They don't call Lauren Roxburgh "The Body Whisperer" for nothing. The expert on all things body alignment, fascia, and movement, Lauren regularly works with clients ranging from Hollywood A-List to world-class athletes and is an author and foam roller pioneer/entrepreneur. We sat down with Lauren to chat about what exactly fascia is (and why taking care of it is so important), body pain, why everybody should be stretching, and, of course, our favorite topic—sleep! Check out her interview below.
Sleep is a very hot topic right now. The more we learn about it, the more and more important we realize it is for our health. What role does sleep play in your life?
Quality sleep is so crucial for total-body health, vitality, and healing. When we don't sleep enough or well enough, it can affect so many things, from our work to our relationships and so much more. The body and brain need this time to rejuvenate and repair, so when we lack deep sleep, we suffer. Believe me, I know that getting quality sleep can be really challenging sometimes! I have two young daughters and I travel often, so I understand that it's not always easy. There are some rituals you can put into place that can be helpful, like avoiding blue light from your screens at night and incorporating relaxing activities like reading or taking a bath. Using movement medicine tools to help relax the nervous system can be really helpful as well (like using the foam roller or the body sphere for a calming sequence like this one before bed).
You talk a lot about fascia in your work + practice. Can tell us a little bit more about what exactly fascia is and why it's so important to take care of?
Fascia is the connective tissue that actually helps create the shape of our bodies. It’s a webbing that wraps around every muscle and keeps everything in place (even inside the body). Fascia is also where our nerves and lymphatic systems lie, and it's considered our sensory organ. We want to keep fascia healthy, supple, and hydrated like our skin because when it's not, it gets tight, dense, and can restrict movement and impair alignment in the body. Unhealthy fascia also tends to trap toxins, which leads to thickness and density in the body and even a sluggish metabolism.
We've heard you mention that a lot of the time, the pain we feel in certain areas of our bodies — for example, our jaw or shoulders — is actually rooted somewhere else in the body like the diaphragm or the pelvic floor. What are the best practices for locating the areas where the pain is actually stemming from and how do we release those areas?
We often experience symptoms that are connected to other areas in the body, and oftentimes this has an emotional connection as well. I would encourage you to pay attention to where you hold stress and tension in your body. For example, when you get a stressful email do you automatically clench your jaw, or maybe your neck and upper body tenses? Just taking time to notice patterns of where our bodies react to stressors is a great first step. Then, I challenge you to incorporate healthy stress hygiene practices (like the ones in my new book, The Power Source) that teach you to learn how to change the way you react to stress, and find ways to release stress and tension in the body that accumulates over time.
What are some moves/stretches we should all make part of our morning routines?
You speak a lot on alignment. What are little things we can do throughout the day to ensure we are holding ourselves in alignment?
I've found that when our bodies are physically aligned, that sense of alignment carries over to other areas of our lives. Alignment is as much of a spiritual and energetic practice as it is physical. Physically speaking, one way to start holding yourself in better alignment every day is by checking in with yourself regularly—are you hunching? Are you tensing your neck and shoulders? Are you subconsciously clenching or clutching your body anywhere? When you do start to notice those patterns, actively work to release the tension. Even if that means standing up and doing a quick stretch, taking a few deep breaths, or using the foam roller or other tools you have on hand to roll out the tension.
Any other must-have tips and tricks that keep you feeling your best?
Some other practices that make a huge difference for my health are dry brushing, rebounding, earthing, hiking, morning affirmations, and yoga. I love the combination of dry brushing before I roll and rebound because it's a fast way to really boost the lymphatic system and the body's detoxification processes. Plus, rebounding is such a fun form of cardio that you look forward to it and it gives you a super effective workout in a short amount of time. I always start my day with positive affirmations—it's such a simple yet powerful way to start the day with an elevated energy and a clear mindset.