessarily be getting it directly, this technique can help free up the tibialis posterior, particularly the posterior tibialis TENDON which has a big impact on heel and ankle health.

If you have flat feet, fallen arches or your foot drops (arch collapses) while walking, this is one area to look at (it may not be the culprit) along with everything in the lateral line – ankle and foot fascia, tibialis anterior, perroneals, IT Band fascia etc.

The relationship these two (the medial and lateral lines of fascia) have with one another can determine SO much of what happens in our bodies, because everything in the foot and ankle determines our stride and what happens upstream. If your ankle doesn’t articulate well or creates an unhealthy gait pattern, that pattern transfers up to the knees, hips and shoulders.

As usual around here, I’m less concerned with naming all the muscles involved than talking about the restricted fascia between and around all these muscles.

Fascia also wraps our bones, and I believe this is one area of the body where the fascia of these muscles is particularly clogged or stuck to the bone (in this case the tibia).

The technique I demonstrate in the video isn’t nearly as effective as the in person version that I use on clients, but it’s an acceptable self-help solution (or I wouldn’t be giving it to you).

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Triceps Fascial Release – Free Your Arms & Relieve Elbow & Rotator Cuff Pain

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The triceps – or more accurately, the fascia within and around the tricpeps – typically don’t play the main role in any pain patterns; however they can play a significant minor role in rotator cuff issues, elbow pain (both golfer’s and tennis elbow) and sometimes neck and wrist issues.

The role triceps play in upper body pain:

The diagram on the right shows the Anatomy Trains posterior fascial line that includes the triceps. As you can see, the muscle (and thus the fascia in that muscle) does connect to both the shoulder joint and the rotator cuff, as well as the wrist and neck.

The reason I say the triceps play only a minor role in all the issues I’m going to talk about is because it would be pretty uncommon for anyone in today’s world to overuse their triceps (and I don’t see many clients with triceps fascia that plays a big role); conversely, it’s all too common for us to overuse our BICEPS (the muscle that could be inhibiting your triceps), and I see the biceps fascia playing a HUGE role in all kinds of issues.

So if you have shoulder, rotator cuff, elbow, wrist or neck issues and you haven’t FIRST ruled out the biceps…do that. Click here for my bicep release technique and blog post.

Reasons to release your triceps fascia:

  • You certainly don’t have to be in pain to benefit – I use this one and my arm feels instantly lighter, freer, like it’s floating! Just because you’re not in pain doesn’t mean you can’t feel EVEN BETTER 🙂
  • You have rotator cuff pain/issues or pain behind your shoulder (or IN the posterior shoulder)
  • You have elbow pain (tennis and/or golfer’s elbow)
  • You have pain anywhere in the arm (sometimes it shows up as a line of pain through the biceps, elbow and into the forearm) that happens when your arm is outstretched laterally and you rotate internally
  • You have neck pain, especially pain near the cervical spine up to the occiput (skull)
  • You have pinky side wrist issues

How to get the most out of this technique:

  • Be willing to hunt around for the best spot – it will be a knot or lump, and in MOST people it’s higher up, but go ahead and check EVERYTHING from just above the elbow to just below the shoulder
  • Once you find the spot, do NOT just roll your arm over the barbell in a massage-like manner; instead, focus on PINNING the adhesed piece of fascia to the barbell and use your arm movements to release it while doing your best to keep your humerus (bone) directly on the barbell
  • If you do this right, you don’t need more than 10 back and forths, or approximately 20-30 seconds of pinning and releasing
  • Look for 2 good spots, but DO rule out a third by trying another spot either below or above the other two (sometimes you might miss the BEST one, and if you do you’ll miss the best result)
  • All in all, once you have this down, you’ll only need to spend a MAXIMUM of 3 minutes at the barbell pinning, releasing, taking a quick break and repeating 1-2 more times
  • If you feel ANYTHING that resembles nerve pain COME OFF IMMEDIATELY. Nerve pain is sharp and shooting or electrical and you never want to stay on a nervy area

 

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Master Mobility by Learning the Distinctions Between Flexibility, Inflexibility and Fascial Restrictions Part 3 – Flexibility or Mobility Issue?

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This is Part 3 in a 3-Part series. Click here for Part 1 and click here for Part 2.

When is “inflexibility” a fascial restriction or mobility issue, and when is it true inflexibility?

That’s the topic of Part 3, the last in this series.

Fascial restriction can APPEAR to impact flexibility, and this is a really important distinction to understand because if we try to target what seems inflexible rather than going after the cause of immobility, we could injure ourselves or make things a lot worse.

