Roll and Release

Roll and Release with Shannon

**Please note that any recommendations that have been given to you from another therapist (physio, chiro, RMT etc.) override anything recommended in this class. In other words, please trust your certified practitioner and use your best judgement to treat your body with loving care.


Ball Rolling is a form of myofascial release and a relaxing massage.

We use the ball to apply gentle sustained pressure to the muscles (and therefore fascia) of the body. Fascia is connective tissue that “communicates, fills space, protects, supports and interrelates with all structure in the body”. Fascia is “loaded with sensory nerves that communicate directly with our central nervous system” and therefore when we stimulate one area of the body, it can affect other areas of the body and stimulate our nervous system in a positive way  (relax, heal, reset).

Myofascial release is like Yoga in its ability to prevent injuries and to aid healing, it is also best done as a daily or regular, consistent practice. Balling rolling can be done before or after any movement practice. I highly recommend reading, watching tv or listening to music while rolling and/or stretching. Get off the chair and on the floor as often as possible.

Benefits of Ball Rolling:

*YOU control the pressure and the placement of the ball

*Portable therapy! Easy to do anywhere, anytime, inexpensive and pleasant!

* releases fascial adhesions, allowing muscle fibers to move more efficiently

*increases hydration and elimination of toxins from muscle fibers

*restores muscle fibers to their fullest potential, increasing range of motion

*reduces pain and recovery time

*increases body awareness (proprioception), coordination and control


Things to AVOID:

PAIN.                  Holding your breath.                     “Bracing” to apply pressure.

Any sharp, tingly or numbing sensations.                 Bone (especially the spine, sacrum and tailbone)

Over-working one area or muscle.

Ball Rolling Reminders:

Any ball will work! Tennis, lacrosse, or massage balls are cheap and easy to find.

Please keep a regular, natural breath. Count breaths while holding, instead of time.

Remember gentle sustained pressure is best, like a good massage. Less is more.

Move the ball around frequently. Think of stimulating the whole muscle.

Move around or stretch after working on a muscle group.

Don’t just treat the symptom areas, work the whole body for maximum benefits. Fascia is everywhere!

Even 5 minutes a day can achieve great results!

Carry a ball with you, especially for travel and work.

Ball Rolling is a very intuitive practice, trust yourself, be gentle and creative.



Muscle Softening– place the ball on or under the muscle, allow the muscle to be completely relaxed and “wrap around the ball”. Hold and Breathe. Move the ball slightly and repeat.

Muscle Gliding– gently roll and glide the ball up and down the length of the muscle fibers.

Muscle Cross Hatching– gently roll the ball across the muscle fibers.

Muscle Press and Release– press the ball gently into the muscle, hold, and then release. Repeat 1 to 4 more times, move the ball slightly and continue for the whole muscle.

Muscle Contract– place the ball on or under the muscle, then move or contract the associated muscle group(s).

Example One: lying on your back, place the ball under your left glute (bum cheek) and then lift and lower your left leg. Example Two: lying on your back, place the ball under your left glute (bum cheek) with both knees bent contract or tense your left glute muscle and then relax. Repeat pattern.


Major Muscle Groups to Target


-If you can only do one thing, do your feet!

-Really nice to start with your feet before moving on to other body parts.



Back and Neck


-Best done against the wall or lying on your back.

– A “peanut” or two tennis balls is perfect for working down the spine.



-Most comfortable standing, against a wall. Facing the wall for the front of upper chest (below collarbone), sideways to the wall for shoulders and latissimus muscle (outside of arm pit towards the back).

-Be mindful of breast tissue when working across the upper chest/collarbone.



-Easiest to do against a wall, or, on table/floor with yoga block under the ball or firm surface.




Glutes and Hips


-Easiest to access against a wall, laying on your side on the floor, or laying on your back.




-Easiest to do laying on belly on floor. Knee can be bent or straight. Ball moves to all sides of the muscle (middle, inside and outside).




-Easiest to access by using ball in your hand or kneeling onto the ball (heroes pose in yoga).

-Place a block under your leg to work the outside of the shin/calf.




-Easiest to access sitting on floor, use a yoga block under ball to increase pressure. Similar to the front of your leg, move the ball down the middle, outside and inside of muscle.



Calf Muscle

-sit on floor with legs out straight or place a yoga block under the ball. Alternatively, kneel in heroes pose with ball between calf and hamstring.



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