Magical Myofascial Tension Release Balls

So this website is supposed to be primarily about food based nutrition, but I felt a need to post about something that is nutritious to my physical and mental well-being.

I was actually introduced to the whole myofascial release technique by a friend of mine who coincidentally introduced me to the cleanse I did last October as as well. Just incase you are wondering, myoactually means muscle and fascial means connective tissue. So myofascial tension release means releasing the tension in the connective tissue muscles. I was at his home and he showed me how to use these balls, which look a little like foamy golf balls, to release tension in my upper and lower back and shoulders. These balls can also be used on the legs and calves and even the balls of your feet. Sounds awesome, right?

Basically, this tension gets built up over time. We stress, sit at a computer far too long, lift heavy weights, etc. But most of us would never think we could possibly release some of that tension on our own, or at least I wouldn’t have known had my friend not shown me the first time. So, you can use these balls to “unstick” muscle tissues that have glued themselves together and help them return to their normal slide and glide relationship. The therapeutic relief, which may include extreme relaxation, or even crying (there is sometimes emotional release, this happened to me!!!) indicates a healthy release of the tissue to its natural position.

I was working out at Equinox Fitness club this past week and one of the trainers was nice enough to do an informal coaching after an exercise class of how to use these balls in certain areas of your body for the best releases possible. As soon as she brought the balls out, I remembered using them with my friend, and decided it was time for me to get a set of my own so I could do the releases at home.

These balls run anywhere from 12-15 dollars a set, and worth every cent. For those who are active and can’t afford a real live massage every week, using these for 30 minutes a week is like giving yourself your own massage. You can buy them online or at some health clubs, including Equinox. Time to get the ball rolling! 🙂

Food For Thought…Searching For Kale In Lake Havasu

Living in Los Angeles, it can be easy to forget how good we have it. And with good, I mean…FOOD! Seriously, where I live in Culver City, I have about 4 Trader Joe’s within a five mile radius, and Sprouts and Whole Foods grocery stores are not much further. We are a food mecca here, we are a plethora of knowledge–dietitians, nutritionists, raw foodists, a variety of cultures, many with amazing foods, MANY of which have redeeming qualities. If I want to eat out and eat healthy, there are a many restaurants in my neighborhood and beyond that serve everything from macrobiotic, vegan, kale and quinoa to whole grain pita organic chicken sandwiches or do-it yourself salads with spinach and arugula, artichoke hearts and beets. Of course, eating out for many people is a time to splurge and have the things they normally wouldn’t eat, like pizza or a burger, but it’s nice to know you ALWAYS have the option to eat healthy.

Looks like Mc Cullough Boulevard in Lake Havasu to me!!

I guess I really forgot about this until this weekend. Taking a trip into Lake Havasu, I knew there wouldn’t be the best options to chose from, but WOW, I guess I forgot how small towns like that rely so heavily on fast food chains. That was pretty much all that I saw. I thought it might be better in the grocery stores, but even there the fruits and vegetables were very basic, and truthfully, they didn’t look so good. I can bet the people who live around there don’t even know what kale is. I bet most of them think eating somewhere nice is Outback Steakhouse. The “nice” restaurant we ate at, which was Italian, tasted good, but truth be told, I don’t think any of us would have eaten there regularly…it was all bread, oil and pasta. And I can guarantee the vegetables in the dish I had were frozen. Mind you, we had also spent the entire day being active on the lake…I wonder how many people in these neighborhoods are active on a regular basis.

I wonder if these people that live around Lake Havasu, or other cities like this, even KNOW what they are missing out on. I wonder if they think eating fast food and jello molds and other random processed foods from the grocery store and feeling lethargic and weighed down all the time is just normal? I wonder if they care? It just makes me sad, because some young girl and/or boy who is a little bit overweight in this city is going to end up starving themselves or taking diet pills if someone doesn’t educate them or their parents, if someone doesn’t show them all the different healthy and delicious food that is out there, or show them how to cook and that variety doesn’t just come on a 99 cent menu, with french fries and a large Coke.