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A woman massaging her own neck.

Your Guide to a Rejuvenating Self-Massage

Feeling like your body has aged a decade and then some recently?

Aches and pains are far from uncommon. Most of us experience them from time to time.

Perhaps you’ve been noticing a few muscle knots and points of tension arising as of late. You think it’s probably a combination of stress, a lack of activity, and maybe your not-so-ergonomic work-from-home set-up.

And maybe a massage isn’t an option. You don’t have the cash. Maybe those types of services aren’t offered near you right now due to COVID. Or maybe you simply don’t have the time.

Well, let’s give that body a little self-massage!

While you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix after another tough day, show yourself some love. Giving yourself a massage is self-care at it’s finest. So, how do you do that?

We’ll give you the overview you need to treat your body right. From self-massage tools to exactly how you can give yourself a self-massage, we’ve got all the details you need to release muscle tension and ease any aches and pains.

The Self-Massage Tools You Need

The goal isn’t to break the bank, and self-massage tools don’t have to be expensive entities. Some are, but we’re not about buying the brand name or “it” product for the sake of it. We want the most affordable and most effective options.

So, what are they?

The Self-Massage Ball

Generally, you can pay a high price for proper massage balls. But you can cheat a little here. A tennis ball or lacrosse ball are excellent substitutes. Plus, they won’t be a big financial decision - far from it, actually!

You can purchase a lacrosse ball on Amazon for around $10. Not bad, right?

And boy, do these guys come in handy.

Sore feet? Roll the ball along the bottom of your foot. This will dig into your plantar fascia, releasing tension in the feet and up your entire posterior chain (aka your calves and hamstrings).

Sore shoulders? Roll this ball between the wall and your body to get some relief.

There are so many options here.

The Self-Massage Stick

This one works similar to a foam roller (which we’ll get to momentarily). Basically, you use this stick by applying pressure with your hands and arms as you roll in across your thighs and other body parts.

If you do want to spend a little money on this self-care tactic, you can find some wicked massage sticks that even reach those hard-to-get-to spots.

Generally, this may depend on where you feel the tension in your body and where you feel you need to release the most. For your back, neck, or glutes, certain self-massage sticks can really target these areas without any awkward moves.

Make sure to check out: 7 Reasons Why Self-Care is Essential for Your Mental Health

The Foam Roller

Ah, the classic of all the self-massage tools: The foam roller.

A foam roller is a cylinder-shaped self-massage tool. It’s usually made of dense foam or a similar material.

With the foam roller, it’s all about positioning your body on top of it to apply moderate pressure and so that you can roll back and forth to release any tension or knots. You do this on each spot for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

How to Give Yourself a Self-Massage

businesswoman experiencing neck pain while working in an office

Alright, so some good news: You don’t necessarily need any self-massage tools to give yourself a self-massage. In fact, there are some great self-massage pressure point techniques that you can do all with just your two hands.

Try the ones below on for size!

Your TMJ Self-Massage

The TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint, also known as your jaw.

It’s super easy to self-massage with just two fingers on each side. Basically, you want to locate the muscles below your cheek, around where your jawbones connect on each side.

Place one or two fingers on this area and apply gentle pressure, moving your fingers in a circular motion. Start by moving one way, then reverse the movement.

Do this for 30 seconds to one minute on each side. (HINT: You can do both sides at the same time!)

Your Self-Foot Massage

If you’ve got a massage ball, lacrosse ball, or tennis ball, this is great to pull out for a self-foot massage. Rolling the ball under your foot back and forth for 30 seconds to a minute can help release a ton of tension.

However, if you don’t have a ball, don’t panic!

You can massage your feet with both of your hands. Grab your foot and place it on your opposite thigh. Use your thumbs to dig into tight spots along the bottom of your foot.

You might also be interested in: How to Create a Spa Day in Your Own Home

Shoulder & Back Self-Massage

This self-massage technique can help relieve trigger points in the neck, shoulders, and back. Using your thumbs or two fingers, find those tight spots (also called trigger points).

Again, gently move your fingers or thumbs in circular motions or back and forth. Do this until you feel a release or until you no longer feel pain. In massage therapy lingo, this is known as “trigger point release.”

And you can do this on almost any part of your body. Just ensure any pain feels like a release and not like you’re causing damage.

Lymphatic Drainage Self-Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage helps decrease swelling and improve circulation.

Using light pressure, apply your hands to the part of the body you wish to do this on. Gently move your hands and palms (while applying pressure) to the furthermost part of this body part. Do this a few times to help reduce swelling and fluid build-up.

Self-Massage: Your Ultimate Self-Care Method

At the end of your day today, sit down and find those points of tension.

Massage it out!

Your body (and you) might just need it. A self-massage can help reduce stress, help you sleep better, and so much more. In other words, your life can only improve. So, set aside that time and treat yourself to self-care in the form of a little self-massage.

Related article: Exploring Alternative Relaxation Techniques

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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