Every year millions of people make resolutions to get fit. Leisure centres and gyms are inundated with new members in January, but for many this sudden desire is short lived and very few people actually keep it up. But what if I told you that there was a revolutionary approach to health and fitness that was more like a massage, relaxation, and chiropractic routine rolled into one?

As a trained fitness instructor and sports therapist, the principles of Yumana Body Rolling make complete sense to me. It consists of a series of gentle routines using 6 – 10 inch balls that allow you to work specific muscles in detail, concentrating on optimizing perfect body alignment and range of motion.

Body rolling works in the same way that a physical therapist works, but the ball replaces the hands as it moves along muscles to stretch them, smooth out tension, and stimulate blood flow to promote healing and pain relief. Lying over the ball, you work with your body’s own gravity to follow a particular sequence. Rolling the ball from the origin of the muscle at the tendon to the point of insertion, you are able to re-educate your muscles to obtain maximum elongation while stimulating the bone and soft tissue. And you’re still working your important core muscles during the routines.

The beauty of body rolling is that it can be done by everyone. Whether you are old, young, unfit, or an athlete, the exercises can be adapted for all ages and capabilities. As with all exercise routines you should seek advice from your GP before beginning, but body rolling is safe enough to do during pregnancy and can be done following injury, radiation and chemotherapy treatment, or post-surgery. (Post-surgery or injury you should wait at least 3 months. During pregnancy I would recommend you body roll under the guidance of a qualified instructor.) It is particularly beneficial for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, fybromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, spinal problems, or osteoporosis, and it’s perfect for preventing headaches, neck and shoulder tension, irritable bowel syndrome, and lower back problems. In fact, almost every structural problem within our bodies can be greatly improved by body rolling.

Over the years your muscles and connective tissues are subjected to stress and strains, eventually becoming twisted and knotted. Your vertebrae can also become misaligned, leading to further problems, and your internal organs can literally stick together with adhesions and scar tissue, particularly after surgery or injury. Body rolling stimulates nerves and specific organs to break down these adhesions and scar tissue, returning optimum function to your organs and improving your digestive system at the same time.  

With the many benefits of body rolling, it’s no wonder that it’s earned respect from chiropractors, physical therapists, and Yoga instructors. So why don’t you join in the revolution and say balls to fitness!

(I would strongly recommend you read The Ultimate Body Rolling Workout by Yamuna Zake and Stephanie Golden and/or join a Body Rolling course with a qualified instructor before beginning.)

Sibel XX