Sewing With Tennis Balls

No, that wasn’t a typo . . . If you haven’t tried it, maybe you should.

Have you ever been given a day to sew without all those pesky interruptions. When we’re lucky enough to have one of those days, how long can you bend over your sewing machine without incurring back pain? I try to be an ergonomic sewer, I really do; but after about an hour under the needle, I need to give my back some relief. And here’s where the tennis ball enters the picture.

While attending a recent sewing retreat, I noticed another attendee getting up from her machine, grabbing a tennis ball and moving over to the wall. I watched in amazement as she stood with her back against the wall, placed the tennis ball between the wall and her shoulders and proceed to sway back and forth, putting pressure against her back and the tennis ball. She was soon done, collected her ball and went back to her sewing machine. What did I just witness?

Turns out Bonnie is a retired nurse. She told me tennis balls are often used in physical therapy to massage overextended muscles into relaxing and relieving pain. What? Are you kidding? Why didn’t I know about this? Bonnie told me you can also stand at the wall sideways and apply pressure to the hip area, lower back; wherever you feel the need for pain relief.

By now I’m ready to try this! She loaned me her tennis ball, I moved over to the wall, got into position and promptly dropped the ball down my back and chased it across the floor. Win-win; bonus exercise time! After a couple of tries I got the hang of it and was able to apply pressure to my back muscles rolling the ball back and forth against the wall. I was amazed at how quickly it relieved the back pain.

This simple therapy trick allowed me to return to my sewing machine and continue sewing to my heart’s content. I have introduced this idea to all my sewing friends and they have found it to work for them. I now carry a canister of balls with me whenever or wherever I sew. I do want to add that while this exercise really works, it does not take the place of relaxing at the end of the day in a nice bubbly hot tub, sharing the day’s events with friends. Shout out to Sheila ! But, that’s another blog…

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