Body Rolling uses plastic balls to ease aches, pain

Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:29am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Aching baby boomers, injured athletes and sore dancers are among those seeking relief by rubbing soccer-sized plastic globes into the places where it hurts.

Instead of hands, the Yamuna Body Rolling workout uses balls -- of various sizes, weights and densities -- to massage those creaky bones and angry joints.

In dimly-lit studios scattered over 15 countries, instructors guide students through movements designed to ease frozen shoulders and loosen stiff knees by slowly and methodically rolling out hips, torsos, sides and backs.

"The person bears weight into the balls, stimulating bone, then rolling into tendons and then muscles, working from beginning toward end of a muscle," Yamuna Zake, the body therapist and former yoga teacher who created Body Rolling, said in an interview.

"Because you use your own weight into the ball you also improve bone quality, circulation, muscle tone, and strength," she added.

Patricia Powers, a certified Body Rolling instructor in New York City, has been a practitioner since 2005.

"You gain freedom from old restrictive patterns caused by injury," she said. "You get a free flow of energy that revitalizes internal organs."


<p>A Body Rolling class at Yamuna Body Rolling Studio in New York City, is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>