When you can’t afford professional massage, you can still treat yourself. We compiled several techniques to make it easier for you to get relief.
Massage is often an integral part of self-care for many folks. With benefits like relief from chronic headaches, soft tissue or muscle injuries, stress-related insomnia, fibromyalgia, digestive issues, and TMJ pain, massage has become more than just a luxury, it makes life manageable for many. For a lot of folks, it amps up their energy due to increased oxygen and bloodflow, reduces depression and anxiety, reduces blood pressure and boosts their immune system.
However, we’ve got to face it: while massage therapy is 100% worth it, it is not always feasible or accessible for those of us who financially struggle or trauma survivors who are not yet ready to venture into healing touch from another person. The sad thing is that people that fall into these categories are often the ones who need massage the most, whose bodies are knotted and contorted by internal and external stressors.
There are techniques for DIY relief and the internet certainly is rich with them. We compiled several for common pains and complaints to make it a bit easier for you to get the relief that your body is craving.
Here are 7 great techniques for self-massage:
1. Tennis Ball Techniques
Tennis balls can be used in a variety of ways, from a relaxing foot massage to lower back relief, as well as getting rid of tension headaches from a tight neck.
The firm rubber balls are great for working out trigger points in your body by applying just enough pressure with gentle movement to roll those knots right out.
2. Hand Massages
Modern technology wreaks havoc on our hands, as well as hurting our necks and straining our eyes. These easy hand exercises are great for folks suffering from hand and wrist pain. Check out this easy tutorial!
3. Lymphatic Drainage
The cool thing about lymphatic drainage is that it helps relieve a lot of the pressure that those of us with allergies and suppressed immune systems often suffer from. Swelling and puffiness is a side effect, as well as congestion and excessive mucous. This super simple exercise helps rid of of uncomfortable pressure, swelling and yucky phlegm that may just be hanging out in your sinuses.
4. Neck Massage
The neck holds so much of our stress and is very sensitive to injury. Between bad posture, tension and injuries, neck pain is one of the most commonly reported problems among those with chronic joint and muscle pain. This technique shows you how to use the “heel” of your hand in order to apply the most pressure with the benefit of you being in full control.
5. Scalp Massage
One way to help encourage blood circulation to your scalp, whether it’s to “encourage” hair growth or just to keep your body in working order, is to give yourself regular scalp massages. A positive side effect of this is a relief of tension in the head and neck, as your scalp muscles loosen up with your touch.
6. Knee Massage
Knee pain can be annoying at best and completely excrutiating and immobilizing at worst. In this video a massage therapist guides you through a pain relieving technique to help you get back on your path.
7. Massage Your Jaw
A ton of tension lies in the jaw. Between speaking and how you hold your mouth in stressful situations, the jaw can be the source of a ton of pain. Statistically, women and trauma victims are more prone to TMJ syndrome. These jaw exercises release a ton of tension and pressure from the jaw, reducing headaches and sore muscles.
Our takeaway from these great videos? Self-massage is a lot easier and accessible than we have come to think. No more suffering between appointments!