I will not be covering every possible example of this or we’d be here all day, but I do want to give you the ones I see the most in my private practice.

Got tight hamstrings? Are you SURE?

The most common example of this is when the hamstrings appear tight or inflexible when what is really going on is a low back pain pattern (even if you don’t have low back pain).

If you’re in a fascial restriction pattern that is endangering your spine, your brain will step in to PROTECT you by limiting your range of motion.

In the case of low back pain patterns it is my opinion that the brain recruits the GLUTES and hamstrings to tighten up neurologically to keep you from injuring your spine.

The real CAUSE of distress in the low back is going to be somewhere in the quads and quad hip flexors, the IT Bands or adductors.

Most often it is actually the glutes that are the “tightest” (neurologically speaking, NOT from overuse) and if the glutes are in lock down there’s no way you’re going to be able to reach down and touch your toes. (Your body is PROTECTING you). But the problem is NOT hamstring inflexibility. I see a LOT of people attempting to stretch their hamstrings in an attempt to relieve low back pain and posterior chain tightness and I always cringe!

And…some people just have inflexible hamstrings, plain and simple.

The key to mastering your mobility is to learn how to know the difference.

Other examples:

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Release Your Biceps and Free Your Arms, Shoulders and Neck

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I often refer to the biceps as “the quads of the upper body.” Meaning, if I had to choose only ONE thing for every person in the western world to release in their upper body, it would be the biceps (more specifically, ALL the fascia within and around this muscle group INCLUDING the brachialis junction).

The biceps play a KEY role in upper body movement, and when the fascia within and surrounding them gets restricted it can wreak havoc on everything up AND downstream. (The quads are similarly critical in lower body and pelvic movement/structure, and if I had to choose only ONE thing to release in the lower body it would be the quads).

Reasons to release the fascia in your biceps:

  • Helps relieve shoulder issues, especially bicep tendon issues
  • Relieves elbow pain (especially when combined with my forearm or brachialis techniques)
  • Helps with carpal tunnel and wrist pain (combine with the forearms release linked to above)
  • Can be a player in neck issues and neck pain (combine with the pec and deltoid and trap/scalene release)
  • General upper body fascial health – keeping your biceps fascia free, unrestricted and elastic means better efficiency in your everyday life and activities!

Now, let’s look at some anatomy:

Pictured to the right you can see how connected the biceps are to the shoulder joint AND the elbow joint, and you can probably imagine because everything is connected, how they are also linked to the scapula (and rotator cuff) as well as the neck.

When the fascia in the upper arm gets dehydrated, shrinks and sticks to itself in balls, this pulls on ALL of the above mentioned joints and can contribute or be the main cause of a lot of issues, from radiating pain down the arm to rotator cuff and shoulder joint pain as well as biceps tendon tears and neck pain.

Is this a one-off solution for any of the above mentioned issues? Most likely not. MOST of the time there is a chain of connected players in any given “pain pattern,” and all of them need to be addressed to eliminate the issue.

I highly recommend using this technique IN CONJUNCTION with other techniques, depending on your goal.

Tips for getting the most out of this technique:

  • I tried several different balls for this, and the baseball was BY FAR the best. The lacrosse ball (my usual favorite) was a little too small. So if you can find a baseball you will definitely get the BEST result.
  • Take your time finding the right “pin”, and this might be different for every one of you. For me, the best way to pin my biceps is to start with the short head, or on the “inside” meaty part like I demonstrate in the video, and then use rotation to separate the stuck fascia between the two heads.
  • Take a lunging stance in order to sink your weight into the ball and get the best result with more compression.
  • Spread your fingers wide and make sure your arm is mostly or totally straight. This engages ALL the fibers of muscle and surrounding fascia in your entire arm, ensuring the best result that will affect joints up and down the chain.
  • Make sure you’re actually PINNING the tissues and not just rolling over or “massaging” them. This won’t actually release the fascia!
  • There may only be ONE or maybe two spots to go after on this one. If you get it right, you will only need 30 or so seconds, or maybe 10 back and forth rotations. Then I’d leave it for a day.
  • If you’re using this to get out of pain, make sure you include whatever other techniques may be necessary to get the best result.
  • If it’s a wrist or carpal tunnel issue, go after your forearms and brachialis.
  • If it’s a shoulder issue, you could use my pec and deltoid release.
  • If you’re looking to eliminate neck pain, definitely go after your pec and deltoid as well as your traps and scalenes.
  • If you have pain between the shoulder blades, click here for the best techniques to address that.
  • Use the SEARCH box in the right sidebar to find what you need on this site.

