5 Self-Massage Techniques
Have you ever had a professional massage? If you have, you know what a terrific experience it is. Fortunately, you have your very own massage therapist with you at all times – your hands! Read on for advice on how to reduce tension from head to toe.
1. Massage Yourself Regularly
Every morning and evening, hammer out the kinks. Using your fists, gently thump the outside of your body, starting with your legs and arms, working from top to bottom. Then move inwards to your torso and thump from bottom to top. Pummelling your muscles and bones will help to strengthen your body, stimulate blood circulation and relax nerve endings.
2. Rub Your Stomach After Every Meal
Most of us do this instinctively, especially after overeating. Place one or both palms on your abdomen and rub it in clockwise circles. This is the same direction that food naturally moves through your intestine, so your circular massage will help to stimulate digestion.
3. Rub Yourself Down Before and After Exercise
Massaging your body before your stretching, cardio or strength training increases blood flow to the muscles. Massaging your muscles after exercise may help to encourage waste removal and speed muscle recovery. Before exercises, use a pummelling motion with your fists to bring blood flow to your leg and arm muscles. After exercise, rub along your muscles with your palm or fist moving in the direction of your heart.
4. Massage Your Hands Daily
Start with the bottom of your palms by clasping your fingers and rubbing the heels of your palms together in a circular motion. Then, with your hands still clasped, take one thumb and massage the area just below your other thumb in circular motions, moving outwards to the centre of the palm. Repeat with the other hand. Then release your fingers and use your palms, fists and the webbing between your fingers. With one hand, gently pull each finger of the other hand. Finish by using your thumb and index finger to pinch the webbing between your other thumb and index finger.
5. Roll on a Tennis Ball
If your foot feels tense, stand with one hand on a wall for support and place the arch of the foot on top of the ball. Gradually add more body weight over the foot, allowing the ball to press into your arch. Begin to move your foot slowly, allowing the ball to massage your heel, forefoot and toes. If the tennis ball seems too big for your foot, try a gold ball instead.