I got some new tools to play around with, and I'm excited to tell you about 'em! If you haven’t read my original post about self myofascial release, check it out here. That will prime you to some other tools I've come across, and the whole reason and rhyme behind these kinds of self-care tools. Let's checkout the products available at DeepRecovery.com
It’s great to have some self massage balls, and this set includes three different sizes and levels of density. Additionally, there are larger balls to get larger areas, two foam rollers, and a tool for your neck.
This is great because depending on your needs, other tools will be too hard or too soft. (Because of your level of comfort, level of tissue health, or the area/ body part you’re trying to roll. I had already gotten used to carrying around my dollar store “high-bounce pinky ball” (super soft) yoga tuneup balls (medium) balls, and lacrosse balls (super hard), so wasn’t new to me... but I think many self massage beginners probably start off with something too soft or too hard for them… and therefore throw the whole idea out the window. You don't have to patch together tools, you can get them all in one set.
Unlike the yoga tuneup balls, or simply using your own tennis balls like a lot of physical therapists recommend… Deep Recovery created a product to allow two balls to roll in a “track“. This is to ensure that the balls do not roll onto your spine, coccyx (tailbone) or ribs. I haven’t made much use of this tool, simply because I am used to controlling my torso with precision. However, I think for many, many people this track is totally key to them using self massage balls with comfort and safety. They're actually in the middle of redesigning this product to make it even better. Check out their Kickstarted Campaign to grab yours >
THE FOAM ROLLERS
The two different travel foam rollers also are different in density. (Soft: green, and Black: medium). I was surprised with how much I fell in love with these. Sometimes using a ball is like having someone poke at you with your fingertips. You have to control your weight using balls, but with the smaller foam rollers you can get a broader pressure. I also love that it doesn’t take up the entire living room, like our other foam roller that has been excommunicated to the dusty corner in the massage room. Their smaller size makes them closer to the ground, which I find is perfect for my body size (5'6")
Both of these tools have found their way to my neck stiffness. Foam rollers have a legacy of being used for the larger areas of the body like the legs, glutes, or back… but these smaller rollers are great for the (often-tender) sub-occipital muscles found just below the bones ridge on the back of your head. Just rest your head on the roller while laying down on a firm surface, and sloooowly roll back and forth. Yum.
THE COOL UNIQUE TOOL FOR NECK PAIN & HEADACHES
Speaking of that area, deep recovery has made a tool specifically for this important spot. With the ability to use any of the three balls of varying densities, this tool might just be perfect for you if you have chronic neck pain, headaches, or even TMJD. I enjoy this tool a lot as well for more focused and sustained pressure.
DEEP RECOVERY VIDEO LIBRARY
Check out their library to learn more ways to USE their products, which is the number one reason why self-massage tools don't work for people. Just because they could give you a great deep tissue massage, doesn't mean they will magically by touching your body. You've got to learn how to move your body in intelligent ways without hurting yourself (or not providing enough pressure in the right areas.) If you're a beginner, these videos are totally perfect. If you're a physical/spacial medicine professional of some kind (and want more anatomy and rolling routines) you might enjoy Jill Millers doorstopper of a book, "The Roll Model".
Pretty much my only negative commentary of these is that they can smell a little funny (plastic) when you get them new. However I noticed this seem to go away just by simply exposing them to air.