Stress Busting With Self Massage
Performing a self-massage is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to relieve muscle tension. Sure, it won’t be as thorough or as practiced as a professional massage, but it has a number of benefits. You have an immediate feedback loop going, so you’ll always know if you’re going too hard, too soft, or just right. It saves you plenty of money, especially if you perform a small massage daily. And finally it’s available to you whenever you need one, and it can be as long and thorough or as short and specific as you require.
Learning self massage isn’t even that hard, you just need to get down some basic rubs for each major muscle group. Here’s a few to get you started:
To massage your hands, first place your left hand out in front of you with your fingers touching. Using your other hand, begin to massage the fleshy, webby part of your left hand that sits in between your thumb and pointer finger. Massaging it using a circular motion for about twenty to thirty seconds. Now perform on your other hand. Try this motion out on the center of your palm as well and the base of each finger as well.
To massage your forearms, grab them with your opposite hand and work them with a lot of pressure, kneading up and down. Your forearms have a lot of different muscles and muscle groups within them, so they require heavy massage from a variety of angels.
To massage your feet, first sit comfortably and cross one leg over the other. Using both hands, grab hold of the arch of your foot and start pressing it with your thumbs. Try applying pressure in a straight line up and down the inside of your foot. Eventually, start kneading up and down the entire foot. Rub and role your sole, and massage your pads and toes the same way you massaged your hands and fingers.
To massage your calves, just slowly work your way up, from your ankle to your knee, kneading. Try working the back of your calves with a good amount of pressure, as these are densely knotted muscles that perform a lot of work, much like your forearms.
To massage your neck and shoulders, you want to massage each shoulder with the opposite hand- so work your right shoulder with your left hand, and vice versa. Take the bulk of the flesh between your thumb and forefingers and roll it back and forth, and then work it with circular motions.
Be sure to get deep in there, and apply additional pressure with your remaining fingers as needed. To finish, apply a lot of pressure squeezing and rubbing as hard as you can. These muscles take on a lot of tension, and require a lot of work to fully loosen up.
To massage your face, a good method is to place your fingers on your face and, while applying pressure, gently rock them up and down, and then back and forth. Squeeze along your eyebrows back and forth, and apply some light pressure to the bridge of your nose. Try out circular motions as well, especially with the palm of your hand. Your face has a lot of muscles, but they tend to be thin and close to the skin, so don’t apply the same hard pressure that your shoulders or thighs might require.
And of course, when massaging yourself, make sure you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself. Too much pressure can cause all sorts of muscle problems, so do your best to refresh your muscles and then move on to the next group, especially if you perform this every day.