Self Massage

There is the simple massage you can do it yourself. This is a great "pick-me-up" after a hard day of work. You can also get the benefits of massage by immersing yourself in a Jacuzzi with the water doing the massaging.


Many massage and wellness centers offer workshops on massages and partner massages. It may be worthwhile going for a workshop to get some familiarity with this technique.

1) Self-massage
For the exercises given below, you don't need anything other than a few tennis balls, a quiet corner, and your own two hands.


Pressure points in your skull can relax your whole body. There are two very significant acupressure points at the base of the skull on what's called the occipital ridge. If you apply consistent pressure there, you can achieve total relaxation.

How do you find these points and apply pressure on those spots? There is a simple solution. Put two tennis balls in a sock and tie the end. Lie on your back on the floor and place the sock behind the upper neck, so that the two balls each touch the skull ridge that's right above the hollow spot. Stay like that for 20 minutes. If you like, you can listen to soothing music. The pressure on those acupressure points sends messages down the spinal column to relax all the muscles and it is very effective.


Just touch your face. There's no need to knead it. With a very light touch, cup your cheeks and temples with your hands using no more pressure than the weight of a nickel. Hold your hands there for a minute. The warmth of the hands relaxes the muscles and connective tissue, bringing on an overall sense of relief.


Pull the sides of your ears gently straight outward, then straight up, then straight down. Or, with your index finger, press the tender spot next to your earlobe where it attaches to your head. Press and release. Now do it on the other ear. Repeat, alternating ears, 10 to 15 times.


Get a quick boost by rubbing the area above your kidneys. That's at waist level where the tissue is still soft. Rub briskly with your fists in a circular motion. This energizes the whole body.


Foot massage is very soothing. After you try the following techniques on one foot, switch feet, and repeat.

  1. Sit on a chair and place one foot on the opposite thigh. Rub some massage oil or lotion onto your foot if you like. Apply pressure with your thumbs to the sole of your foot, working from the bottom of your arch to the top near your big toe. Repeat five times. 
  2. Make a fist and press your knuckles into the bottom of your foot, moving from your heel to your toes. Repeat five times. 
  3. Massage each toe by holding it firmly and moving it from side to side. Extend each toe gently out and away from the ball of your foot. Then apply pressure to the areas between your toes. 
  4. Hold your toes in one hand and bend them backward holding them there for five to ten seconds. Then bend them in the opposite direction and hold for five to ten seconds. Repeat three times. 
  5. Press and roll your thumbs between the bones of the ball of your foot.


2) Self Massage for Back Pain

Here is a technique you can do yourself. You need two tennis balls and a sock.

  1. Take a hot bath or shower. 
  2. Do some gentle stretching such as yoga. 
  3. Slide two tennis balls into a sock, tying off the open end of the sock so that the balls are touching each other. 
  4. Lie on your back on the floor. Have the socks at hand and place them under the small of your back, one ball on each side of your spine. 
  5. Take a deep breath and let your body relax into the balls. Rock your hips gently from side to side. Then adjust your body slightly so that the balls move up your back a few inches. Hold that position briefly, then take a deep breath.
  6. Wait until you feel a sense of softening or melting into the balls before you move them farther up your back.

Most people take about 10 to 15 minutes to work the balls up and down their back. If you have a particularly sore area on your back, spend some extra time with the balls touching that spot.


Do not do massage if you have a prolapsed disk or a spinal problem. Deep massage can worsen this condition.


3) Self Massage for Depression

  1. Start with your head and work your way down to your toes. 
  2. Pour some massage oil onto your palms, and using flat hands, rub it vigorously into your hair and scalp. 
  3. Use your fingertips to cover your head with small circular movements. 
  4. Gently massage your face and ears, and then your neck. 
  5. Knead your shoulders and vigorously massage your arms, with up-and-down motions. Use circular movements on your elbows and knead your hands and fingers. 
  6. Massage your chest and stomach using large gentle circular motions. Massage your sides and back, if you can reach it without straining. 
  7. Use vigorous up-and-down motions on your legs, with circular movement at your knees and ankles. 
  8. Massage your feet-tops and bottoms-and use your fingers to massage your toes.

When you are done, take a warm shower and use mild soap to wash off the excess oil. The oil that has penetrated or remains on the surface of the skin conditions and helps keep your body warm.

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