For centuries, humans have understood how applying pressure to the body helped reduce tension and increase relaxation. Massages are the best way to relieve stress and pain. The list given below teaches you how to self-massage. It is an excellent way to rid muscle soreness, plus you’re in control and can apply more or less pressure when necessary.
Neck and shoulders
It’s safe to massage your neck and shoulders, however as they’re vulnerable areas, remember not to apply too much pressure as this can lead to soreness and aggravate any injured muscles even further. Neck and shoulder pain by overuse, lack of movement or poor posture and can be uncomfortable.
How to massage your neck
Firstly, while exercising, make sure you are not overstretching your neck, as this can cause pain and further discomfort. Secondly, straighten your neck and back and locate the areas on your neck which require massage. Finally, press firmly with your fingers and gently move into circular motions, first clockwise then, anticlockwise. Do this for up to five minutes.
Place your left hand on the neck muscle behind your left ear and apply gentle pressure to the area. Make sure your fingers/hand isn’t moving and instead slowly turn your head to the right while still using the pressure. Repeat on the right side.
How to massage your shoulders
Firstly, place two or three fingertips from your right hand on the back of your neck, where your neck and shoulders meet. Press firmly but carefully and release three times, then roll your fingers over the muscle, moving towards the base of your neck. Repeat with the left hand.
With a tennis ball, position the ball between your lower back and a wall. Move your body up and down or side to side to find areas of tension. Apply more pressure against the ball to help if necessary.
If you don’t have access to a small ball or are out and about, you’re able to self-massage without this. Sitting cross-legged on the floor with a straight back, place your thumbs on the flat bone at the bottom of your spine, moving your thumbs in small circular motions, moving up and down. Apply firm pressure on stiff spots for a moment, release and repeat as necessary. You can do this in a chair if you need quick relief while working.
How to massage your legs
Sit up straight on a chair and place the ball under your thigh, under any tender spots and use your body weight to move the ball around. Start with clockwise then anticlockwise movements, and repeat if necessary.
Wrap your fingers around your ankle and squeeze gently but firmly. Work your way up to your leg, squeezing your muscles with your fingers. Continue up to your hip and repeat from the ankle if necessary.
How to massage your feet
Either seated or standing, place the ball under your foot and roll it around, clockwise and anticlockwise. Adjust your body weight to change pressure.
Hold the top of your foot in one hand and rub the length of the arch, from heel to the ball, with your thumb, applying more or less pressure where necessary. Repeat if necessary.
Using your thumb and forefinger, move each toe individually from side to side, squeezing and extending each toe gently.
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