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I am a massage therapist, I am not your massage therapist. This post is not prescribing, diagnosing, treating, or advising you on any medical condition. Always, every time consult your doctor when you are starting something new. These are my personal opinions only.
I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if everyone could get a massage at least once a month, but that is not always possible. For some it maybe financial that stops you, because not every insurance covers massage and it can be spendy, and some people don't have the time. That is me, I'm in that boat of not having the time!! But some people just don't like being touched. If your one who thinks that massage is a luxury and not something you need, there is research that supports regular massage can help improve:
Boosting immune function
Lowering blood pressure
Range of motion
Quality of sleep
Massage is a passion of mine and I'm extremely biased when it comes to my opinion on if people should get a massage. The answer will always be, Yes! But sometimes you just can't make it happen. Even me, a massage therapist who preaches to my clients when they haven't been in to get a massage in a while and their care has gone backward, can't find the time to get in and get a massage. So here are some tips that I do myself and tell every client how to do their own self-care between massages.
Before we start, massage from a therapist should not be straight painful, uncomfortable maybe, depending on what your aim is for that treatment but not painful, in my opinion. I tell my clients if you can breathe through it. It's fine. But when you start holding your breath to get through the stroke No good. Same with doing these techniques yourself.
Tennis Ball or Massage Ball
Save one tennis ball from your dog and use if for yourself. I mostly use these for my glutes, I sit on them and maybe roll around a little. I've placed them up against a wall and roll them around on my back and in between my shoulder blades, but it doesn't get it deep enough for me. I do like it when I can get my husband roll them on top of my shoulders because his hands always seem to hurt after 5 minutes of massage. Here is a video I found of more ideas you can use the balls for.
This thing is my favorite for the IT Band. Every client that comes in with IT Band issues has more success when they use foam rollers. It also very effective for lightly stretching out your Pectoral muscles, by laying on the foam roll mid back and arching your back over it. Let your head fall back, your arms fall to the floor and stretch. Most of us have rolled in shoulders which can cause tension in the upper back and shoulders. This stretch is amazing to help pull those shoulders back!! Here is a really cool video that shows you tons of ways to use a foam roller.
Trigger Point Hook
This is my favorite for getting my Traps and along my shoulder blades. But be careful one time I overused it and I was really sore for a week. Place the hook nob on the problem area and lightly pull. Remember it should feel good, none of these modalities should be painful.
These just feel good. I love to come home and just scalp massage myself.
Hand Held Massagers
These are kind of fun. But there is one thing I do use these for all the time, my hands. After a long day of using them, this is amazing to press one of those nubs all around my problem areas with light pressure and have the vibration work them out.
So there you have it. The 5 ways a massage therapist massages herself. How do you self-massage, or what is your top self-care technique.