The Adventures of Fat Ass and Chimpy, Part 9: Keep it Loose to Get it Tight


If Dr. Fat Ass were a mad scientist, I would gladly be his Frankenstein.

Except not dead. Or burly. Or green. Or with my brain precariously secured by poorly executed stitches.

What I mean to say is, it’s really cool when he puts his expertise to use on me. Like when I come home with fun tape patterns on my back. Or when he puts me in that traction machine thingee and turns the lights out and plays Enya so I can relax.

The other day, I had my third experience with the Graston technique. (Full disclosure: I totally thought Dr. Fat Ass had been saying “Graff’s” – like a guy named “Dr. Graff” invented it or something – so it took me a solid ten minutes of Googling before I figured out it was Graston).

So the Graston technique is basically this series of curved steel tools that the doctor uses to wake up your soft tissue in inflamed areas. I gotta say, when I saw the tools online (I’ve never actually looked at them at the office), they looked like a rather tame version of a medieval torture device. Like those rounded knives that come in a Play-Doh set. Or clay modeling tools.

Graston technique tools

But I di-Graston.

You know how when you’re injured, the muscles can feel sort of locked up? The Graston technique is one approach that helps open them back up again by loosening up all that connective tissue and other stuff that fills in the gaps between your muscles.

At least that’s what I think it does; go ask your chiropractor about it. I’m just here to talk about food and fitness and being Fabulous.

It’s kind of a cool process; first, Dr. Fat Ass rubs some lubricant gel on the area (rubbing steel on dry skin is a no-no), then uses a series of stroking motions to – the best word for how it feels would be “break up” – the tissue.

I’m not a doctor – I’m not exactly sure what is going on back there when he’s working on my lumbar area – but I can tell you that it kind of feels like he’s running one of those ravioli cutters along my back muscles. Or like how I imagine my smartphone screen feels when I put that clear plastic cover on it and smooth out the air bubbles with that little rubber tool they give you.

to be clear, this tool is for pasta, not people

And when he really digs in, it just plain hurts. But let me tell you why that’s awesome.

I can go in there with my back all icky and sticky – crackly, almost – and come out five minutes later feeling completely loose and flexible. Ready to attack the day. Ready to take it to the next level. Ready to go see Chimpy and be Awesome at Fit.

It’s all part of the cycle. Get fit. Get tight. Get loose. Get fit again. Like a really awesome set of stairs that take you exactly where you want to go.

That’s totally worth a little discomfort, don’t you think? Oh, and the quick spritz of Cryo-something-or-other spray feels absolutely divine after all that kneading.

Go try it out. You’ll see what I mean.

{Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional (though I like to think I’d be a damn good one). Please don’t read this and go flying into your doctor’s office demanding he or she start kneading you with things without first having a proper evaluation. Don’t be that guy}