How to Ease Muscle Pain With Self-Massage
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When you’re feeling all sore and stiff after a workout or after hours of sitting behind a computer, a massage is all that you might have on your mind. While massage parlors and spa centers offer amazing massage experiences, they are also expensive, involve booking, and require traveling. You might also have a person at home who can give you a nice massage for free, but you know they get bored and tired after two awkward squeezes of your shoulders. But all is not lost! There is self-massage that can be more practical and beneficial than you might think. Here are a few easy ways to administer, enjoy and benefit from self-massage.
Warm massage for neck, arms, and legs
If you’re a lover of soft and relaxing massage sessions, you can try this one at home for gentle muscle pain relief and overall relaxation. Grab a sock, fill it with uncooked rice and tie the open end with a ribbon or elastic band. Place the sock in the microwave for a minute or two (or until the rice inside is nice and warm) and use the rice cushion by rubbing it on your arms and legs. You can also use this cushion for neck support which will bring relaxation and relief. This warm massager can be reused many times and is especially easy to use after a home workout. If you want to use it before bed, you can sprinkle the sock with some lavender essential oils and you’ll get to improve your sleep as well.
Grab a massage gun
If you need more concentrated pressure and vibrations that will ease your pain and boost your recovery, why not opt for a massage gun. With a practical handheld massager, you can reach various places on your body and finish your massage in a matter of minutes. Thanks to strong percussive movements and vibrations, these devices boost blood flow, release tension and relax muscles and tendons, all of which bring great relief to the user. You will mostly see athletes using massage guns, but that’s just because they managed to recognize their benefits first—percussive massage devices are definitely suitable for all people looking for an easy way to deliver self-massage.
Find a small ball for pressure points
If you have hard-to-reach knots in your back that require hard pressure, your easiest solution is to grab a tennis ball or softball and use it for your muscle massage. Place your ball on the wall, lean on it with your back and move around until you find a spot that hurts. You can have good control of the pressure by moving your body and also get a nice massage by squatting up and down and rolling the ball around your back. For extra strong pressure, you can lie on the floor (on your back) and place the ball under the tense spot. This is going to hurt but try to hold at least 20 or 30 seconds. It’s possible to increase the pressure even more by bending your knees, rotating your body or crossing one ankle over another.
Try foam rolling
Another tool that can help your relaxation and pain relief through massage is a foam roller. By rolling tight muscles over a cylindrical hard foam object, you will activate various nerve receptors that will send signals into your brain that your muscles should relax. Foam rolling takes only a few minutes and provides great benefits such as increased range of motion, muscle pain relief, etc. If done regularly, it can even prevent various pains! Foam rolling might not be as practical as using handheld massage devices but it’s an effective way to administer self-massage.
Administer a short calf massage
Calves are muscles that get a lot of work throughout the day but not enough love during massage time. When self-massaging, pay special attention to calves by administering a short and easy massage to these leg muscles. Start by pressing your thumb into the lowest part of the muscle, hold for a few seconds and release the pressure. Move an inch or two up the muscle and repeat the sequence. Keep pressing and releasing until you get to the knee and then switch legs.
As you can see, you don’t need to book expensive massage sessions every time you feel muscle pain. While spa appointments are great for self-care and muscle recovery, you can also use these tips above to enjoy a nice self-massage every day.