Tight back? Tight hamstrings?

Tight back? Tight hamstrings?

Rolfing works, because fascia in your body is continuous. – Working (or injuring) one place in the body has effects in other areas. Let’s do a two minute exploration to demonstrate this:

Stand with your feet almost together, knees straight (but not pushed back). Bend forward and let your upper body hang down. Note how far you can go with ease.

Then (you are upright again), take a tennis ball, put it on the floor and slowly step on it with one foot. Relax your foot as much as you can, move your weight around, pushing and rolling on the tennis ball until you have worked most of the sole of the foot (particularly that place right in front of you heel). Spend about a minute doing this.

Put the ball aside and bend forward again, letting your arms and upper body hang down freely. Notice how this movement feels now. How far you can reach with ease? Do you have any sensations in your buttocks or low back? Are they different on the left and on the right?

Chances are, that you will feel a little bit more ease and length on the side where you worked the foot. That is because the entire backside – from the sole of the foot, up along the calves, hamstrings and back all the way across the head to the eyebrows – is one continuous fascial sheet.

So, if you feel tight in your lower back or hamstrings, roll the fascia of the foot on a tennis ball to get some relief (and don’t forget to do the other side!) Conversely, if you have plantar fascitis (pain on the bottom of the foot), stretch your hamstrings to ease the strain on the foot.

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