Performing a self-massage during the day can help with muscle relaxation, easing of stress, supporting exercise performance and recovery, and may even help your mood.
Best of all, you can complete the self-massage techniques we cover below while at home and without any training.
Self-Massage Tools to Consider
Before getting started, take a look at some of the different essential oils, carrier oils, and massager that you will want to consider adding to your self-massage regimen.
- Deep Pressure Massager from Theracane is an easy to use massage that helps you reach parts of the body that may be hard for you.
- Banyan Botanicals has a wide selection of essential body oils for you to mix with your carrier oil.
- Wyndmere Essential Oils is another good source of plant essences.
- For your carrier oils, shop NOW Foods.
- Blissful Baby Balm Unscented from Alaffia is a massage formula for baby’s sensitive skin that you can use when soothing your baby.
- Rapid Relief Synergy Blend from Plant Therapy is a pre-formulated blend for temporary relief from occasional pain by creating a sensation of heat and supporting circulation through the body.
Remember that when using essential oils you need to dilute them in a carrier oil. A good rule of thumb for beginners is to mix between 1-3 drops of essential oil per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. You may consider increasing this to 7 drops if you are familiar with using essential oils and don’t experience any negative side effects.
Massage Techniques and How to Practice Them
For the following techniques, you can apply essential oils to the problem area before, during, or after the massage.
You hold a lot of tension in your neck, so massaging this area of the body can help with headaches, general pain, and stiffness caused by sitting for too long.
Try this one once every hour or so. To start, hunch forward over your keyboard and clasp your hands behind your neck. Using your palms, apply pressure to either side of the spinal cord and rub up and down. Then, start massaging the side of your neck using one hand, from the base of the skull and down to the shoulder. Do this three times for each side.
There are a couple of ways to massage the feet. The first uses a tennis ball placed under the arch of your foot. Step down gently, then begin moving your foot around on the tennis ball while maintaining pressure, rolling it from your heel to your toes.
The second way is to lace your fingers through your toes, spreading the toes around your fingers, and rolling your palm forward and back for about a minute.
The third way is to hold your ankle in your hand and rotate your foot clockwise, starting with a smaller circle, then moving to large circles. Repeat going counterclockwise and for both feet.
These three techniques are not just good for general foot pain, but also for people that wear heels or are on their feet a lot.
Calf muscles and the large groups of tendons and tissue in the legs can shorten as we sit with our legs bent, wear heels, and from general inactivity. Rubbing down the calves and Achilles tendons can be a good way to loosen and stretch these tendons and tissue back out.
Do this by sitting in a chair with your feet on the ground, then place your forefinger and thumb just above the ankle and apply pressure, then release. Move up the leg, repeating this “pulse” until you reach the knee.
Hand and Wrist Massage
Heavy computer users will know the troubles that come with using a keyboard and mouse for much of their day. Thankfully, wrist and hand massages are some of the easiest forms of self-massage.
For your wrists, hold your left hand out with your palm facing up. Use the right hand to bend each finger on your left hand to your palm until you form a first. Then with your right hand, cup the left hand and bend it towards you gently and repeat. Switch hands and repeat.
For hands, use your favorite lotion, balm, or essential oil and simply rub the hands together, ensuring that you apply pressure with your fingers and that you pay attention to the joints, and tendons located around the center of the hand.
The face has more than 40 muscles, and like any other part of the body they can contribute to pain and discomfort.
To massage the face, clasp your hands “prayer-style” with the thumbs sticking out. Then, place the bridge of the nose into the space between your clasped hands so that your thumbs are against the temples. While gently pushing into your hands, use your thumbs to massage your temples.
You can also use your thumbs to massage the jaw bone from the chin and up to under the earlobe, your cheeks, forehead, and other areas of the face until you feel relief.
Perform as Needed
Being consistent with the above massage techniques is important, but don’t go overboard and do any one massage too often or you can cause damage to tissue.
Along with your massage, make sure to get up and stay active. This will help to flood the blood with oxygen and may help the body to detoxify, support tissue function, and development.