The OG Waist-Massaging Trick

A great foam roller is equivalent to a deep tissue massage, says structural integrative specialist and goop expert Lauren Roxburgh. Fascia—the connective tissue in our bodies that wraps our muscles and, at worst, may knot together to impede movement, slump posture, and cause pain—can be manipulated by using a foam roller.

“The good news is that while you need to do a bit of work, it is possible to bring back length and space in your core” Roxburgh says. Below, she walks us through the virtues of foam rolling and gives us a series of exercises that are easy to do at home.

A Q&A with Lauren Roxburgh


Why do some of us experience shortening in our waists?


There are myriad factors, including poor diet, stress, hormonal imbalances, emotional eating, lack of adequate rest, and not moving our bodies enough—but the role of gravity and the impact of posture on our connective tissue are important, too. Over time, gravity and the weight of our upper body can cause the space between the ribs and the hips to get squished and compressed, which in turn contributes to a shortening and thickening of the waist. When more space is available for movement, breath, and circulation in this vital area, not only does the entire waist shrink and the midsection lengthen, and people stand taller.

The waist tends to be neglected in our everyday lives: We spend a lot of time sitting, slouching, driving, and working on computers (or texting). During my structural integration training, we analyzed the way people in different cultures walk. Not surprisingly, those of us in the West tend to walk—excuse the term—as if we have a stick up our asses. We’re rigid, tight, anxious, and inflexible and carry the stresses of our daily lives in our gait. Conversely, many people in African and South American cultures tend to walk with a more relaxed movement: Their hips swing, their torsos twist side to side, their heads are held high, and they have a more graceful presence overall. What this style of walking also means is that they are effectively doing core work in the muscles and fascia of their torsos with every step, toning the core while also helping to unwind tension and release stress.


What is fascia’s role in this shortening?


Fascia is critical because it actually helps to create the shape of our bodies. Fascia is like a very thin wetsuit just under the skin that wraps around individual muscle and keeps everything in place. It’s that thin, white, stringy layer you see on a chicken breast when you’re cooking.

When it’s healthy, fascia is like clear saran wrap. But injuries, stress, bad posture, emotional behavioral patterns, and poor body maintenance can cause fascia to get tight, dense, short, and plasticized.

The good news is that fascia is malleable and can be revitalized.

Lauren Roxburgh is a body alignment, fascia, and movement specialist with a private practice based in LA. She is also the author of Taller, Slimmer, Younger; and the creator of the LoRox Aligned Rollers.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.