Release Me!

Posted on March 5, 2024

Self Myofascial Release: Pain Relief | FlexHK | Hong Kong

Massages feel great. But do they always relieve the tension or pain in our backs, necks, arms or legs as much as they promise? Sometimes, it takes a little more than an aroma rubdown to get in deep and give your muscles a break.

This is where Myofascial Release (MR) comes in. But first, what is Fascia? In a nutshell, it has an appearance similar to a spider’s web and covers every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all internal organs. The process of MR involves soft tissue therapy to treat (relax) skeletal-muscle immobility and pain by targeting the fascia. Relaxing the fascia can also allow for better stretching and improved movement in general. Specifically trained after studying with Jeff Alexander from The Alexander Method Of SMR (Self-MR), Emily Tan – Flex instructor and TRX and Aerial Arts specialist – is running a Pain Relief with Myofasical Release workshop on Sunday, September 27. Her, she has the low down on how to get the most from this highly beneficial method.

Q: Who could benefit from MR?

ET: Anyone who suffers from tightness, pain or stiffness from long hours slaving at a desk, for example, right up to the ‘tight’ endurance athlete.

Q: How does it work?

Eddie Kone Rumble Roller Testimonial. Professor Eddie Kone is the founder of the Eddie Kone Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in London.

ET: SMR is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or your own hands (in the workshop, I will be using various and specific tools). By applying pressure to certain points on your body, you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Muscles that are contracted all day – while sitting at a desk for example – have developed knots in them. These knots limit the range of motion of your joints and muscles, which also decreases circulation. SMR results in softening and lengthening of the fascia and breaking down of scar tissue and adhesions between skin, muscles and bones. It ultimately helps to reestablish proper and pain-free movement, and ultimately, enhances performance.

Q: Is it also for sports people and runners?

Ronin Runner is a runner who travels the country and blogs about his experiences. In this video he compares the RumbleRoller Beastie to other massage balls he’s used.

ET: Running is a highly repetitive sport and any repetitive activity sets us up for injury and degradation in movement patterns. Therefore, it is important to prioritize SMR on your lower body prior to and after activity. SMR provides the user with the ability to control the healing and recovery process by applying pressure in precise locations, because ONLY YOU can feel exactly what is happening. However, it’s always recommended to consult with your physician or physical therapist for therapeutic/sharp pain and receive approval before starting SMR.

Q: Where and how did this concept originate?

ET: In 2001, US-based Jeff and Carolyn Alexander began exploring the tools and concepts available to recover following intense workouts or competitive events. What they found was a collection of techniques using a foam roller, tennis ball, golf ball, and frozen water bottle with little or no real guidance other than to “roll around to find the sore spots.”

Over the course of 5-6 years, Jeff and Carolyn searched for classes, tools, and experimented with themselves and their clients until they had the beginnings of a logical, step-by-step program that anyone could pick up and use to help take care of their own muscles. This system evolved to become an approved educational course for trainers.

For more information on the workshop, visit:

Emily started her career in the fitness industry 10 years ago in Malaysia and today, strikes a perfect balance bridging vertical and aerial training with Suspension Training. Certified in TRX Suspension Training and Mixed Martial Arts, Emily is also a familiar face in the aerial arts scene with her background as an aerial arts instructor trainer and program designer.

– NASM Certified (Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist)
- Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Coach
- TRX Suspension Training
- Specializes in Aerial Fabric, Aerial Hoop, Aerial Rope

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