Tools for Self Massage

Sitting at a desk in a tiny office all day often results in a lot of tension, even if I get up and stretch regularly. While going for a walk after work in the warm weather relieves some tension and strain, it doesn’t do a lot for the tension in my back and neck. This leads to tension headaches and even migraines – no fun at all!

But, I’ll let you in on a little secret . . .

Massages do the trick almost every single time.

Whenever I get tense, massaging the tight muscles helps me relax and unwind after a draining day. Of course, a professional masseuse would be too expensive, and my sweet husband (though he’s more than willing to help out when he can) often comes home as achy and tired as I am!

So, this often leaves it up to me to massage those muscles on my own. Since I can’t bend my arms around my back to work on those pressure points, I’ve found a few useful tools for self massage that do in a pinch.

The Lacrosse Ball

massage ballI happened to stumble across this little tool when googling massage techniques to try on my husband. Some people recommended using tennis balls, but I found they were too bendy to work effectively.

One commenter suggested using a lacrosse ball, and I checked it out on Amazon. Turns out, more people use this lacrosse ball for massage than they do for lacrosse.

The easiest way to use the lacrosse ball for massage is to press it gently on the pressure points in your back. You can have someone do it for you, rolling it around in a manner that’s most comfortable for you.

However, I found I get the most satisfaction if I put the ball between me and a chair – that way I can control where the ball hits and how hard it pushes into my back. Better still, I fit the lacrosse ball in my purse and can use it at work whenever things get stressful.

The Scalp Massager

head massageI first experienced this nifty contraption when I visited some family members. They had one of these that we started playing around with and I was sold on it instantly.

You wouldn’t think a bunch of wires would be effective, but if done right (slowly and closer to the back of the head), then it’ll give goosebumps. It doesn’t do much for massaging tense neck muscles, but a good scalp massage can help you relax.

Keep in mind, you probably shouldn’t purchase the cheapest massager you find. I purchased one for a couple of dollars and the wires weren’t flexible enough to give the same pleasurable experience. I recommend this head massager, as it’s affordable and good quality.

The Warm Rice/Wheat Bag

heat packA simple cloth bag filled with rice or wheat can be heated in the microwave for a minute or two and stays warm for ages. The heated bag can then be applied to sore muscles, or cuddled on a cold night.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find one of these mass produced by anyone, which is sad because they’re nice to have around. If someone sells these somewhere, I’d love to hear about it because not everyone has access to sewing materials.

If you want to make one yourself, Instructables has some great instructions on how to make a warm rice bag.

The Toe Stretchers

This last tool isn’t really a tool for self massage, but I’ve noticed if my feet feel good then the rest of me follows suit. Gel Flex Toe Stretchers are often used for pedicures, but these particular products are designed to stretch tight muscles in the feet, potentially correcting foot problems such as bunions and overlapping toes.

These stretchers should only be worn for a little bit at a time and shouldn’t be used while walking or with shoes. Additionally, foot size plays a roll in how well the gel toe stretchers work. If you have tiny feet, the stretchers might be painful rather than relaxing, and if your feet are too big, they might not get the good stretch as promised. Fortunately, the gel toe stretchers have a bit of give to them, so it fits a large range of people.

I like to use the toe stretchers after coming home from my walk.
Then, I relax on the couch with a heat pack to my back.
After that, I take a nice mini-nap to recharge.

Written By JenniBee

 

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