fbpx
Top

Self-Massage, Benefits and How To Guide

Body Mindfulness Studio / Blog  / Self-Massage, Benefits and How To Guide

Self-Massage, Benefits and How To Guide

My mission is to help you become a better you, by offering advice on anything from healthy eating, keeping active, finding balance, controlling your stress levels and healing the damage of modern lifestyles and habitual movement patterns. The past couple of years have been incredibly challenging and with unpredictable times times ahead, it is more important than ever to look after yourself.  

Animals and humans alike enjoy receiving massage, probably because it is the a way of showing love through physical contact and movement. When you perform self-massage, you are also showing respect and gratitude for and to your amazing body. Self-massage isn’t difficult, doesn’t take much time, but the benefits can be far-reaching:

Self-massage can help you soothe your 

  • Muscles,
  • Joints
  • Connective tissue
  • Nervous system 

The last one is worth expanding on. Mind and body are one, and it makes sense to stimulate your skin, the largest organ in your body to produce naturally occurring anti-depressants, anti-ageing substances and hormones, through self-massage. Whether you wish to relax, energise, heal or nurture your body, there is a style of self-massage that you can perform. Mornings are best, but 5-10 minutes spaced throughout your day is also a great practice.

You can use your hands, or the assistance of rollers, balls or other tools. Turning off any screens, playing some soothing music, lighting a candle or  taking a warm bath will of course help, but even if you only spend a few minutes whilst at your desk you can access techniques to

  • Increase circulation of blood and lymph
  • Reduce inflammation, promote healing
  • Speed recovery from exercise
  • Relieve sinus pressure and reduce head and neck aches
  • Reduce the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety

Top Tips

  • Massage the area from 30 seconds to 1 or 2 minutes, depending on tension/pain/discomfort
  • Massage the area at least twice per day
  • Explore and massage the area around the painful spot too
  • Apply a firm pressure that is tolerable. Start with a light pressure and increase as the tension eases
  • If you experience pain after self-massage, ease up on the pressure next time
  • Gently stretch the area after self-massage

Foot Massage (for your feet) & to Relieve Back Tension

Tool: a spiky ball/tennis ball

  1. Remove your shoes
  2. Stand in what you consider to be your natural stance and take a couple of long inhales and exhales
  3. Bring awareness to your feet
  4. Place a spiky ball under your foot.
  5. Roll with firm pressure from your toes to your heel
  6. Aim to cover every area of your foot including the arches and side
  7. Do this for 2 minutes for each foot

Hand Massage

  1. Begin by giving your hands a good shake, like you’re shaking water off wet hands
  2. Find a comfortable sitting position and place one hand palm up on your thigh
  3. Using the knuckles of the other hand, gently knead from the heel of your hand towards your fingertips and then thumb
  4. Use one thumb to massage the pad below the other in circular motions, end each motion by lifting up the tissues between your thumb and forefinger
  5. Continue by massaging from the heel of your hand in long strokes following the line of the bones to the tip of each finger
  6. Gently pull each finger to stretch the joints (take extra care if you have arthritic joints)
  7. Open and close the hand fully several times
  8. Repeat for the other hand

Buttocks

Tool: Spiky Ball/Lacrosse ball or Trigger Point Massage Ball

This is best done sitting on a mat with your knees bent, but if you are in the office seated on a chair will work fine of you grab hold of the sides of your chair to support your body weight

  1. Place a spiky ball under your right buttock
  2. Support your body weight by placing your hands on the ground, slightly behind your hips
  3. Lift your right leg off the ground and massage the area in small circles (for a deeper massage cross your ankle over the opposite thigh as shown)
  4. Also roll diagonally across your buttock
  5. Repeat for the left buttock
  6. Walk around the room a few times

Low Back

Tool: Spiky Ball/Massage Ball/Roller and a Wall

  1. Standing, place the ball or roller between the wall and your low back
  2. Have your feet forward of your hips so that you can lean your body weight against the ball/roller
  3. Move you body up and down, by bending and extending your knees
  4. Focus on any areas of tension and breathing slowly with a long extended exhale

Chest

Tool: Spiky Ball/Lacrosse Ball/Massage Ball

  1. Sitting or lying down on your back
  2. Take the spiky ball in your left hand; massage the right side of your chest in small circular motions working outwards from your breast bone
  3. Continue with long strokes in the same direction applying a firm pressure
  4. Focus on your exhale
  5. Repeat for the left side of your chest

Shoulders

Tool: Spiky Ball

  1. Tilt your head away from your right shoulder create a light stretch
  2. Place the spiky ball in your left hand and use to tap the top of your Trapezius (where that lump is on the top of your shoulder). You are aiming for a steady percussive beat, firm enough to elicit a bounce. Aim for 30 seconds continuously.
  3. Grab hold of the muscle, lift it up and away from the bone; squeeze firmly and release.
  4. Repeat 3 – 6 times
  5. Use the spiky ball to massage from the outside of your shoulder towards the base of your neck
  6. Repeat for the left side

Neck

  1. Find a comfortable sitting position
  2. Tilt you head down towards your chest; give you head a gentle shake from side to side to relax it a little
  3. Use the finger tips of both hands to firmly stroke from the base of your neck/top of your shoulders towards the base of your skull
  4. Begin with your fingers either side of your spine and slowly fan outwards the back of your ears
  5. Repeat several times until the area feels more relaxed
  6. Finish by rolling your shoulders forwards and backwards several times

Scalp & Temples

Many of us hold tension in our scalps without realising; you might mess up your hair but it is worth it.

  1. Find a comfortable sitting position
  2. Relax your head, allowing it to tilt towards your chest
  3. Open your mouth slightly and let your lower jaw hang; try to relax
  4. Using the fingertips of both hands to massage your hair line in small circular motions starting above your forehead and working your way towards the base of your skull
  5. Continue, massaging with a firm pressure (a bit more than when you are washing your hair) until you’ve covered the whole of your scalp; aim to move the flesh over the bone.
  6. Use your finger tips to lift your temples, inhale; exhale and open your jaw as wide as you can 
  7. Release and massage your temples in small circular motions
  8. Repeat lifting your temples as you inhale; exhaling to open the jaw

3 Techniques to help you sleep

The last 3 massage techniques are great for releasing tension and helping you sleep

Share

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

})(jQuery)