Foam rollers have become ubiquitous in the exercise world, and are often touted for their wondrous improvements to athletic performance. Pre- and post- foam roller use has been found to decrease post-exercise soreness and injury risk to athletes. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from its wide range of uses. With daily foam rolling and incorporation of the right essential oils, anyone can begin to see improvements in their range of motion and overall wellbeing.
Foam rolling is a type of myofascial release, which is said to relax contracted muscles, improve flexibility, and increase circulation. It is often compared to receiving a professional massage for its ability to reduce stress and pain.
Foam rollers come in multiple shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find the one that is right for you. Generally, they are cylindrical sections of foam that vary in firmness/density, texture and length. It is generally recommended to start out with a softer roller, increasing density as your muscles adapt to the foam rolling process.
Reduce soreness: If you are regularly active, you know how sore the muscles can get in the days following a workout. Foam rollers can alleviate muscle fatigue following intense activity and enhance recovery. Follow your workout with the foam roller protocol, take a soothing shower, then apply the Yuzu Cannabliss Body Oil to still damp skin to maintain the anti-inflammatory effects. Alternatively, use the Circu-Touch Roll-On for any acute soreness.
Prevent Injury: Foam rollers help reduce tightness in muscles and connective tissue by lengthening the muscles. This increase in flexibility can prevent sports injuries, as well as strained muscles, which may result from reaching too far to pick up the remote when it falls off the couch. Turn to Cypress essential oil for a pre-workout or pre-foam rolling session. Apply this oil topically with a carrier oil for increased circulation, a refreshing aroma, and an energy boost.
Flush Out Toxins: Foam rolling boosts the lymphatic system and flushes out accumulated toxins. Follow your routine with a warm, 30-minute bath incorporating the Grapefruit Pink Pepper Bath Salt for the ultimate detoxification experience.
Ease Pain: Self-massage using a foam-roller has been found to ease pain in the upper back, knees, and shoulders that result from poor posture, overuse, or underuse of muscles in daily life. It is also recommended for seniors to ease overall body pain. Follow up your foam rolling exercises with a gentle massage using Ginger essential oil and a carrier oil, or apply diluted Ginger to a hot or cold compress. Keep in mind that foam rollers are not meant for lower back pain, which can be relieved through compress, core exercises, and hamstring stretches.
The key to foam rolling is taking it slow and easing into it. Check out a few websites like this one by Harvard Medical School for tips on particular movements and techniques. You may also find that simultaneously diffusing a relaxing blend like Tranquility or Earth & Wood can take your mind off pain and pave the way for an overall enjoyable experience.
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