Do you have back pain? Or shoulder, knee or hip pain? You know, the kind of pain that maybe isn’t keeping you from doing your daily tasks, but it is always there, and a constant reminder when you move in a certain way and there is…….OUCH! ….flaring up and making you feel restricted. Well…me too. I have had pain in my low back for years. (Well, it’s been decades actually!) You learn to live with it, push beyond it when you can, and pay for it later. Sound familiar?
Those of you that know me may know I am always intrigued to learn new things about the body and how it works. (I jokingly call myself the “queen of continuing education”!) I have recently found a new system that I personally have gotten amazing results from! It is called The Rossiter System®, or Rossiter Stretching® and its focus is to release tight connective tissue. (Also known as Fascia….you may have heard of it recently, it’s a common “buzz word” in the fitness industry now.)
What is Facia?
What fascia does essentially is act as a casing for our muscles. It “connects all connective tissue”…. that means muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Because it encases the muscles, it reduces friction as the muscles move against each other. It is a supportive and movable wrapping for our nerves and blood vessels as they pass between the muscles. It holds things in place!
Have you seen what is called “silver skin” on the outside of a piece of meat? This is the animal’s fascia…or connective tissue. Our muscles are the same; each individual muscle is covered with this casing or fascia. Often when this casing gets tight, or there has been an injury that causes scar tissue to develop, the tension in the injured area begins pulling things out of place in the body. The end result then is a body that feels constricted and tight. And this can result in pain in our body, or pain with movement.
This tightness and resulting pain can be caused by many things. It might be a muscle tear from over use, or tension caused by repetitive movements that result in wearing down of a joint. The body then responds by building up the area with more tissue in an attempt to protect itself. The constriction in the fascia might be the result of over stretched tissue…or what my PT used to call “going beyond yourself”. Either way, whatever the source is, the result is usually pain in our body and restriction in our movement. But now with Rossiter®, we have a way to release tightness and regain movement!
How does Rossiter work?
The concept of Rossiter Stretching® is that you are the “person in charge” of the workout. (You are the PIC) After filling out the appropriate health history forms, and informing your coach about any injuries, we will target a workout for you. The Rossiter workouts consist of upper body or lower body workouts. For example if you have shoulder issues, we would focus on stretching the arms, chest and shoulder areas to release tight connective tissue. For the lower body, (Back, hip, knee, foot or ankle pain/tightness) we would focus on a lower body workout.
The workout consists of the coach pinning a muscle (pin and stretch technique) by applying weight with the foot, and you as the PIC are in control of how much weight is applied. From there, you will “lock” or flex the feet and arms/hands to create a maximum stretch in the tissue and then begin stretching the area of focus as directed by your coach. The entire stretching routine is only a few seconds, and it is repeated 2-3x. We most often stretch several areas (a group of muscles nearby to each other- say lower on the arm, the biceps/and then chest muscles.) We stretch on one side of the body, and then focus on the opposite side to create balance. It is something that is lasting, (usually beyond just a few hours- often days or weeks and beyond the session. And once we get the tissue re-aligned to its new home in the body, it can potentially last much longer. I find that you will really get results if you work to your full potential, and do regular maintenance sessions.
Pain relief made easy!
I want to share my personal experience with you because I am living proof that this is really works! As I mentioned, I have had chronic back pain for many years due to herniated discs in my lumbar spine. (low back) Pilates helps me to keep the supporting muscles strong, and Yamuna Body Rolling® has been a life saver to help release tight muscles and stimulate bone, to help regain some balance to the skeletal structure. But I do have to keep up with regular Chiropractic adjustments and have done numerous rounds of spinal decompression to relieve pressure on the discs (to relieve pain in my back). I often have what I humorously refer to as “sleeping injuries”…you know the kind where you wake up in the morning and getting out of bed you feel like you were hit by a truck in your sleep!!? I sleep on my side, which does not help in the least with keeping my pelvis in a good neutral alignment, and my low back suffers. I’m sure you get the picture, and perhaps can relate it to your own life.
Well…..on a recent weekend I did my level 2 training for Rossiter. Getting up early to drive rush hour traffic thru Seattle isn’t my favorite when I wake up in pain. (Well. To be honest, it is NEVER my favorite! But we won’t digress here to the state of traffic in our city.) Upon my arrival to the training, my body felt tight and fairly miserable after being in the car for 2 hours to get there on a Friday morning in rush hour traffic. (Believe me, there was NO RUSHING involved in this drive!)
During my training, part of the practice of learning is to observe the practice, then exchange with a partner; to both receive as the client, and then practice as the coach to take the client thru the stretches. I was amazed by one of the routines we did for the low back!! During the stretch my back gave a gentle self-adjustment (popped back in to place). And when I stood up, I could feel that my pelvis had shifted back to a more neutral alignment. My whole body felt more freedom, less restriction- more open, and it was easier to move. And the pain was gone!! This was just from a simple, fairly quick, guided stretching session that my coach took me thru. WOW!! The best part is that upon waking the next morning, rolling out of bed was not the same. I had been in a significant amount of pain for at least 2 months, every day, with every move, due to my stubborn insistence that I dig holes for my roses in a new garden all by myself!! And the strain on my back using a pick and shovel to dig these holes, resulted in 2 months of back pain. (Don’t try this yourself at home…recruit a strong young man to do the job for you!) I had actually tried spinal decompression again at my chiropractor, but only 2 sessions was not enough to really get me out of pain. THIS ROSSITER HAD DONE IT!!! In the days and weeks after this session at my training, I continue to have a significant reduction in the amount of pain I had been experiencing for months previous! Just from just a couple of sessions of Rossiter Stretching® over the weekend! (And it has lasted!) I am so pleased to experience this pain free state of being for so long after the initial session, that I am excitedly here to share it with all of you!!
Private Sessions now available!
I am now offering these Rossiter sessions at the studio. If you have any tightness, or pain in your body, (or even if you don’t- it still feels great!) Please reach out to me to ask about scheduling a session to experience this great new system to relieve pain, and facilitate better movement in your body. I believe the body is always working to heal itself, and this wonderful Rossiter System® is one of the non-invasive tools we can use to help our body do that!
You can choose from a single session or: I recommend a pack of multiple sessions so that you can really benefit from repeated stretching: A pack of 4 sessions or 8 sessions that can be used over time as you desire. See our website for details Corestar Pilates & Wellness and to purchase and schedule your Rossiter appointment!
You can reach me here….. firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a session.