Written by: Liz Bicherl, Yoga Instructor
Did you know poor posture can hurt more than your back?
The posture of travelers often suffers as a result of sitting for long periods of time in tight spaces, carrying bags and standing (incorrectly) in line. Overtime, poor posture can lead to low energy levels, thus reduced productivity and lethargy. Additionally, poor posture can cause negative body language, and worse, you to unconsciously present yourself in a closed off, submissive manner to your peers.
Poor posture can be caused by muscle imbalances that are associated with sitting for long periods of time, including:
- Shortened hip flexors and quadriceps from remaining in a 90 degree angle
- Overextended shoulder muscles from rounding forward
- Biceps and pectoral muscles become contracted from reaching forward
- Abdominal can even shorten from being in a “crunch” like position overtime
Do any of these imbalances sound familiar?
If so, you may consider trying myofascial release to improve your posture. In addition to improving your body language, increasing energy and productivity, improved posture can lead to lasting mental benefits. You will find improving your posture leads to carrying yourself in a more open and expansive manner. This can help you feel in control and increase your tolerance for emotional distress. Confidence will also improve as a result of better posture.
What is myofascial release?
If you have ever had a massage, likely you have experienced myofascial release. Myofascial release is a common term used to describe placing isolated pressure on connective tissues that are imbalanced.
Simply said, myofascial release is releasing trigger points in the body that are caused by tight muscles.
The body goes through a lot in a lifetime – illnesses, surgeries, repetitive movements and poor posture to name a few. Myofascial release involves using isolated pressure on the target area for 30 seconds or several minutes. When used consistently, myofascial release can reshape and retrain our muscles to move more efficiently, increase our range of motion, and create good habits and posture through improved body awareness.
Some great, short term benefits of myofascial release include:
- Increased circulation and blood flow to the focus area
- Reduced muscle fatigue and soreness after physical activity
- Pain relief from tight areas
Myofascial Release Techniques For Travelers
Myofascial release does not have to be a chore. There are a number of items you can pack along in your carry on to use en route or in your hotel to alleviate the pain you experience from a day of travel. You will use your preferred tool to apply pressure (by rolling the tool of choice) on your trigger point that is sore or tight for at least 30 seconds.
- Golf Ball- A golf ball is a great way to release knots in your feet (ladies in heels- we are talking to you!).
- Tennis Ball- A tennis ball is usually a good fit for your shoulders, glutes and back.
- Trigger Point Massage Ball– Similar in size to hackey sack, this ball mimics the feeling of a thumb and is great for neck, shoulders, back, chest, calves. Small enough you can carry it in your laptop bag.
- Knotty Tiger Trigger Point Ball– Only weighing 5oz. this small but powerful knot buster fits in the palm of your hand. Perfect for your neck, shoulders, arms, quadriceps and feet.
- Foam Roller- Varying in size and density, basic foam rollers has a smooth surface and are a great tool for larger muscles. Check out these travel size rollers that are easy to pack and even hollow inside.
- Grid Roller-The grid features two distinct massaging textures for myofascial release. One area is low, smooth and flat to imitate a forearm. The second area features raised, firm bumps that mimic fingertips. The grid is also travel sized and hollow, making it perfect for your carry on.
- RumbleRoller– The rumble roller has tiny bumps that cover the entire surface to provide the same feel as thumbs of a massage therapist. Available in full size or travel size with varying density.
- Tiger Tail Go-Pro– The Tiger Tail Go-Pro is a foam-covered, muscle-friendly self-massage stick that assists individuals with deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy. It is essentially a hand held foam roller with three trigger point curves. The compact size of less than 1 foot long makes it an easy addition to your carry on.
If you are looking for a few different sizes with instructions, check out the Trigger Point Ultimate Massage Kit. The patented and unique material mimics the touch of a human thumb. The Trigger Point Ultimate Massage Kit contains 2 Massage Balls, a Footballer and Baller Block, a Quadballer, the 2-Ball Sleeve and a 24-page illustrated guide featuring self-massage techniques to help you specifically target the 6 key problem areas of the body. All tools are travel size and fit easily into carry on luggage.
Business Travel Life
Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.
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