Skin rolling is a massage technique for releasing and clearing obstructions in our body. When we overexert our physiologies through exercise, work or play our bodies produce excess acids that accumulate in our muscles causing us to feel sore.
Our skin encases and protects our internal body from exposure to our environment. It is an organ in itself and a main channel of elimination to aid our internal organs in removing waste. As a result, it is vulnerable to internal and external toxins, which cause pain and stiffness in our muscles and joints.
When we eat foods that are not conducive to our digestion, one of the ways our bodies release the impurities is through the skin. This “throwing off” of toxins causes knots and blockages so the skin cannot function at optimal capacity.
Mental and emotional stress can also produce acids, which inflame and intensify the fascia, embedding the skin, muscles and nerves with knots. For this reason, many massage techniques use skin rolling as part of their therapy. Myofascial release commonly uses this technique by manually manipulating the skin to eliminate pain, increase flexibility and balance the body.
The fascia is the connective tissue uniting the surface skin to the underlying tissue. It encapsulates the muscles. The fascia often becomes inflamed because of acid buildup, causing sore muscles and stiffness. By using skin rolling techniques, much of our body’s pain can be relieved by manually manipulating the obstructions to smooth and soothe them.
Skin rolling is a process of releasing these knots so that the physical skin can flow efficiently over the body. The technique uses the thumb and fingers to pull the skin away from the body. Then, keeping a continuous forward motion with the thumb, the skin is gently rolled in a uniform direction to separate it from any muscles that may be stuck.
If done properly, skin rolling should feel good as it opens and liberates the skin from any restrictions. It is only painful as the result of muscles being stuck to the deep tissue or the release of compounded tissue in the form of knots. Muscles should not interfere with the skin’s fluidity and visa versa.
If there are areas of scar tissue, breaking up the adhesions can be accomplished by skin rolling in all directions away from the scar. These areas will take several treatments and can be uncomfortable. Ice may be applied after skin rolling treatments to help in healing the injured and inflamed areas.
When performing skin rolling massage, appropriate massage oil will make the process easier and more comfortable. It is important to note that the skin will metabolize any compound that comes in contact with it, leaving the internal organs the task of breaking down any toxins.
For this reason it is best to use natural, organic oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, or one to your liking. Often these oils are heated to a comfortable temperature to open and soothe the skin as you work.