My fitness journey started with my desire to try new things. I wanted to get out of the gym and into new spaces. I wanted to challenge my mind and body with different physical activities. In the last year I've thrown myself into Kickboxing, Resistance Band Training and Taekwondo.
I am having a ton of fun. I am meeting a lot of nice, new, people. I am learning from a lot of friendly and supportive experts. I'm feeling empowered and more confident. I'm experiencing unexpected endless benefits. Learning all of these new activities has not only been challenging to my mind, but it's been most challenging on my body. As my body gets stronger, more flexible, and agile . . . the more I experience muscle "knots", AKA Trigger Points. It's like I'm getting to know my body all over again. There is discomfort in parts of my body that I didn't know could get uncomfortable.
This muscle pain can vary from person to person. I use a spiky massage ball to ease my trigger points. It helps me relieve muscular tension. My trigger points happen to be in my feet, my upper back in between my shoulder blades, and my lower back. Using my spiky massage ball every day. It improves my athletic performance, flexibility, and enhances my posture. There are dozens of different types of massage balls on the market. Not all are spiky. Some are large, some are softer. They are different shapes and sizes. Many just use a hard lacrosse ball. Personally, after trying a variety of balls, the spiky massage ball suits my needs best. Click here for examples of other self massage tools.
Below are pictures of me and my progression of pressure I use with the spiky ball on my lower back.
Stage 1: I put about 10% pressure on my spiky ball. At this stage I'm trying to plant the spiky ball on my trigger point.
Stage 2: I put about 25% pressure on my spiky ball. At this point I am adding pressure to A) to make sure I'm on the correct trigger point. If I need to adjust I'll go back to Stage 1, readjust, and then return to Stage 2. B) If I'm on the correct trigger point, I'm putting 25% to ease into the process. I never go from 0-100 with my spiky ball.
Stage 3: By now I know that I'm on my trigger point. As I look at my pictures below, I realize how funny it would be if you could see my face. Applying pressure to my trigger point at 75% is when my muscles start to angry with me. They are screaming, "What the heck are you doing Paula! This hurts!." Yes, I realize it's counter intuitive, but it's necessary for me to move now to Stage 4.
Stage 4: At this point I'm all in. I put 100% body weight on my spiky ball, and by now my body is saying, "Thank you for hanging in there. This feels much better."
Click here for other videos on other places of the body you can use a spiky ball.
I call it my new best friend because it goes everywhere with me. I have it around for long car rides and at work stations where I know I'll be sitting for long periods of time. I wish I had discovered it sooner. I can imagine that it would've been helpful during the months post birth of my son. I was achy all over and could've really used the daily relief. In any case, it's here now and I share this story because it's become part of my daily active life. Learning how to reclaim my health and well being has taken on a new literal form. My muscles talk to me and now I listen. My spiky ball massage ball routine is how I help my body recover. As I age, my daily routine of maintaining a healthy mind and body are comprised of a lot of little activities. This is just one of them.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow." - Mary Anne Radmacher.
FUNNY SIDE BAR: MY SON HAS BEEN WATCHING ME DESIGN THIS BLOG POST THROUGH WORDS AND PICTURES AND INTRODUCED HIS VERSION WITH HIS LEGO BLOCKS. SO CUTE! LOVE THIS KID!