This month, I am honored to welcome physical self-care guru Jill Miller to KineSophy for the following interview. Jill is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide, creator of the corrective exercise formats Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method, and author of The Roll Model. With more than 27 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, and pain management. Known as the Teacher’s Teacher, Jill has trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her Therapy Ball products into fitness and medical facility programs internationally.
Jill and her Roll Model® products have been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, ABC News, and in publications such as O, Shape, Fitness, W, Self, Yoga Journal, Redbook, and Prevention. She is also a contributing fitness expert to the LA Times and the Oprah Winfrey Network. You can read more about Jill, Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method at tuneupfitness.com.
Greg: What is the Roll Model® Method?
Jill: The Roll Model® empowers people of every age, stage and condition to perform soft-tissue self-care (self-myofascial release) on their bodies using grippy, pliable, body-friendly rubber balls. They are given tools of body awareness and self-assessment that run the gamut from breath, posture, mobility, subtle sensing (interoception) and emotional cues. The book (The Roll Model) features 24 stories of real human beings who have used these methods to heal their bodies and psyches from auto-immune diseases, chronic pain, violence and trauma as well as physical injury. They are the “Real Roll Models” who literally demonstrate how to take life “by the balls.” The book breaks down fascia science, pain physiology and ball choreography in an easy to understand way. There are more than 2000 images and illustrations to help readers make their way through this 432-page text/manual/inspirational storybook. (Greg’s note: you can read my review of Jill’s book here).
Greg: Your book has a ton of background information about posture and biology in addition to specific physical self-care sequences to target soft tissue adhesions and dysfunction. Why did you choose to go that more educational route instead of just offering solutions for particular complaints?
Jill: I am a firm believer that telling people what to do is not enough. I want them to have context from which to improve their own scope of assessment and generate multiple creative approaches for every ache, pain or problem they encounter. I do not believe in “cookie cutter” approaches. Each human being is different. Their lifestyle, their habits and their emotional landscapes create different needs (kneads) that cannot always be remedied by a black and white approach. I provide my readers and students with options so that they can be both an artist and a scientist observing and experiencing their life.
Greg: With your knowledge, you could have a lot of success doing bodywork or teaching high-priced, exclusive yoga seminars. Yet much of your work focuses on physical self-care. Why did you choose to emphasize self-care over directly treating clients?
Jill: I wanted my body to last. I have watched as my bodywork mentors slowly created arthritis and overuse syndromes throughout certain joints in their body, particularly their hands. And I also find it gratifying to hear stories every single day from my students and readers who were able to get themselves out of pain without having the pain of paying someone else to care for them time and again. I adore bodywork, and I advocate for receiving manual therapy from gifted professionals, especially when your best efforts at self-treatment have not been successful. I modified many of my ball moves and techniques from my mentors and family of experts for self-adapted application. But ultimately, I want to empower students to tap into their own inner healing environment and build trust in their own body and its ability to heal if coaxed in the right direction.
I am very fortunate to have a successful teaching practice and my schedule is overflowing, so I think I must be doing something right 🙂 I have developed 8 different training modules that attract movement professionals from every conceivable piece of the greater “movement pie:” yoga, pilates, Personal Trainers, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, dancers, martial artists and athletic coaches. Find more info at https://www.yogatuneup.com/yoga-teacher-training.
Greg: In your book, you share the stories of twenty-four “Real Roll Models” who used your physical self-care guidelines to manage or resolve severe physical or emotional traumas. Because these hardships affected their outlooks on life and their relationships with others, their overall well-beings also improved after they started the Roll Model® Method. Can people who haven’t had these extensive issues see significant benefits from your Method beyond relieving everyday discomfort and stress? How do you see the self-care model you’ve developed translating to other aspects of people’s lives?
Jill: Everyone has a story. Everybody has absorbed, assimilated and metabolized their own life’s journey. Not everyone has been victimized, or had severe accidents, or shattering diagnoses, but we all have a body and nervous system that can be positively manipulated to experience relaxation, relief and positive adaptation. People see immediate results in range of motion improvement, deeper breath capacity, effortless efficient posture and reserves of energy for performance. As I mentioned, I receive emails and messages daily from athletes, military, office workers, grandparents, professional musicians and school children describing how they use the Roll Model® Method to help them in their day-to-day performance and how the balls have become a part of their lifestyle.
Learn all about Jill’s unique blend of corrective exercise, self-massage and yoga at tuneupfitness.com, and check out her comprehensive physical self-care book The Roll Model on Amazon or at therollmodel.com. For regular yoga and self-care advice, connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.