Do anything enough times and you’re bound to flirt with injury. Do something like play the cello, and your back is sure to remind you now and again that you are actually responsible for taking care of your body, not just master Popper #17. So I’ve been doing crazy chops practice this summer, am midway through a move, and have had a whole lotta stress from just about every other sector of my life to boot. My back is a wreck, and it reached a crisis point Sunday night. I called a massage therapist who listed Sunday nights as an availibility, and though she was not able to come and work out the kinks, she passed on this amazing nugget to me:

Lie on a tennis ball.

That’s right. Set yourself up on the floor (I used my yoga mat so my head wouldn’t bonk) and then put the ball where it hurts. Gradually put your weight onto the ball, and eventually, relax, supine, on the floor. Though it didn’t solve 100% of my issue, it made substantive improvement in the tension and pain I had.