Stretching can sometimes alleviate tight muscles by lengthening them. Other times stretching may not be of help. Imagine a knot: if you pull the two ends, does the knot disappear? Likely not. This is where foam rolling is helpful. I have used a foam roller for almost 3 years. I use it for Self Myofascial Release (SMR). Muscles are comprised of many spindles of fibrous materials. Basically it’s like taking a rolling pin to flatten a piece of dough, inverted. So people use gravity to “roll out” their muscles on a cylindrical piece of hard foam.
It is true, I am not a physical therapist (though I did aspire to be one in college), and I am still a counselor/therapist, so what does “foam rolling” have to do with counseling? Sometimes our physical bodies require devices/equipment for support, aid in healing, strength building, or optimal functioning. There are many things that our mind/brain need for optimal functioning as well, such as proper rest, nutritious diet, fresh air, etc. Sometimes in life we are faced with challenges, not necessarily bad, or painful, but because it’s a challenge, it’s not routine and can be uncomfortable.
Counseling can be a place to provide tools to alleviate challenges that we may be faced with, whether it’s learning a new set of skills to refocus our thoughts, practicing ways to find calm and peace in difficult situations, looking at alternative ways to engage with other people, etc.
What “tools” are you using to improve your behaviors, relationships, or life?