StrongPosture® Tip 21: Basic DIY Massage
Self help techniques to relax
Nothing beats a therapeutic massage from a trained professional. Massage keeps your muscles working, your body flexible, and helps you to relax. When you don’t have time to see a massage therapist, self-massage can break up muscle tightness to help reduce stress and keep you moving well.
DIY massage tool you can make
If you want a DIY solution, you an do a basic self massage routine with a couple of tennis balls, a sock, your own two hands and a few quiet minutes. Simply place two tennis balls in a sock and tie the end. Make sure the balls are about a hands width apart.
- Lie comfortably on your back. Place the BallSock behind the upper neck, so the two balls are below ridge at the base of your skull (right above the hollow spot in the middle of your neck).
- Rest for 5 minutes. Breathe slowly. Listen to soothing music.
- The balls put pressure on acupuncture points and send messages telling muscles to relax, which can help relax your whole body.
Self massage technique
- Using your thumbs, start at your temples and make small circles, 3 times forward, and 3 times backwards. Then touch your face. Very gently, cup your cheeks and temples with your hands for 3 breaths.
- Move to your ears. Holding with firm pressure, pull them gently straight outward. Alternate ears, pulling each ear up 7 times. Breathe slowly as you do. Then pull the tops of the ears straight up. Next, pull the earlobes straight down.
- Rub your thumbs down your neck from your jaw to your collarbone 3 times, alternating sides.
- Move down to the top of the chest. Using your thumbs, make 3 small circles in the center of the pectoral muscles (on each side of the chest, in line with the nipple, half way between the nipple and the collarbone).
- Move down to the area just above your kidneys and below your ribs (waist level where the tissue is still soft). Rub briskly with your fists in a circular motion.
- Finally, bending your knees, roll your body up towards your head. Keep the balls in the middle of your spine and let them work the muscles of your back as you roll the balls down to your low back.
There are lots of great tools on the market, or you can make your own. Try a simple foam roller to stretch, lengthen and soothe tight muscles. You can also try a massage roller to massage muscles and for myofascial release. The TheraBand ridged rubber roller is designed to unwind both superficial and deep tissue restrictions of fascia (the stuff separating and surrounding muscles) to free and mobilize.
Modify the techniques above to work for you and schedule them into your regular self care routine. When you do have time, schedule a massage with a licensed or certified massage therapist.