Wouldn’t we all like to go for a massage every day.
But most of us have neither the time nor the resources for that level of self-investment.
So I thought I would give you a few tips for those times in between massage appointments when the strains and stresses of the day weigh you down.
Here are eight self-massage tips to help you help yourself.
TIP 1 - PERFECT TIMING
The perfect time to give yourself a massage is at night after a hot bath or shower. Make sure the room is warm enough and rub your body dry with a heated towel.
Or if you prefer, apply heat using a bean bag or other such device directly on the affected area before starting the massage.
TIP 2 - WARM & FUZZY
Using the entire flat surface of your hands, warm-up the affected body regions using broad and vigorous surface strokes. This requires a steady pressure to slide over the skin.
Don’t go to deep yet, we are setting the scene for the more invasive strokes later.
TIP 3 - GOING DEEP DOWN
After you have warmed up the area, use smaller, more focused strokes for specific areas of pain and discomfort. A basic principle of massage is this: the smaller the area of contact, the deeper the pressure.
Use your fingers or heel of the hand to rub to and fro or in small circular movements.
TIP 4 - EASY DOES IT
If a particular stroke causes you pain and discomfort, desist from using it. Rather work slower or go back to surface stroking.
Remember massage doesn’t imply that you should knead and squeeze the muscles into submission. Massage or any form of touch, bring about changes in our nervous system and brain which in turn send messages back to the muscles to relax. No need for self-bullying tactics.
Easy does it.
TIP 5 - TO LUBE OR NOT TO LUBE
You don’t have to use oil or lotion to lubricate the area but it does make for a smoother massage. Select base oil such as grape seed or almond.
And if you go for pre-blended oil, be aware of possible interactions of for example arnica with blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin or lavender with low blood pressure and rosemary with high blood pressure. Read the instructions or research it on Google before using it.
TIP 6 - LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD
Don’t forget to give yourself a scalp massage. Remember there is a thin layer of muscles on your head and these also contract as a result of stress and bad posture.
Besides circular movements all over your cranium, try this very relaxing technique. Position your fingers at the roots of your hair and gently pull. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat a few times.
TIP 7 - AND LET'S FACE IT
To end off include a facial massage. Gently apply circular strokes along your hairline, cheekbones, above your eyebrows and under your eyes and jaw.
Also rub your ears and earlobes between your fingertips.
TIP 8- THE HOME STRETCH
Close off the self-massage session with gentle stretching ... and off to bed you go!
PS. Nothing stops you from turning a self-massage into a partner-massage using these tips.
You will be scoring major browny points, I promise you.
PS. This is my blogpost for Day Five of the 7 Day Bizblog Challenge put out by South African Business & Blogger Tribe and Sam Posselt, Speaker of Hashtags #rsabizblogs
Body-mind or mind-body? If you are struggling with physical and mental pain and feel that the dominant health paradigm’s dualistic approach to mind and body seems inadequate to explain anything, I want to talk to you. Join me under the tree in my garden for a cup of rooibos tea and let’s talk massage and SomaSense!