Self Massage: Become Your Own Therapist
Professional massages at a spa can’t be beat! It’s a terrific experience that you can get a taste of anytime you want with your own hands. Self massage can be just the thing to prepare you or help you recover from the day, a work out, or a stressful event. Daily muscle massages help strengthen your body and stimulate the circulation.
Time of Day Massages
Early Morning: What is the first thing your cat or dog does when waking up? Stretch! This loosens up tightness in the body and shakes of stress. In the morning do some light stretches followed by some gentle thumping on the outside of your body. Start with your legs and arms, moving from top to bottom and the inwards towards your torso.
Before a Workout: Massage before stretching, card or lifting increases blood flow to the muscles. Use a pummeling motion to bring blood flow to the arm and leg muscles. Massaging and squeezing muscles breaks up scar tissue, limiting chance of injury.
After a Workout: Massage your muscles using your palm, fist, or elbows. This encourages waste removal and speeds your recovery time.
Feet feeling tense? Try standing with one hand on a wall for support and place the arch of the foot on top of a tennis ball. Gradually add more of your weight to it and begin to roll to massage the bottom of your foot. You can also use your hands and fingers by digging into the soles of your feet in a circular motion with your hands and thumbs.
Sore lower back? This is a common complaint with the average adult. Whether from activities or sitting at a desk, this area in particular seems to be troubling. Use a foam roller, a rolled up blanket, towel, or yoga mat by placing it on the floor and laying face up over it. Lay perpendicular to the roller with it positioned under your lower back so that your shoulders and butt are touching the floor.
Stiff neck and shoulders? This is a common place where people hold their stress. This results in chronic headaches, which can be a huge damper on your daily activities. Use your left hand to stroke your left shoulder and the left side of your neck, and vice versa. Using small circles, start at the base of your skull and work towards your shoulders. When you catch a knot, work it out in small, firm circles with your fingers.