 

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Eliminate Neck Pain! Best Release EVER for Stiff Necks, TMJ Pain & Tension Headaches

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Say goodbye to neck pain!

This is one of the very few self-help techniques I’ve come up with that can perfectly mimic what I do in my private practice, and that means you should get an INSTANT and very powerful result (if you do it correctly).

Before I go any further, however…

WARNING: DO THIS FIRST!

If if you have significant neck pain of any kind, I highly encourage you to use my pec and deltoid release BEFORE attempting this technique.

The majority of neck pain does not originate in the neck, it is usually in your chest and (front) shoulders. If you try to release your neck first you might make things worse. The reason is, often times our neck is getting “tight” because it is fighting the constant pull of our forward rotated shoulders; it’s engaged in an unwinnable battle to pull our necks back where they are supposed to be.

If this is the case and you release your neck WITHOUT releasing the chest FIRST, then you’ve just created a scenario in which your neck will be FAR more likely to be pulled forward from the chest tightness that is still present, the very thing the neck is attempting to counteract by pulling back and tightening up. Your neck may react by clamping down even harder after a few hours, which is not what we want!

For the BEST result no matter what your situation or goal: combine the pec and deltoid release with this one and your head will feel like it’s floating!

This technique can relieve or eliminate:

  • Neck pain of ALL kinds
  • Tension headaches and migraines (if tension related)
  • Jaw and TMJ pain
  • Grip issues related to a nerve blockage in the neck
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and/or nerve pain shooting down the arm
  • Brachial Plexus issues
  • “Text neck” or pain associated with looking down for hours every day
  • Whiplash
  • Neck pain associated with forward rotated shoulders and
  • forward head posture
  • and…I’ve even been told by 3 clients that they believe this technique (in my office, not the lacrosse ball version) improved their EYESIGHT! I’m not sure I can substantiate that claim, BUT…the area you’re releasing with this technique does block or open a blood pathway to the ocular nerve…so ya never know!
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How to Choose a Foam Roller – Best Picks For Fascia Release

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Hello and Happy New Year!

My for wish each and every one of us this year is that we learn to trust our body, listen to its messages and in doing so become unstoppable.

I love that word – unstoppable – because to me it means that no matter what, we are committed to feeling our best and doing what we love. It does NOT mean being reckless or stupid and pushing our body past its limits only to become sidelined for months. It does not mean we are so superhuman we never have pain.

Being unstoppable means we’re committed to doing what we love, and when pain does rear its head, we know how to figure out what is going on and give our body what it needs as quickly as possible so we can get back out there to our trails, ski slopes, mountaintops or the simple joys of playing with the kids in our lives without worry.

One of your secret weapons against all those aches, pains and injuries is going to be your trusty foam roller.

The question I’ve been asked the most is:

“What kind of foam roller should I buy?”

This episode is for all of you struggling to decide which one is right for you.

If you’ve already figured out the best foam roller for yourself but you know someone else wondering what to buy…share this post and help a friend out.

It’s all right there in the video, but if you want a little more help in deciding…

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Eliminate IT-Band Issues (Including ITBS) With The ULTIMATE Fascia Release for IT-Band

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*This technique was originally featured in a testimonial blog post but I decided it needed its own post.

If you have IT Band issues, you’ll love (ok maybe love/hate!) this technique.

Your IT Band actually needs to be “tight” to a certain degree. For a little more on this and why I’m not a fan of rolling your IT Band like most people do from hip to knee with a straight leg, see this post.

The IT Band is comprised mostly of fascia. In fact it’s more like a giant tendon than a muscle! But it IS a muscle, and because it has so much fascia in it…it is very prone to fascial adhesions (lumps or balls of soft tissue strands all stuck together), sometimes the size of grapefruits!

When these adhesions become too large or tight it can result in inflammation of the IT Band itself, as well as knee pain, hip pain and other issues. In order to create permanent change and release these fascial adhesions for good we need to PIN, stretch and release them through compression and movement that breaks them up. We want to give that ITB fascia the SPACE it needs to function well.

If you suffer from ITBS go get your foam roller right now, try this and see if you don’t feel immediate relief!

If you have a severe case of ITBS or if you’re a runner, you may want to add this to your weekly mobility and injury prevention arsenal. I like to use this before every run because it creates more “spring” and I not only feel like a better runner but a faster one.

Tips for getting the MOST out of this technique:

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