Practicing Self Care During Travel
Every time I’ve done a multi-day hike I’ve learned some life changing lessons about myself. During my first climb up Mount Kilimanjaro the lesson I learned was to appreciate my body and all that it’s capable of doing. On my trek to Everest Base Camp I learned how important it is to listen to my body and what it needs. And on this most recent journey with the Curvy Kili Crew I was taught the importance of taking care of my body.
Before meeting the Curvy Kili Crew I rarely practiced self care. Whether it was meditation or stretching after a long hike those were tasks I simply never had time for. So when Rawlogy, a company that produces massage balls and rollers, reached out to our group last year about a partnership I was skeptical. These simple cork balls were a nice gift but I just couldn’t envision myself using them. Like, ever.
How little I knew back then.
Massage balls are used in myofasical release to target problem areas that larger tools such as foam rollers can’t fix. These balls relieve tension by penetrating deep into the muscles and tendons, similar to the way a masseuse uses their elbow to loosen up tight areas. The balls that Rawlogy makes are from recycled cork so they’re lightweight, firm and eco-friendly. They also sell a set of rubber balls if you need something harder and heavier.
To be honest, I was intimidated by these balls and by massage therapy in general. What if I did it wrong and got zero benefit out of it? What if I did it wrong and injured myself?
It wasn’t until I attended a Rawlogy workshop that I finally understood all the secrets of these amazing cork balls. It turns out that you can’t really screw up a massage. Every body has different needs and a technique that offers relief for one person might not be as effective for the next. For my body I prefer to situate my ball against a hard surface such as a wall or the floor, using my body to apply the pressure to my muscle. Others prefer to use hold the ball in their hands to roll out the target area.
Learning how to properly use these massage balls was truly life changing for me. I attended the Rawlogy workshop after a long day of hiking, just hours before I got on a flight home. I remember walking through the airport to my terminal and feeling the difference that the balls had made. The bottoms of my feet were no longer sore, something I had always dealt with in the past after a long day of walking. I felt refreshed, like I had just had an actual massage at a spa. But it wasn’t a massage from a spa, it was just a simple cork ball!
Now these little guys go with me everywhere. I use the standard 2.5″ ball for trips that require a lot of walking, like Kilimanjaro and Disney World. They help for areas like my calves and the bottoms of my feet where I’m prone to get plantar fasciitis. The 2″ mini balls I use on airplanes, mostly for my upper back or under my thighs which get sore during long flights. I also use the mini’s to relieve pain in my forearms that I get from carpal tunnel.
The Verdict: Rawlogy balls have made a HUGE difference in the way I travel. I’m more conscious of my body’s needs and I take the time to practice self care often because it really does help how I feel. I can’t imagine traveling without them and they’re compact enough to go anywhere.
Good to Know: Rawlogy has a great set of tutorial videos on their website but their Instagram page has even more. They’re a great tool to learn how to roll out your muscles in various conditions, whether it’s hiking on a trail or riding on a train.
How to Buy: You can get your own Rawlogy balls on their website or through Amazon.com.
Rawlogy provided the Curvy Kili Crew with complimentary cork balls in support of our trek. As always, all opinions expressed in this blog are my own.