Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Self-Massage Treatments

I am following one of my New Year's Resolutions so I scheduled a massage for Sat. morning. It's been too long since I enjoyed that pampering! While my budget and sometimes my schedule don't allow for massages more often, I've read about a way to give yourself a massage. It would help during those inbetween times until the next real massage.

While a self-massage will never be as relaxing as the real thing, it still has some benefits. You can do it where and when you want and you don't require anyone else's assistance. It can be done in the tub, on your bed, or even at your desk.Use self-massage to energize yourself before school or work in the morning, or to unwind in the evening. You can massage your feet while watching TV, or massage your hands while talking on the phone. You do not need to undress, but you must be comfortable. Use massage oil if you are massaging on bare skin. The easiest areas to work on are your feet, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.

To relieve headaches

Cup your hands over your eyes and look into the darkness. Circle your temples with the pads of your middle fingers. Then sweep your fingers from the center of your forehead out towards the sides.

To relax your shoulders

Raise your shoulders up and down a few times, using a circular motion. Gently move your head from side to side. Rub your neck, shoulders and scalp firmly with both hands using your fingertips to massage with small circling movements. Tilt your head to the side and massage the opposite shoulder down to the arm to the elbow. Repeat on the other side. (You can do this at your desk.)

Loosely clench your left hand into a fist and gently pound your right shoulder. Keep your wrist flexible. This can be very invigorating if you are tired. Repeat on the other side.

Put one hand on the top of your foot and the other under the sole. Stroke smoothly from your toes to your ankles. Glide your hands back to your toes and repeat.

Support your foot with one hand and work on each toe individually. Squeeze each toe firmly, and gently stretch with a gentle pull.

With one thumb on top of the other, do a line of firm pressures down the center of the sole and lines on either side. Then, with one thumb, do circular pressures on the arch and ball.

Support your foot with one hand and make the other into a loose fist. Do knuckling movements all over the sole by rippling your fingers around in small circular movements.
As an alternative, massage your feet with a tennis, golf, or other small ball. Run each foot over a ball for a minute or two, pressing and holding on tender or tight areas.


Stroke the back of your hand, pushing firmly up toward the wrist and gliding back gently. Then squeeze the hand all over, pressing it between your palm and your fingers.

Squeeze each finger and make circular pressures over the joints with your thumb. Then hold the finger at its base and pull it gently to stretch it, sliding your grip up the finger and off the tip.

Turn your hand over and support the back with your fingers. Do firm circular and static pressures with your thumb, working all over the palm and around the wrist.

Be gentle and go slow. “A little goes a long way and if you are not careful, you can over-do it. Pressing hard is not always necessary.

Important: If anything is painful, don't do it. Be careful if you have recently been injured or seriously ill. If in doubt, consult a massage therapist or other healthcare professional.
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