Hello, and welcome to this month's article! How are you doing? These indeed are interesting times we find ourselves in, with very little prediction of what the coming months will bring. We’d all like to return to our “normal” routines, but we absolutely want to stay healthy and alive as our highest priority.
With the outlook being so uncertain and predictions changing nearly every day, chances are that it will be awhile longer before most businesses are allowed to reopen. When it comes to your health and your life, remaining cautious seems the best option.
So, what about your massages? While our lives are on hold, if you find yourself in need of some bodywork, here are excerpts from an article on selfcare written by the editors at thehealthy.com. Though a self-massage will never compare to or provide all the benefits of a professional massage, taking
a little time to work out a few of those kinks will help you to keep going until we can get together again for
a “real” massage.
So, read through this month’s article to see which of these selfcare techniques can help you to take care of yourself until we see each other again. And more than ever, take care!
Heal Yourself: 10 Tricks for a Soothing Self-Massage
Use a tennis ball to relieve tension — For tense feet, try this technique from Melanie Brunette, Associate Spa Director at Canyon Ranch wellness resort in Lenox, MA: Place the arch of your foot on a tennis ball (or golf ball if that seems too big), leaning one hand against a wall for support. Gradually put more weight on the foot as the ball presses into your arch. Slowly move your foot around to target your heel, forefoot, and toes. A tennis ball can also relieve tight hips. Sit on the ball, then wiggle your backside around and hold it still on areas that feel especially good. Plus, you can use a tennis ball to reach the space between your shoulder blades or in your lower back. Lie on the floor with the ball under spots that are hard to reach with your hands.
For back pain: "Take two tennis balls and tuck them tightly into the toe of a sock and lie down on them so that the balls are pressing on the muscles on either side of the spine and the spine itself is nestled in between the balls," says Brunette. "Then relax into the balls and take a few deep breaths. Move the balls up a tiny bit and repeat. Do this 10 to 12 places along the thoracic spine."
Give your neck a break — Every hour, give your body some relief from hunching over your computer at work. Clasp your hands together behind your neck, and apply pressure to each side of your spinal cord with the bottom of your palms. Rub up and down slowly. Then press into the trapezius muscle along the left side of your neck just under the base of your skull using the fingers on your right hand. Tilt your head to the left, then rub in downward motions, working your way to your shoulder. Repeat three times, then switch sides. The front of your neck can also get tight while you work, so finish by stretching it out. Lay your head back to allow the top of your chair to press into your neck, just below the skull, and hold it there for 20 seconds.
Rub your belly after eating — Help stimulate digestion by rubbing your tummy after a meal. Using one or both palms, rub your abdomen in clockwise circles—the same direction that your food moves through your intestine.
Give tired eyes some heat therapy — Staring at a screen all day can leave your eyes tired and strained, but a little heat can help them relax. Quickly rub your hands together until the palms start to heat up, then cup one hand over each eye to let the warmth soothe them.
Massage your hands when you put lotion on — Clasp your fingers together and rub the bottoms of your palms together in a circular motion to target the bottom of your palms, suggests Laura Allen, a massage therapist, educator, and author. Without unclasping your hands, use your thumb to rub the area under the thumb of the opposite hand. Work outward in circular motions toward the center of your palm, then repeat on the other hand. Pull your hands apart and knead your wrists, palms, and the area between your fingers with your thumbs and index fingers. Gently tug each finger one by one, and finish by pinching the webbing between each finger.
Ease tired feet — Sit down on a couch or chair and lace the fingers of one of your hands through the toes of one foot. Spread your toes out, and use your palm to rotate the joints of your forefoot forward and back for a minute. Take your hand away from your toes and then hold your ankle with one hand, using your other hand to rotate your foot gently clockwise. Start with small circles and gradually work up to larger circles as your ankle warms up. Switch to counterclockwise circles and then repeat the process with your other foot.
Open your sinuses — Sinuses clogged from allergies? Rub out the pressure with your fingers. Press your finger pads just above your nose and rub outward, going over your brow line. Repeat two or three times. Then place your fingers beside the bridge of your nose under your eyes, and rub down and outward. Next make small circles on your cheekbones with your thumbs, working your way out toward your ears. Finish by rubbing your temples in small circles with your thumbs.
Pinch tired arms — This technique can release tension and boost blood circulation after sports like cycling and tennis that leave your arms in need of some TLC. Cross your left arm over your chest and pinch the triceps of your right arm, near the shoulder, with your thumb and index finger for a few seconds. Release and move down an inch at a time, pinching and releasing until you reach your elbow. Then move on to the bicep of your right arm near your armpit, pinching your way down to your elbow again. Repeat on your left arm.
Give yourself a hug — To ease shoulder tension, cross your arms across your chest and hold your shoulders. Squeeze each shoulder three times, then work your way down your arms with your hands, pressing and releasing down to your wrists.
Relax with a lavender-scented foot rub — Add a boost of relaxation to a nighttime foot massage with lavender oil. The soothing scent will help you unwind while the oil softens your dry feet as you gently massage them. After your rubdown, slip on some comfy socks to keep the oil from getting on your sheets when you crawl into bed.
Language... has created the word 'loneliness' to express the pain of being alone.
And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone.
— Paul Tillich
The content of this article is not designed to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2020 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.