Just for fun, I’ve taught a self-massage technique that Kelly Starrett, Doctor of Physical Therapy, shows frequently. I’ve used it sporadically on myself in the past. But I have an amazing testimony to tell.
Truth be told, I wake up in the morning and hobble to the bathroom first thing. I gingerly walk down the stairs and then achingly walk my dogs. I was a runner since my first 5K race in the 6th grade. A decades worth of ultra-marathoning in my 40’s eventually led me to completely stop my running career. My injury was actually from doing Adult Gymnastics and not the running. But that’s another story. Every year, I try to resurrect my running only to be hobbled again by my left calf muscle. What I’ve learned is flat concrete is the worst for it, while I have very little trouble when I run trails. So through avoidance, I’ve managed a few miles here and there, but not without linger morning hobbles. In fact, I’ve noticed it more in past months than ever before.
Just on a whim, I taught this calf bone smash in an impromptu beginner’s yoga class that I was asked to teach in the last minute. I often project on my students what I’m feeling at the time, and my calf happened to be in pain. Its also good for poses like downward facing dog, chair pose, and warriors to have open calves. I taught it a few more times since then in other classes.
When I demonstrate this pose, I don’t stop. I turn away from the class and show them how to do it for the minute or so as we do both sides. I did it last night too. This morning I woke up and guess what? No hobbles. No pain. I’m totally ecstatic. If any of you feel chronic pain, it doesn’t have to feel that way.
Also, as a practitioner of Thai yoga massage, my self-experimentations give me extreme gratification that I can help others too. Not only can I use this in my therapy, I can teach people how to heal themselves. I often give people homework for their ailments so they don’t need to see me as often.
Whether you or someone you know have calf pain, try this out and share with others. Its an amazing tool for healing.